Childhood Depression: Seven Signs (An Infographic).

child signs of depression

My own depression, requiring electroconvulsive shock therapy at several points throughout my adulthood, began (albeit at a lower level of intensity), in my childhood. My symptoms included anger at home, self-harm, frequent crying, tantrums, withdrawal and (to use three of my father’s rather unhelpful words), ‘sullenness’ or, indeed, ‘sulkiness’, not forgetting, of course, ‘moroseness’, together with early use of alcohol.

My behavior was also sometimes regressive – I remember, at fifteen, shutting myself in a cupboard for about an hour (bizarre, I know. Please don’t rub it in!). I later learned that this is apparently what experts in the field term ‘cacooning’ – a sign of particular emotional disturbance, apparently.

Even more worryingly, when I was about eight I became so caught up in my thoughts that I would fail to answer my name in class (the psychological term for this is dissociation‘). The school thought I was becoming deaf and I had to be sent for a hearing test ( my ears were fine). Apparently, this ‘deafness’ became particularly acute when issues involving family life were discussed in class.

As a result of my childhood experiences, when I did my first degree in psychology at the University of London, my final year dissertation was entitled ‘The Effects of Childhood Depression on Academic Performance’. The results of my small scale study showed the two variables were inversely correlated.

I very much wish I’d received professional support as a child, it may have saved me an awful lot of trouble in adulthood.

Below, from The Institute of Mental Health, is an infographic on seven signs of childhood depression:

signs of childhood depression



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David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).

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About David Hosier MSc

Holder of MSc and post graduate teaching diploma in psychology. Highly experienced in education. Founder of Survivor of severe childhood trauma.

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