Childhood depression

Children and adolescents can experience depression differently from adults. An adult’s depression usually manifests in feelings of sadness, hopelessness, fatigue and worthlessness, as well as poor concentration and suicidal thoughts. For younger people the symptoms can be irritability, mood swings, social withdrawal, drug use and academic deterioration.


Depression seldom has a single cause. Many times it is difficult to pinpoint the reasons. Contributing factors can include:

  • Heredity — depression and mood disorders often run in families.
  • Biology — brain chemistry can be out of balance.
  • Psychodynamic — social and emotional difficulties can lead to depression.
    A professional consultation can help put things in perspective and prevent a missed, or inaccurate, diagnosis.


The best results occur when the right combination of treatments is coordinated between parent and providers. Treatment may include:

Psychotherapy — both talk and play therapy can be of tremendous help in helping people to mature, gain perspective and improve mood.
Medication — safe, non-habit-forming treatments exist that improve mood, permitting return to normal functioning.
Working with the family — family therapy can help both parents and children to navigate home and school life, identify resources, limit stressors, build self-confidence and promote emotional maturity.

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Dr Somanath CP

Dr Somanath is a leading and eminent psychiatrist based in Kochi. He did his MBBS at Medical College Kottayam and post graduation in psychiatry from NIMHANS Bangalore. He has 20 years of experience in the field of psychiatry and worked as faculty in NIMHANS, SH Hospital Painkulam, Thodupuzha, Child Care Centre Gandhinagar and Lakeshore hospital Kochi. His current research interests are Genetics of Psychiatric disorders, Developmental disorders in children, psychosomatic medicine, Health education & Public awareness programme.

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