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What Would Make a Child Depressed?
By: Beth McHugh 2006
Children can suffer from depression just as adults can. But while mental health groups around the country struggle to increase awareness of the widespread nature of depression in adults, the equivalent illness in children is often very much swept under the carpet.
One of the reasons why this occurs is that adults have an entrenched perception that children are very resilient. While this is generally true, and children do seem to bounce back after a distressing episode much more quickly than the majority of adults do, there is a limit to a child’s personal coping skills.
Adults also seem to struggle with the idea that children have anything to be depressed about. We seem to look at children as being far more carefree than we are. After all, they are not bogged down by money worries, relationship issues, mortgages, serious illnesses, threatened job losses, and all the concerns that typically accompany the adult years.
Yet children have stresses that are just as difficult for them to negotiate
as we adults do. Their issues may not seem as all-encompassing to us,
but that it irrelevant. Their issues are important to them, and that’s
what counts. They are also hamstrung by the lack of experience that
adults acquire with age, including the realization that most problems
that we worry about never happen. In fact, many an adult suffers from
this problem, so it is small wonder that a child may seem overwhelmed
by their own issues. Children also lack skills such as conflict resolutions
skills and general knowledge skills that assist most adults to deal
with their problems.
In coming blogs, we’ll look at symptoms of childhood depression
and treatment options.
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