According to WebMD (2017) depression in children is a serious mood disorder that takes joy from the child’s life
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According to WebMD (2017) depression in children is a serious mood disorder that takes joy from the child’s life. Depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. Although it is normal for a child to be moody and sad at times, it is not normal for a child to experience these symptoms on a regular basis. If these symptoms last for weeks to months it is referred as depression.
As many as 2 out of 100 young children and 8 out of 100 teens have serious depression. Depression ranges from mild to severe. Depression can be caused by stressful events such as the loss of a loved one, going through divorce, changing of school, and can also be inherited. Symptoms of depression includes loss or gain of appetite, sleeping disturbances, irritability, difficult concentrating, loss of interest in things or activities, and the frequent thoughts about death or suicide. Teens can become overwhelmed with the pressure brought upon by parents or peers. Teens transition between being a child and becoming independent can cause increase stress which can lead to depression. Teens begin to become more independent and are pressured in making many decisions that perhaps they are not ready for (WebMD, 2017).
There are primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention for depression. Primary prevention consist of parents and caregivers interaction with children/teens. Parents need to give their child the time to talk to them and make them feel supported and loved. Creating bonds with children will allow for them to express their feelings and concerns. Secondary prevention consist of seeking help when signs and symptoms or concerns are noted. Physical exams or doctors appointments are a great way of seeking help. Physicians are able to complete a depression questioner and are more likely to notice depression. Schools also have counseling services available if needed. Tertiary prevention may consist of hospital care and the use of medication for severe forms of depression. There are counseling services and rehabilitation centers available to treat depression (Web MD, 2017).
Children/teens need to known that they are not alone. They need to know that there is help out there. Families need to be taught about signs and symptoms and places they can turn to get help. There are a couple organizations and facilities available. Organizations such as Healthy Children organization www.healthychildren.org. There is help available through National Suicide Prevention lifeline U.S. In Fresno, CA help is available through Fresno Alpha Behavioral Counseli http://www.abccentric.com/wordpress/
Nurses need to be familiar with resources available in the communities so they can refer their patients if needed. Nurses can help educate children and their families about depression All families should be aware of this problem as well as the resources available. Depression can lead to suicide if not corrected. Let’s all take a stand to protect our children.
WebMD. (2017). Depression in Children and Teens – Topic overview. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/depression/te/depression-in-childhood-and-adolescence-topic-overview#1