Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Depression among preschoolers

This study found that there are preschoolers who have depression. The  anhedonia (inability to feel pleasure) that shows up in adults as decreased libido shows up in preschoolers as not enjoying playing. Depression may not get noticed, because it's not disruptive behavior, and kids may not show the symptoms all the time, but they do still have the "symptoms of depression, including appearing less joyful, being prone to guilt, and changes in sleep patterns."

The problem is when it's not a phase but an early expression of a life-long problem. But kids brains are so plastic that you would expect early intervention to help. The miracle of compound interest works with brains, too, so the earlier it can start, the better chance a kid has to be not depressed as an adult.

I guess the lesson for providers is to notice and refer when you see a kid who just doesn't have a good time.

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