Depression in Children
Alternate Names : Childhood Depression
Depression is a medical condition that leads to intense feelings of sadness or despair. These feelings don't go away on their own. They are not necessarily related to a particular life event.
What is going on in the body?
Depression is a disorder of the brain. Researchers believe that chemicals called neurotransmitters are involved in depression. Nerve impulses cause the release of neurotransmitters from one nerve cell, or neuron, to the next. This release allows cells to communicate with one another. Too little or too much of these important neurotransmitters may be released and cause or contribute to depression. Some of the neurotransmitters believed to be linked to depression are serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine.
What are the causes and risks of the condition?
There are many theories about what causes depression. Depression may be caused by any of these things:
certain medications, including antibiotics and medicines used to treat acne
changes in brain chemicals
lack of sunlight
negative thinking patterns
Following are some common risk factors for depression in children:
abuse or neglect
chronic illness, such as diabetes
divorce of parents
drug abuse and addiction
family history of depression
major trauma, such as a natural disaster
other psychiatric disorders, such as attention deficit disorder or adolescent conduct disorder