Understanding Childhood Depression: Part II

Now I hope that I didn’t scare a lot of you off with the first post, but this is a very important area that needs to be discussed.  Many teachers, pastors, youth leaders and others that come in contact with young people are just not educated on this issue. What I would like to do is break this disorder down one final time for all that are interested.

First off, I need to remind you that Childhood Depression is a little more difficult to recognize but most children that suffer with this disorder may or may not know how to express themselves. Please remember that the signs/symptoms basically fall into 4 distinct areas;   (1) Emotional, (2) Cognitive, (3) Physical and (4) Behavioral. I will try to be brief and as clear/concise as I can to even an 8th grader. In my first post, I shared the most common symptoms that I see in my practice, but this list must include all of he necessary signs/symptoms.

A. Emotional


  • Anxiety ( tense, crying and irritable)
  • Sad ( feeling down and low; sometimes guilty and hopeless for no apparent reason)
  •  No interest (not interested in playing video games, extra-curricula activities, etc)
  • Worried (The child may be worried and fearful and openly share these feelings)


B. Cognitive


C. Physical


  • Weight loss or Weight Gain (eating too much or too little)
  • Insomnia (initiating, middle or terminal insomnia)
  • Poor or bad posture exhibited daily at home and school
  • Agitation and irritability distinctively different than that seen in ADD


D. Behavioral Signs

  • Physical pain activities towards ones self
  • Avoidance
  • Clingy  and unusually demanding for age
  • Sense of restlessness
  • Over-active and hyperactive


Now I in no way can make you an expert on Childhood Depression, but I can at least give you some of the basic signs/symptoms. This is a very serious illness that oftentimes gets over looked in children. Children are experiencing more early childhood trauma issues with abandonment, peer pressure and societal stressors than many of us did when we were young. That is why it is so important to understand how this disease looks, smells and tastes.  We have a lot of treatments out here so don’t be afraid to come forward. If you are a young person reading this post and feel you need help, feel free to dial 911 and I am sure that the operator can get you immediately hooked-in to your local emergency mental health services. If you want to discover or read more about this disease and other brain diseases, feel free to go to www.askdro.com and surf the website. It is there for your reading pleasure.

Once again thanks for coming by,

Dr. O

Picture source: http://www.topnews.in/health/friendless-kids-risk-spiraling-depression-adolescence-study-29759









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