Childhood Depression

Childhood depression is characterized by sadness, withdrawal, crying, poor sleep and appetite, and, in some cases, thoughts of suicide and suicide attempts. One essential symptom that is noticed in children who are diagnosed with depression is irritability, which can substitute for depression. Depression can occur in children but increases dramatically during adolescence. The gender ratio is higher for girls and lower for boys.

Causal factors

  • Biological factor: There is an association between parental depression and behavioral and mood problems in children. Parents diagnosed with major depressive disorder, diagnosed with other psychological conditions, or under treatment can be prone to depression. A parent’s depression can affect the child through interactions. During pregnancy, exposure to alcohol is related to depression in children.
  • Negative life events and learning factors: the experience of negative life events at the early stages of life. The negative events can cause the child to learn maladaptive behavior. Many studies have indicated that children exposed to abuse and traumatic events are more susceptible to depression, which makes them more vulnerable to suicidal ideation when they are exposed to distress.

Children exposed to negative parental behavior or a negative emotional state may develop depression. Scientific studies have investigated the possibility that mothers who are depressed transfer their mood to their infants through interactions. Mothers with depression often never respond effectively to their child and are more negative towards their child than a mother who is not depressed.

  • Stressful, uncertain life events—separation, divorce, moving to a different place, or the death of a parent—can also be causes of depression in children.
  • Physical/Brian injury: A head injury that is caused by minor or major accidents.


  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Lack of interest in activities
  • Low energy all the time
  • Increase or decrease in appetite
  • Increased or decreased sleep
  • Negative thoughts about oneself, others, and the world
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Self-harm
  • Feel worthless, hopeless, and helpless.



Antidepressants are widely used drugs for treating children and adolescents. Antidepressants like fluoxetine are more effective. Medications have undesirable side effects like nausea, headaches, nervousness, insomnia, or even seizures.

Psychological treatment

Psychological treatment is proven to be effective in treating depression in children and adolescents. Consistent psychological treatment has shown a significant reduction in symptoms with the use of CBT.

Parents role in helping the child

Parents can plan an important role to prevent depression in children. The biological and natural causes cannot be controlled. However, the nurture, environment, and surroundings can be controlled by the parents by developing a safe and secure place for the child to grow and develop. You can ensure your child’s mental health by providing a healthy environment for them to grow in.

  • Well-balanced food
  • Sleep
  • Engage them in creative activities.
  • Develop healthy social connections.
  • Encourage them to engage in healthy physical activities.
  • Foster healthy communication between you and the child.



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