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18 May 2010

Worried that your child might be depressed?

Does depression manifest differently in children? What should parents look out for?

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Does depression manifest differently in children? What should parents look out for?

Some of the common features of depression in children are as follows:

  • The child is withdrawn, isolated and tends to be a loner
  • The child seems to lack interest in life and other events that most children find enjoyable
  • The child seems reluctant to talk about him/herself or about life at home
  • The child displays behaviour that is “out of pattern”, i.e. different to how the child usually behaves
  • The child fabricates stories about his/her home or about other areas of his/her life as a way of seeming “okay”
  • The child assumes an almost “adult” way of relating – controlled, distant, even aloof.

If you are worried that your child might be depressed, contact the Mental Health Information Centre (021) 938 9229 or the South African Federation for Mental Health at (011) 725 5800.

 
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