Seasonal Depression in Children

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For some children, depression comes and goes with the passing of the seasons. These children suffer from seasonal depression and, as a result, experience rises of upset or bursts of happiness as one season gives way to the next. If you think that your child may be a sufferer of this mental challenge, consider both the impact of this malady as well as what you may be able to do to ease the effects.


Seasonal Effective Disorder

While the arrival of winter can send almost anyone into a temporary period of upset, those who experience a mood change with every season change may suffer from a diagnosable health problem referred to as seasonal affective disorder. While some suffers experience the opposite effects, most individuals affected by SAD become depressed as winter approaches and return to their normal level of happiness as spring arrives. Individuals who suffer from seasonal affective disorder will demonstrate this same pattern of mood change every time these seasons come and go.

Prevalence

Seasonal affective disorder is a relatively common mental health malady reports, KidsHealth. This source states that six out of every 100 people suffer from some degree of SAD. Many SAD suffers begin to exhibit symptoms during adolescence, but some start to feel the effects during childhood.

Common Symptoms

Individuals impacted by seasonal depression commonly exhibit outwardly noticeable signs of their season-induced malaise. If you think that your child may be feeling the effects of SAD, be on the look out for signs like changes in eating patterns, increased difficulty concentrating, lack of energy and changes in sleeping patterns, as these are all potentially indicative of SAD.

Treatment Options

As WebMD reports, treatment does exist for individuals who suffer from seasonal depression. Many patients find light therapy an effective way to reduce their symptoms. This simple therapeutic treatment consists of the patient sitting under a light for a set amount of time each day. Some doctors also prescribe general talk therapy, in which the patient speaks to a counselor about his issues. In extreme cases, your child’s doctor may recommend medication to reduce the impact of your child’s seasonal depression.

Calling the Doctor

While some cases of seasonal depression are not severe enough to require medical intervention, you should always mention any concerns you have regarding your child’s mental health to his doctor. By discussing the fact that you believe your child may be suffering from seasonal depression with his pediatrician, you can ensure that this information is noted in his medical history, should he later experience a more severe problem with his season-related upset.

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