Childhood depression or depression in
children can be classified in different types. Major depression, bipolar depression, dysthymia,
psychotic depression and reactive depression are the different types of
depression observed in children. Read more about the different types of
depression in children.
Depression in children is increasing at a
faster pace with little children getting affected quickly. Depression affects
the mental, emotional, physical and cognitive functioning of the person at any
age. It disturbs the child’s social life, school performance and relation with
family and friends.
Depression in children can be of different
types like Major depression,
Bipolar Depression, Psychotic Depression, Dysthymia, Reactive depression,
Atypical Depression etc. Major
depression or Clinical Depression is the most common type of depression in
children. It can affect any person irrespective of age or gender. Here are the
different types of depression observed in children.
Depression or Clinical Depression
Major depression also known as clinical
depression, is a severe form of depression in children. Out of thirty children,
one suffers from major depression. This disorder lasts for a short span of two
weeks, but is highly serious. Major depression generally affects children
between the age group of 10-11 years.
The child may feel sad and irritable all
the time. They may lose interest in
doing their favourite things and even useless and neglected. Negative feelings
take a strong place in their minds; they may start hating themselves and become
very aggressive. They may either lose a lot of weight or gain more, might
oversleep and abstain from personal cleanliness.
Such emotions can affect the child’s mental
and physical well-being leading to suicidal tendencies. Major depression
requires immediate professional help.
Depression or Manic Depression
Bipolar disorder also known as manic
depression is caused due to the imbalance in the chemical substances in the brain.
This type of depression is different from the others because a child suffering
from bipolar disorder may experience alternative mood swings. The child may
either experience very high moods and very low moods at a given point of time.
Manic depression could affect anybody at
any age, early diagnosis and treatment can cure this disorder with the help of
professional intervention and medication.
This type of depression can affect children
and even adults. Dysthymia when compared to other types of depression lasts
longer, but is relatively less serious and severe. A child suffering from dysthymia
could experience it for three to four years.
Dysthymia affects nearly four percent of
children every year. It is important to seek medical help for children
suffering from dysthymia because if untreated, they could develop major
depression within a span of five years. Dysthymia along with major depression
is known as ‘Double Depression’
Psychotic depression is characterised by
visual or auditory hallucinations with delusions in the patient. Psychotic
depression affects children and adults too at any age where they start
hallucinating about various things. This disorder is a variety of major
depression wherein the child could become very violent. They may harm
themselves and even people around them. Immediate treatment is essential due to
the risk of suicide. Suicide rates are considerably higher in psychotic
depression than the other types.
This is most common form of depression. The
severity of reactive depression is lower than the other types as here the child
experiences mood swings which are common in our day to day lives. A child may
feel depressed due to a fight with friends or family or any loss. The child may
feel gloomy or weary for a short while or for a longer duration of maybe one
week or two weeks. The child will overcome it soon and develop his interest in
daily work and play.
Depression can lead to fatal problems if
not treated quickly. Proper treatment and professional help can treat
depression and help your child live back his normal and chirpy life once again.