In investigating the subject of childhood depression, I was hoping to set up an interview with a physician who specializes in this area, but unfortunately that interview fell through, and did not occur. Instead I turned to numerous books, magazines and online web sites to assist me in my research of this topic. I found a considerable amount of information, which was a bit suprising to me, since the idea of childhood depression is relatively new.
What is Depression?.
Depression is feeling sad, lonely, unloved, dumb, and worthless, along with guilt feelings and beliefs of being mistreated. Depression is having trouble falling asleep (initial insomnia), restless sleep with recurrent awakenings (interval insomnia), or waking early in the morning unable to fall back to sleep (terminal insomnia). Depression often is also awakening in the morning anxious, tired, sad, or mad. Depression is a loss of interest in friends, hobbies, and school or work. Depression causes a loss of concentration, poor memory, forgetfulness, and inattention. Depression is having headaches, stomachaches, and other physical symptoms. Depression is feeling angry, picked on, grouchy, and irritable. Sometimes depression is feeling hopeless and helpless, and wishing to die. Depression is the leading cause of suicide. Clinical depression is a combination of these symptoms which persist for longer than three weeks and cause failure in the person's environments of home, work (school), or play. Depression has been demonstrated in many studies to be associated with and the possible cause of school failure, conduct disorder and delinquency, anorexia and bulimia, school phobia, and panic attacks. .
The scientific description of depression and manic-depressive disease was first prepared by Emil Kraepelin in the early 1900s. For the first half of the twentieth century, most physicians did not accept the concept that primary depression (or manic-depressive disease: affective illness) occurred in children and adolescents.