A new study has said that depression may be manifested differently in children and adults.
According to Prof. Claudia Mehler-Wex and Dr. Michael Kolch of Ulm University, depending on the age of the child, the dominant features of depression may be weeping, irritability or defiance and not dejection and anhedonia.
The signs of depression in infants are often screaming, restlessness, and weeping attacks for no clear reason.
Preschool children may behave irritably and aggressively, while schoolchildren may be listless and apathetic. The symptoms in adolescents become similar to those in adults.
The risk of depression increases from the age of 12. In a third of minors, the depressive symptoms subside within three months.
However, in 80 percent of those affected, the symptoms may reappear and become chronic.
As for the solution for beating the blues, the researchers emphasized that psychotherapy and psychosocial therapy are necessary.
Patients with a severe clinical course, a difficult family background or suicidal tendencies may have to be admitted to hospital.
Depressive minors often exhibit other psychological abnormalities. Thus, anxiety disorders and disorders in social behavior occur widely, followed by substance abuse and aggression.
The study is published in Deutsches Arzteblatt International.