Childhood Depression is on the Rise

Western Mass News – WGGB/WSHM

A new report has been released based on childhood depression and just how young the disease can start among kids.

Researchers found that depression in children can now start as early as 11, and the numbers go up as the children get older.

Nina Slovick works for the Center for Human Development in Springfield; she told Western Mass News that depression among children is on the rise.

Researchers studied more than 100,000 children between the years 2009 and 2014 and discovered by the time children reach 17, 13 percent of boys and a shocking 36 percent of girls have been or are depressed. 

“The major change is there is a greater appreciation for looking out for these things and that people are suffering and depression is not an isolated, rare occurrence and in some cases, it’s of much greater proportion,” said Slovick. 
 
She said the key warning signs of depression are if you child is acting withdrawn, reactive, or is irritable.

They may complain of stomach pains and headaches without any cause. 

Depression could also lead to them not wanting to participate in school and you may notice changes in their time spent on social media. 
 
“There’s a fallacy I think with you’re not supposed to address things indirectly because you might make them worse,” Slovick noted. 
 
She said current events in the world can also have an affect on children and may trigger depression.
 
“These are troubling times we’re seeing horrible stories in the news all the time, so parents who at least create space for a dialogue are going to be much better positioned,” Slovick concluded. 

Copyright 2017 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. 

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