Clinical Depression in Children

Clinical depression is severe sadness or melancholy – so severe, in fact, that it becomes destructive to your social activities and everyday life. It is often believed that only older people fall victims to this condition, but that is untrue. Children and adolescents are susceptible to this clinical condition as well.

Symptoms of clinical depression in children

This condition can start as early as childhood. Studies have shown a staggering increase in cases of children being diagnosed with this condition. The symptoms of children and adults are just the same, except for some that are distinctly evident in children only: frequent sadness; tearfulness; crying; hopelessness; boredom; lack of enthusiasm, energy or motivation; unwillingness to engage in activities; isolation; confusion and difficulty in making decisions.

A child may also become irritable, hostile, difficult in relationships, and perform poorly in school. The child may also exhibit major changes in everyday patterns, like eating and sleeping; lower self-esteem; increased rebelliousness; higher tendency to run away from home; and, in severe cases, even become suicidal.

Clinical depression in children is triggered by the same environmental factors that trigger depression in adults – lack of friends, experience of abuse, physical illness, pressure to achieve, problems at home, and unresolved grief. Clinical depression in children is also hereditary, which means if you or your spouse or anyone within your family has suffered from this condition, your child is highly prone to the condition as well.


There are a lot of available treatments for children’s clinical depression. The earlier your child seeks help, the higher his or her chances of recovering. In fact, if treatments are administered while a person is still young, it is possible to cure the condition or at least keep it in check. Some of the treatments include medications to increase the supply of neurotransmitters to restore the chemical balance; psychotherapy; and counseling. But nothing replaces love and support from family and friends – that is the best “continuing treatment” people around the child can offer.