Symptoms of depression, which can span a wide range of physical and psychological experiences, can have a debilitating impact on the lives of those affected, and much of the work performed by modern psychotherapists and other professionals in the field is at least somewhat related to the quest to help depressed clients lead happier lives. Though it may be difficult to imagine symptoms of depression in especially young clients, as a recent discussion on the topic notes, many children are affected by the mental health concern. Prior research has shown that children exhibiting depressive symptoms in early life are more likely to experience depression as older children and through adolescence, making the need to identify and treat the issue in the very young especially important.
The discussion notes that children as young as those in preschool may grapple with depression, though the manifestation of the concern tends to be different within this age group as compared to adults. Young children experiencing depression, the discussion argues, may find greater difficulty enjoying playtime and may not exhibit specifically sad expressions, as may be expected in older clients. Still, youths display some similar symptoms, including those surrounding the feeling of guilt and difficulty sleeping.
Working towards the improvement in well-being of young children affected by symptoms of depression may be gaining support among professionals, but greater attention paid to this important age group may prove valuable in decreasing rates of depression among older clients. Modern techniques in Parent Child Interaction Therapy, or PCIT, are noted by the discussion as being key tools in furthering this aim, especially in light of reluctance to treat young populations with anti-depressant medications, which may have undesirable side effects. Through focusing on fostering a healthy and happy mental and emotional environment from an early age, therapists may be able to help keep depression from becoming a major issue later in life.
© Copyright 2010 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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