Depression Among Children and Adolescents

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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More and more children and adolescents suffer from depression everyday without the knowledge of their parents. One in every thirty three children, or two and a half percent, suffer from clinical depression, and a surprising eight and a half percent, or one in every eight, of adolescents in the United States suffer from depression. While these numbers may not seem very high, this is a very dangerous mental, behavioral and emotional disorder for anyone to suffer from without proper treatment. There are many signs that children and adolescents may show as a cause of clinical depression. Depression in children and adolescents may lead to school failure, alcohol use, drug use, and even suicide. With this in mind, there are numerous things that society can do to help prevent and help treat children and adolescents who suffer from depression.

No one truly knows the cause of depression. Some believe that depression can be caused by the loss or absence of a loved one on whom a child is dependant on, or even genetic vulnerability.

There are many signs of depression that parents and even teachers should be aware of. Some of these include sudden changes in behavior, increased risk taking, aggressive, angry or agitated behavior, changes in appetite or sleep patterns, changes in dress appearance, and lower self esteem. If a child or adolescent shows any of these signs, there is a high possibility that they are depressed.

As a society, there are many things that can be done to help parents be more aware of depression. First of all, schools or even the community, should send out newsletters listing all of the symptoms of depression. These newsletters should include known available treatments and listings of online sites that parents can visit for more information on depression. Parents should...