Diagnosing Depression in Preschoolers?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
Diagnosing Depression in Preschoolers?
Fri, 08-27-2010 - 3:35pm

Here is a link to an article about kids being diagnosed with depression as early as pre-school: http://www.ivillage.com/are-preschool-kids-too-young-be-diagnosed-depression/6-a-273608?ice=iv:mb:msg:mm.

To me this

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Registered: 07-13-2007
Sat, 08-28-2010 - 9:21am

Sure, humans of any age can have symptoms which match the criteria for clinical depression. My own younger daughter was heading that way at age two. Their feelings are as real as anyone elses feelings.


I find the labels distasteful, and am sorry that we then stick the kids into a bucket of "mental illness." Why not just say something is wrong and start investigating why and changes things for the better?

For my little girl, there was a big mismatch in her life between the daycare environment she was in and her emotional and intellectual needs. She was only there part-time, but felt stressed and alienated. Fortunately, the daycare providers themselves came up with an effective and appropriate solution that made her much happier.

Whew. Disaster avoided. Research shows that kids at daycare, in general, are more stressed than those who are not.


There was more to the story.

She also had some underlying physical issues we did not understand or could not rectify. And at age 9, she fell into a profound, debilitating clinical depression, in spite of it being summer time, and she had good friends, and family support. The problem with the diagnosis of "clinical depression" (actually it is "MDD" - "Major Depressive Disorder") is the label does not give an inkling as to WHY the person has the symptoms, and because it can be given with no testing - just a label for symptoms - the doctors are limited to treatment either with psychological type counseling, or giving psychotropic medications - trying to directly affect brain chemistry. And it can sometimes be like trying to see in the dark.... blindfolded.

Sigh. But everything is based around insurance, and if you want you child to get some kind of therapy (and that symptom - depression - even if not caused by anything psychological/emotional is so disturbing, anyone can benefit from therapy to help cope with it) the child needs some kind of "mental" diagnostic label. Sad.

Edited 8/28/2010 9:23 am ET by cl-naomi_njw

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Registered: 08-29-1999
Fri, 09-10-2010 - 4:06pm

I agree that everything is based around insurance and what insurance will and won’t pay and unfortunately insurance isn’t bound by evidence-based practices so can arbitrarily chose to pay or not to pay at their whim (usually whatever makes them the most money).