What are the differences between childhood and adult depression?
Adult Depression. Depression has no single cause. Both genetics and the environment play a role, and some people may be more likely to become depressed. Depression can be triggered by a medical illness, a stressful situation, or the loss of an important person. Adults may feel depressed during different life stages if they are feeling stagnant or unfulfilled. Men and women can get “into a rut” and it becomes more than just feeling “blue,” but actually feeling apathetic and hopeless. Many adults grow accustomed to feeling depressed. They may lose sight of the fact that life can be better. It is hard to be hopeful about treatment when you are feeling depressed, so often spouses and family members encourage the person to get help.
Childhood Depression. Over the last 20 years, depression in children has been acknowledged with serious concern. However, because children manifest symptoms in such a unique way from child to child a critical symptom to look for is a change in mood and behavior. For some young children there will be physical complaints, irritable mood, sleep disturbance or anxiety. For older teens it can be moodiness. If you notice any changes in your child’s mood or behavior, decline in social and academic functioning or a general lack of interest; have them evaluated immediately.
Recognizing the “Red Flags” of depression:
Ongoing feelings of sadness, worthlessness, guilt, hopelessness, tearfulness, and anger.
Loss of interest in social activity
Increased or decrease in sleep or appetite, low energy.
Physical complaints , stomach aches, pain (with no medical cause)
Poor school or work performance (poor concentration)
Thoughts of dying or suicide ( get help immediately)
Feeling like nothing matters
If you or your child are experiencing symptoms like the above, contact MindWell today to schedule a consultation at our Northern Virginia office.