Depression: Not just for adults (The Dana Foundation Website – 2 June 2011)

Dana_logo New research suggests not only that depression may occur in children as young as 3 years of age but that it is predictive of later episodes.

Excerpt:

From a distance, Callie1 appears to be a normal if quiet 5-year-old girl. But when faced with a toy that blows large soap bubbles—an activity that makes the vast majority of kindergarteners squeal and leap with delight—she is uninterested in popping the bubbles or taking a turn with the gun herself. When offered dolls or other toys, she is equally unmoved. When groups of children congregate to play, Callie does not join them. Even at home, she is quiet and withdrawn. While Callie’s mother explains this lack of interest in play as simple “shyness,” researchers are now discovering that children as young as 3 years of age can meet the clinical criteria for major depressive disorder (MDD). What’s more, they demonstrate patterns of brain activation very similar to those seen in adults diagnosed with the disorder…

(To read the rest of the article, click here).

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