How should childhood depression and anxiety be treated/dealt with?
Clinical depression, depression, biological depression, and major depression, all refer to the same thing: feeling sad for weeks or months on end. Depressed individuals struggle with feelings of dispaer, hopelessness, and no energy; things like getting out of bed, taking a shower, and eating become hard to do. Recent evidence has validated clinical depression in children as young as age 3, but not much data is available to gauge treatment of early childhood depression (Luby, 2011). These kids are often left behind in school academically and socially. A helping hand from a teacher could make all the difference in the world to them. I would like to attempt to understand depression’s specific effects on children, who have even less control over their lives. As a future teacher I think this topic is very important; we need to be educated on how to recognize depression, and be able to offer treatments and/or help to deal with it.
Discussion of research:
Depression among children and young adults is common but often unrecognized. “According to the 1992 National Comorbidity Survey, at any given time, nearly 2% of children ages 7–12 in the United States have major depression. The rate of 6%–9% among late adolescents is similar to the adult rate.” (health.harvard.edu, 2002). Under the umbrella of depression we find anything from sadness to bi-polar disorder, and studies have shown the number of young people diagnosed with depression every year increases as their age decreases (Kessler, R. C. and Walters, E. E., 1998). Risk factors include mostly a family history of depression, but there are also many other possible triggers:
“The death or divorce of parents; a child’s inability to conform to an unattainable ideal or live according to hard moral convictions taught by parents; failure to establish emotional bonds during infancy because of rejection or neglect; too much punishment and criticism with too little reward and praise; anger turned inward because there is no safe way to express it. Sexual or physical abuse may also lead to depression by causing lasting changes in the regulation of stress-related hormones and neurotransmitters.” (Health.harvard.edu, 2002).
In my research I found that genetic factors were the greatest cause of depression at an early age. Children of a depressed parent have a much higher risk of depression than average. According to one report where scientists looked at patterns of illness in families to see about what percentage of their cause of depression is because of their genes. They used identical, who share 100% of their genes and non- identical twins who share 50% of their genes, for the study. If one twin had depression, they figured the identical twin to have a much higher risk of depression than the non-identical twin. The study found that this is the case for clinical depression. “Heritability is probably 40-50%,...