What does depression look like in a 5 year old?

How can parents know what’s typical moodiness and when there is a problem? Learn the signs of depression and ways to help your child feel better.

“Very often, in that preschool group, the child’s affective state is highly connected to the mother’s state,” she says. “I could give you many cases of that, where the mother is the primary agent of what is happening with the child. If anyone does not take a look and do an evaluation of the primary caregiver, I think they would be missing a tremendous amount.”

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Some children have problems with anxiety as well as depression. Some also have physical symptoms, such as headaches and stomach aches.

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What Is the Therapy for Child Depression?

“Hoping it is a phase, hoping the child will grow out of it, is a very big mistake,” Koplewicz says. “All these disorders cause distress and dysfunction. It makes people feel hopeless. And hopelessness is what makes people want to hurt themselves. It isn’t depression, it is hopelessness.”

“What a parent should expect is a discussion about the depression, a discussion about the various intervention methods one would consider from the least to the most aggressive, and a discussion about suicide or self-harm and what parents should be alert to,” Benoit says.

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Some children have problems with anxiety as well as depression. Some also have physical symptoms, such as headaches and stomach aches.

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Why is my child depressed?

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)

If you think your child is depressed:

The school should make contact with MHST for consultation and support for MHST referral where appropriate.

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All primary schools have a named Mental Health Lead and within schools there is a range of pastoral support available. Schools also work with other professionals in order to gain advice and guidance on how best to support children’s social and emotional needs. These services may include the Portsmouth Educational Psychology Team, the Multi Agency Behaviour Support Team and the Inclusion Outreach team.

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Getting more help

What happens when a child is treated for depression?

Whatever is causing the problem, take it seriously. It may not seem like a big deal to you, but it could be a major problem for your child.

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If a child has gone through a loss, trauma, or other difficult events, the therapy will include things that help a child heal from that, too. And if a parent is dealing with their own loss or depression, the child’s therapist can help them get the care and support they need.

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What Causes Child Depression?

For professionals such as GP’s they should encourage families to link in with the school-based support described above. The CAMHS Single Point of Access is also available for consultation and advice.

Antidepressant medication can be an important part of treatment. But it can’t be the only treatment.

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