Is there a Depression Epidemic among Today’s Youth?

photo credit: aacap.org
Many parents, educators, coaches, social workers and others who work with children are wondering if there is wide spread depression affecting children and adolescents.

The signs of depression are:

  • Lack of interest or enjoyment in activities that once brought enjoyment
  • Increase or decrease in sleeping
  • Radical change of appetite
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Feelings of Suicide
  • Withdrawn from friends and family
  • Lack of concern about physical appearance
  • Lack of energy
  • Difficulty concentrating

If you do notice any of these signs in your children, make sure you talk to him about what is going on. Children and adolescents are reluctant at times to talk about their emotional state or anything that may be bothering them out of fear of being ostracized by their peers. Therefore they may not share what they are actually feeling. If you suspect your child may be depressed, don’t hesitate to have her evaluated by a mental health professional.

The reasons depression may be increasing in children and adolescents are:

  • Too much screen time causes fatigue, restlessness, and unhappiness.
  • Lack of physical activity leads to increased depression.
  • Children and Adolescents absorbing their parents anxiety and depression about the present day economy.
  • Children and Adolescents are highly dependent on adults for scheduling their activities. This creates less independence and therefore more depression. They feel more despondent because a huge developmental stage of kids is developing autonomy and this essential step is mostly not incorporated in today’s world.

Bob Livingstone is a licensed clinical social worker who has been treating adults, teenagers and children in San Mateo, California for over twenty years. He is the critically acclaimed author of Body Mind Soul Solution: Healing Emotional Pain Through Exercise. He can be reached at 650-347-5167 or bobl@boblivingstone.com. Please visit Bob’s website for more healing information.

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