Reasons and solutions for childhood depression

Reasons and solutions for childhood depression


  • 1 Depression, a very common evil
  • 2 Definition of depression
  • 3 Diagnosis of depression
  • 4 Symptoms of childhood depression
  • 5 What to do in case of detecting some of these depressive symptoms?
  • 6 Treatment of childhood depression

Depression, a very common evil

According to the electronic encyclopedia medline, the depression It affects 340 million people in the world. The Universal newspaper affirms that in Mexico more than 7 million suffer from it and that by 2020, it will be the second most common disease in the world. In Spain it is estimated that 5% of the child population suffers from depression at some time during their childhood.

Talk about depression in adults It is relatively frequent, but in children, it seems to be rather unusual. In fact, diagnoses of this disease are usually made in adults but today they suffer from it, it has been possible to identify that children are not exempt. Depression does not distinguish social classes, neither sex, nor ages, so that everyone can suffer from it. Until 1975 the childhood depression (ID) It was accepted by the National Institute of Mental Health, as a concept and psychopathological entity.

Depression can occur even by moving from one stage of life to another: moving from being a child to being a teenager. β€œFrancisco Xavier Méndez, explains why 2 percent of children and 5 percent of teenagers get depressed, reaching the most serious cases at commit suicide”.

Definition of depression

Depression: Sad, depressed, moody mood, with inhibition of the course of thought, weak will and inability to decide. It is a normal manifestation when there are external causes that explain it. (Dorsch Friedrich, 1994)

Depression: Depression (from Latin depressus, which means "downcast", "knocked down") is an emotional disorder that presents itself as a state of dejection and unhappiness that can be temporary or permanent. (Wikipedia, 2008)

In broad strokes we can distinguish two types of depression

  1. The external or exogenous: It has to do with daily life events that affect our children or students. As the name implies it comes from abroad but it upsets them by the affective relationship of the event (death of a loved one or change of school), and
  2. The internal or endogenous. In this, it is most likely that some of the body's structures (neurons) or the chemical components that interact with each other (neuroconductors) are damaged or have some deficiency in their exchange: physical, chemical and electrical. A relationship has been found between the alteration of one of those neuroconductors called serotonin, along with a decrease in white blood cells (lymphocytes or white blood cells) which makes our immune or defense system low and we are more likely to get sick.

All important events in the lives of children can cause alterations and depression:

  • Having a great stress load,
  • Having had or witnessed an event that put one's own life or that of other people at risk,
  • The loss of one or both parents,
  • A separation or divorce,
  • School or family problems or conflicts,
  • A change of school or place of residence,
  • The death of pets,
  • The real or imaginary loss of a friend or teacher,
  • Having a disability
  • Not having the social or intellectual skills that their parents or teachers expect from them,
  • To have suffered abuse physical or sexual abuse,
  • Not having loved ones close,

All these are potential activators of this disease, as depression is due to a multiplicity of causes.

Depression Diagnosis

For many parents and teachers it is important to know how to realize that their children or students suffer from depression? because the symptoms are not as obvious as having a flu, and most of the time it is confused with having laziness or a generalized reluctance at home and school, this reaches interpret simply as a child with bad behavior.

Neither the parents nor the teachers have a guide that allows them to detect and, in the best case, channel the children so that they are cared for in a timely and adequate manner. That is why it is very important to take into account the following indicators, since depression is not a passing state, but a disease that can be disabling and in very advanced cases fatal:

