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How to Save Your Child from the Lifelong Consequences of Depression


How to Save Your Child from the Lifelong Consequences

of Depression


About four decades ago, it was widely held that depressive conditions could not affect children because they lacked the necessary neural structures. However, recent studies are showing otherwise: children do suffer from depression and other mood disorders.

How do you know if your child’s behaviors such as sadness, anger, irritability, and inability to focus are symptoms of depression? It is not easy to draw this conclusion, which is why these symptoms are often ignored or trivialized. To be able to help your child, recognizing the symptoms of depression is important.


Some Facts to Figure

You may think that your child is just sad or cranky for a good reason. You may be right, but you may also be wrong. According to Son and Kirchner (2000), authors of the American Family Physician article “Depression in Children and Adolescents,” “Depression among children and adolescents is common but frequently unrecognized.” This is a fundamental reason why many children are not provided with the appropriate attention and treatment.

Child depression is real. In fact, 2 percent of prepubertal children in the United States are affected by the condition. Its risk factors include genetic predisposition and poor performance in school. The good news is that it is treatable. If a significant number of children with depressive symptoms are not properly diagnosed and treated, it is because parents don’t recognize them. This can have a serious effect on your child. Do you know that about one-third of adults with depression first experienced their symptoms as children?


Recognizing the Symptoms

Your ability to recognize the signs and symptoms can determine how soon your child is diagnosed and treated. If you notice more than one of the following symptoms, it will be in the best interest of your child for you to seek the help of a professional therapist. Some of the symptoms cited in WebMD’s Depression: Is Your Child Depressed? include:

  • Irritability or anger
  • Continuous feelings of sadness or hopelessness
  • Social withdrawal
  • Increased sensitivity to rejection
  • Changes in appetite—either increased or decreased
  • Changes in sleep—sleeplessness or excessive sleep
  • Vocal outbursts or crying
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Fatigue and low energy
  • Reduced ability to function during events and activities at home or with friends, in school, in extracurricular activities, and in other hobbies or interests
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

While non-depressed children may show these signs at times, depressive symptoms are not transient: they can last for two months or longer. Depressed children may also manifest three or more of these symptoms at a time, and they will not respond to your interventions.


Lasting Consequences to Keep at Bay

If your child is exhibiting symptoms of depression, it is important to treat it promptly in order to prevent lifelong repercussions. Depression can have a serious and permanent impact on the life of your child. It can disrupt the child’s social relationships, academic performance, and emotional stability, and even lead them to substance abuse. It may also increase the possibility of adult depression.

This is supported by a study cited in WebMD, which was published in The Journal of the American Medical Association. It says that “adults diagnosed with depression as adolescents were at a disadvantage compared with those who never had depression.” The findings showed that they are likely to have lower income, not have completed college, and be unemployed or saddled with a lot of work- and family-related issues.


Save Your Child from the Dangers of Depression

Depression in children presents risks that can persist into their adult life. The most disturbing is vulnerability to self-harm and other reckless behavior. While your parenting and the environment you create for your child affect their development, your child’s depression may have many contributing factors. What is clear is that you have an important role to play in recognizing symptoms and giving your child the chance at an improved life with timely diagnosis and treatment.

Instead of fearing what others may say, fear what awaits your child if their depression is not promptly treated. You have one easy option available at your fingertips: call Carolina Counseling Services – Sanford, NC, for help. You and an experienced therapist independently contracted by CCS can work together to save your child from a troubled future. You may not have made your child depressed, but their healing depends on you—call now.


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Serving Areas: Carolina Counseling Services – Sanford, NC

Counties: Chatham, Harnett, Lee and Moore County, NC

Areas: Sanford NC, Tramway, NC, Olivia, NC, Broadway, NC, Cumnock, NC, Gulf, NC, Goldston, NC, Carbonton NC, Glendon, NC, Carthage, NC, Cameron, NC, Lillington, NC, Moncure, NC

Zip Codes: 27330, 27332, 28327, 27505, 27546


Rose Thomas, MA, LPC, LCAS, NCC

Specializes in: (Ages 5+) Children, Teens, Individuals, Couples and Families. Anxiety, Depression, ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder, ADHD, Relationship Issues, Marriage Counseling, Parenting, PTSD/Trauma Recovery, Acute Stress Disorder, Adult Sexual Abuse Survivors, Adjustment Disorders, Depressive Disorders, Persistent Depressive Disorder, Bipolar and Related Disorders, Self-injurious/Self-Harm, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, Separation Anxiety, Disruptive Disorders, Conduct Disorder, Marital Conflict and Discord, LGBT, Substance Use Disorders
 Insurance: BCBS, Tricare,/Tricare Prime, Select, Extra, Retired, Cash, HSA and FSA accepted (credit cards accepted)
 Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

Fetima Wellington, MS, LPC, LCAS-A

Specializes in: (Ages 6+) Children, Adolescents/Teens, Individuals, Couples, Family Therapy and Marriage Counseling. Anxiety, Depression, Bi-Polar Disorder, Addiction and Recovery, Relationship Issues, Post Partum Depression, Family Conflict, Crisis Intervention, ODD, Conduct Disorder, LGBTQ
 Insurance: BCBS,  Cash, HSA and FSA (credit cards accepted)
 Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

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Carolina Counseling Services - Sanford, NC
304 N Horner Boulevard
Sanford, NC 27330