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Many people wonder if kids and teens can get depressed. In the case of teens, adults may attribute symptoms of depression to normal teen emotional swings. But experts and pediatricians point out that children and teens really can get depressed and may be afflicted with the true illness of depression.

What Causes Kids to Succumb to Depression?

As in adults, depression may have multiple causes or one cause that varies among individuals. Some factors are unique to certain stages of life, however.

Children

Children may become depressed because of genetics (like adults). They may have inherited a tendency toward depression, and perhaps a trigger caused it to surface. Children may become depressed due to divorce, as they are uniquely affected by their immediate family’s dynamic. Bullying at school is also something children may have to face that is not a factor for adults.

A child with a tendency toward perfectionism may be more prone to depression as well, sources say. Children with this tendency may “beat themselves up” unnecessarily over failures or perceived failures.

Teens

This age group is considered particularly prone to depression. This may be partly due to the hormonal upheavals that occur during the teen years. However, adults should be cautious not to dismiss this information as simply being caused by hormones, and should address and treat depression regardless of its cause, as recommended by experts.

Teens may also be dealing with bullying at school or even “harmless” teasing. They may be experiencing their first crush or rejection from the opposite sex. Other causes may be purely physiological; maybe nothing is particularly wrong in the teen’s life, but his or her brain just seems to run in a depressed mode.

What Are the Signs?

Children

Parents should be vigilant for any talk about suicide or morbid fascination with death. Some sources suggest that being vigilant about the content of television and movies is important, as they may contain material that could cause feelings of sadness or have a negative impact on mental health. Research indicates that watching more than six hours of TV each day may make children more susceptible to experiencing depression.

  • Sleep disturbances or changes in sleep habits
  • Sudden increase or decrease in appetite
  • Angry outbursts and/or irritability
  • Lack of interest in social activities or friends
  • “Touchy” about perceived rejection

Teens

Some signs of depression in teens are like those in children; some are different. As with children, parents of teens should be keenly aware of any indications of suicidal thoughts. Music, movies, and television are also sources of potentially depressing images and subject matter.

  • Weight loss or gain
  • Over-exercise and/or obsessive dieting
  • Binge eating
  • Angry outbursts/yelling at parents
  • Withdrawal from social activities and family

By White Crane

Welcome to my blog, where I am here to share my knowledge and promote the habit of reading. Reading is one of the best ways to gain knowledge, and it's a habit that can be cultivated from a young age. As someone who loves to read, I want to inspire others to pick up a book and discover the joys of reading. Whether you're looking to learn something new or just want to escape reality for a little while, there's a book out there for everyone. So, join me on this journey of learning and self-improvement, as we discover the power of reading together.

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