Symptoms of childhood depression

  • Spend most of the time sad and crying easily,
  • Lose interest in playing with other children or at school,
  • He keeps himself isolated from the rest of the family or his friends at school, it is hard for him to communicate or his communication is very little,
  • If the child frequently misses school,
  • It is perceived unmotivated even for the things I used to enjoy,
  • He does not defend himself despite being hurt by his brothers or classmates (helplessness),
  • It has little or no ability to concentrate,
  • He becomes very irritable, aggressive and gets angry easily at small frustrations,
  • You feel most of the day tired,
  • You are extremely sensitive to the rejection and failure of any activity undertaken,
  • It self-qualifies, qualifies others or life itself in a negative way,
  • If you watch TV or a story is told, it generally adds a catastrophic or very sad ending,
  • If you mentioned the desire to assault other people, including yourself, including ideas of taking your own life (suicide),
  • If you mentioned not wanting to go to school (when it was enjoyable before) and stop doing normal activities such as: bathing or changing clothes,
  • He constantly complains about illnesses (headache, back, neck, stomach, feet, hands, etc.) and asks to be treated or allowed to return home,
  • You have sleep disturbances (insomnia, excessive sleep, irrational fears when night comes, nightmares, sleepwalking),
  • You feel anxious and have eating disorders (eating too little or too much),
  • If you have stopped smiling or smiling little,
  • He is constantly blamed for things events that have happened to others or even himself,
  • He behaves like a baby and talks like a baby (regression),
  • He feels decayed, apathetic, with no initiative to play and no desire to do anything, even when he is treated,
  • It is made from the pee in bed (enuresis),
  • Talk about escaping from leaving the house, school or even killing yourself,

When a child is depressed, he is also more susceptible to becoming physically ill., since it has been proven that his immune system is also depressed, his cellular metabolism becomes slower and inefficient, which affects his physical growth and can even be a trigger for contagious and genetic diseases from the inheritance of Parents or grandparents.

It is important to approach children, because sometimes we do not find any explanation that justifies their mood of feeling very sad and that is when we can assume that the cause of their behavior is unusual and would have very high chances of being an alteration to brain level, whether due to any possible damage in some area of ​​the brain mass or that the exchange of information between neurons (neuroconductors) has some alteration. Another probable cause is that children or adolescents are consuming some toxic substance.

What to do in case of detecting some of these depressive symptoms?

  • If you have more than three symptoms such as those described above, it is important that you channel your child or student to the school's medical services or send them to a health professional.
  • Ask him about his feelings and emotions, they could only be passengers or have a certain period of time (more than two weeks), which indicates that he needs urgent attention. If the child has more than two months with this type of symptoms, it could be assumed that it is a chronic disease and its origin may be hereditary.
  • Establish routines and limits that allow you to know, when you let them fulfill and enjoy daily activities, in fact they allow children to enjoy emotional stability, and they can help you know when something affects your child on the physical plane or psychological
  • One more element at bedtime is the grinding of the teeth, this means that it brings a lot of emotional tension or stress and is reflected in squeezing the jaw unconsciously at the time of sleep where it is supposed to be calmer.
  • It is important that children or students enjoy the activities of school and home, learning through play is the most natural for them, but when they live with tension, this causes them anguish, despair and of course depression.
  • It is likely that the children do not ask to be taken care of, but both parents and teachers need to be aware of the symptoms they present and if it is the case to take them with a health professional and be treated.

Diagnosis and treatment are two essential elements to help and balance the health of children. And parents and teachers are a very important factor in detecting this type of illness because they are the ones who interact the longest with children.

Treatment of childhood depression

Several treatments can be used:

  • Psychological treatment: Cognitive behavioral therapy is a very important element in the intervention of this type of diseases. The Cognitive therapy It is an active, directive, structured and time-limited procedure. It is based on the theory that the affections and behavior of an individual are largely determined by the individual's way of processing information (all stimuli from both the external and internal world) and giving meaning to the acts. In other words, what we think about the world, others and ourselves, determines our moods and our behavior.
  • Medical treatment program: The first medication normally considered is a type of antidepressant called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI).
  • Alternative treatment program: There is currently a technology called "Low Frequency Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy". It is non-invasive, completely natural and without side effects. It consists of lying the patient in a bed that is connected to a computer. Where an electromagnetic field is generated which would be the metaphorically equivalent of being lying on a magnet. The electromagnetic field It mimics the vibratory waves of a body in a state of health and with this it is possible to balance the patient's energy. It is a completely physical principle, which assumes that any disease is due to the electromagnetic imbalance of an electron that revolves around an atom. When an electromagnetic imbalance occurs, the set of molecules, cells, tissues and systems of our body enters a disease process. When a patient enters the electromagnetic field, he not only balances his body but also his mind. Technological psychotherapy, is the combination of psychological therapy with electromagnetic field, is a new alternative in the treatment of depression in people of all ages.