Loss of interest or pleasure in others or most activities
Fatigue and loss of energy nearly every day
Bad temper, irritable, easily annoyed
Fearful, tense, anxious
Repeated rejection by other children
Drop in school performance
Inability to sit still, fidgeting or pacing
Repeated emotional outbursts, shouting or complaining
Doesn't talk to other children
Repeated physical complaints without medical cause (headaches, stomach aches, aching arm or legs)
Significant increase or decrease in appetite (not due to appropriate dieting)
Change in sleep habits
Serious & Critical Symptoms
Suicidal thoughts, feelings or self-harming behavior
Abuse or prolonged use of alcohol or other drugs
Symptoms of depression combined with strange or unusual behavior
Contributing Factors to Depression
Loss or reduction of reinforcement
Social skills deficit
Lack of family cohesion, expressiveness, organization
Deficient ability to provide for self-monitoring, self-evaluation and self-reinforcement.
Negative views of self, the world and one's future.
Deficient problem solving skills.
Events that contribute to Depression
Separation, divorce of parents or even close relatives.
Death of a loved one; a person or a pet.
A move from one town, or even one neighborhood, to another.
Academic, sports or athletic failure.
An injury or physical illness resulting in hospitalization or restricted activity.
Loss of customary surroundings, family, or close friends.
Embarrassment, shame, guilt or loss of "face".
Failure to live up to personal expectations.
Repeated physical, emotional or verbal abuse.
Approaches to Treating Depression
Cognitive approaches utilize specific strategies that are designed to alter negatively based cognitions. Depressed patients are trained to recognize the connections between their thoughts, feelings, and behavior; to monitor their negative thoughts; to challenge their negative thoughts with evidence; to substitute more reality-based interpretations for their usual interpretations; and to focus on new behaviors outside treatment.
Behavioral approaches designed to increase pleasant activities include several components such as self-monitoring of activities and mood, identifying positively reinforcing activities that are associated with positive feelings, increasing positive activities, and decreasing negative activities.
Social Skills Approach
Social skills training consists of teaching children how to engage in several concrete behaviors with others. Initiating conversations, responding to others, refusing requests, making requests, etc. Children are provided with instructions, modeling by an individual or peer group, opportunities for role playing and feedback. The object of this approach is to provide the child with an ability to obtain reinforcement from others.
Self Control Approach
Self-control approaches are designed to provide the self-control strategies including self-monitoring, self-evaluation, and self- reinforcement. Depressive symptoms are considered to be the result of deficits from one or more areas and are reflected in attending to negative events, setting unreasonable self- evaluation criteria for performance, setting unrealistic expectations, providing insufficient reinforcement, and too much self-punishment.
Interpersonal approaches focus on relationships, social adjustment and mastery of social roles. Treatment usually includes non-judgmental exploration of feelings, elicitation and active questioning on the part of the therapist, reflective listening, development of insight, exploration and discussion of emotionally laden issues, and direct advice.