treating depression children

Identifying & Treating Depression in Children

It’s completely normal for children to feel sad, be in a bad mood, or to be quiet and withdrawn sometimes. However, when the sadness continues or is prolonged, or a bad mood lasts for weeks or longer, and when there are changes in a child’s general behaviour, it might be depression. The symptoms of depression in children and young persons vary significantly and for many reasons including age and developmental stage. Depression in children can often go undiagnosed and untreated because the symptoms being exhibited are simply passed off as normal emotional and psychological changes as children grow and develop through their formative years. A lot of research and studies of depression in children focussed on what is known as “masked depression,”. This is where a child’s depressed mood was evidenced by acting out, unusual angry bursts towards friends, siblings, or parents, or general behaviour that is angry in nature. While this does happen, routinely in most younger children, many children with clinical signs of depression display sadness or low mood similar to adults. The primary symptoms of depression revolve around sadness, a feeling of hopelessness, and mood changes. At OnTrack Psychology Brisbane, we have extensive experience treating young persons with depression., Read more about treating anxiety and depression, and more about me as a child psychologist Brisbane.

Signs and symptoms of depression in children include:

  • Unusual bursts of anger that are out of context
  • Continuous feelings of sadness
  • Demonstrating repeated signs of hopelessness
  • Loss of interest in activities normally enjoyed.
  • Social withdrawal from friends, siblings and family
  • Being more or overly sensitive to rejection than usual
  • Changes in appetite, either increased or decreased including not enjoying foods previously enjoyed
  • Changes in sleep patterns – can’t sleep, restless sleep or not wanting to get out of bed and sleeping excessively.
  • Vocal outbursts without reason or excessive crying and retreat to bedroom
  • Trouble concentrating on school work, or when watching television or reading
  • Loss of interest in sport or computer games
  • Fatigue and low energy – not wanting to participate in family activities or play with friends
  • Physical complaints including having a sore stomach that are completely out of context or that don’t respond to treatment
  • Expressing or demonstrating feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Impaired thinking or concentration – saying thinks that are disturbing or worrying to parents
  • Expressing thoughts of death or suicide, or unusually speaking about suicidal ideation or self-harm.
  • Demonstrating self-harming activities.

Contact OnTrack today for an obligation-free consultation. We have a convenient city location at Greenslopes, Brisbane.

Ontrack Psychology Brisbane

child psychologist brisbane

I am a qualified child and youth psychologist, specialising in helping young people and their families develop healthy positive relationships and home lives, for the benefit of all family members and friends to improve socialisation and lead a happier life.

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