Childhood Depression Statistics

Childhood depression statistics are becoming more conclusive as researchers discover that more children, at younger ages, are actually experiencing struggles with depression. Childhood depression statistics indicate that depression in younger teens and children is actually a serious problem that needs to be addressed.

Depression is not just a mental illness to be suffered by adults and teens. Younger children also suffer from depression and prolonged periods of sadness, according to childhood depression statistics. The problem with childhood depression is that it often goes unnoticed because kids express their sadness in different ways. Parents might think their child is simply acting out with poor behavior, or going through a phase. Unfortunately these children that suffer from childhood depression grow up to have problems in their adult lives between work, going to school, establishing relationships with other and other aspects of being a successful and thriving adult. Other health issues can also result, according to the facts discovered from childhood depression statistics. For example, those who have shown evidence of childhood depression are more likely to grow up with problems like asthma and obesity. These children who grow up depressed continue this mental and emotional cycle as adults and are more likely to have major depression episode (MDE), according to childhood depression statistics.

These cases of MDE in children with depression are cases of depression that last longer than 2 weeks as a person experiences losses of appetite, sleep and experiences agitation, anxiety and prolonged sadness. Other symptoms of MDE also include loss of energy and an inability to concentrate in school and other important tasks. Kids and teens with childhood depression might also suffer in self-esteem, school and in their relationships with family members and peers. Individuals who have suffered from childhood depression are also more likely to abuse drugs, alcohol and tobacco as adults. These adults might even develop substance abuse disorders like drug addiction and alcohol abuse.

Childhood Depression Statistics:

In 2009, about eight percent of children and teens from ages 12 to 17 reported incidents of MDE during the course of the year. In the years 2004 to 2009, the number of youth experiencing depression was twice as high among females in comparison to males. Other childhood depression statistics indicate that about 72 percent of youth with depression reported that their depression was causing major problems in their day-to-day life and with family members and friends. The amount of youth with MDE that were receiving treatment for their depression indicated that they were seeing or speaking with a professional therapist on a regular basis or taking some kind of antidepressant medication. However, that number has declined down to 35 percent from 40 percent in 2009.

Because there are so many problems with childhood depression becoming a life-long problem, it is important for parents to learn more about their children’s behaviors so they can detect these problems with childhood depression early on in order to receive early treatment. There are a couple of ways for parents to get their children treatment for depression or MDE. The first includes getting professional therapy from a trained child psychologist. This is a good way for children to learn how to relate their emotions in a more productive way instead of acting out or struggling in school and with others. However, some children need more than just a weekly one-on-one session with a trained therapist to be able to function on a daily basis. There are some types of antidepressants that doctors will prescribe for children and teens dealing with depression. However, because some antidepressants are not designed for children or those with different hormonal structures compared with adults, some medications can cause the opposite effect. That is why the type of medication must be very specific to the needs of a child. Talk to your doctor or mental health care professional to find the best option for your child.