A depressive disorder is defined by a disturbance in mood and a cluster of emotional, cognitive, vegetative, and behavioral symptoms that result in functional impairment. Typically, depressive disorders are episodic. There are two diagnoses of unipolar depressive disorders: Major Depressive Disorder and Dysthymic Disorder. Major depression is a more severe disorder in terms of the number and quality of symptoms and the extent of functional impairment. Dys-thymic Disorder is less severe but longer lasting. A child may experience both of these disorders at once.
Prevalence rates are increasing with each successive generation. Prevalence increases with age and differs across subgroups and diagnostic categories. Depressive dis orders are rare among preschool children. Among children, rates of 2% are reported for major depression and 2-3% for Dysthymic Disorder. Twenty percent of adolescents report symptoms of major depression, with the rate increasing dramatically at puberty. Females, Arican American children, and children with a medical condition or learning disability are at greater risk for developing depression.
Children's depressive disorders tend to be longer and more severe than those of adults. Although most children will recover, depression can leave them socially, cognitively, and educationally impaired. Several variables including severity, family dysfunction, and gender predict the duration of a depressive episode. The average duration of a major depressive episode is reported to be 32 to 36 weeks, with longer durations in females. The rate of recovery is slow, with the greatest improvement starting between the 24th and 36th week. Within 6 months of onset, the depressive episode has remitted for 40% of the children. At one year, 80% of the children are no longer experiencing a depressive episode. The average duration of dysthymia is 3 years. A chronic course is reported for a significant percentage of depressed children. Depressive disorders are recurrent, with about 75% experiencing another episode within 5 years. Most depressed youths simultaneously experience additional psychological disorders. Occurrence of a psychotic depression or comorbid Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) may be risk factors for later development of bipolar disorder.
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Learning About How To Defeat Depression Can Have Amazing Benefits For Your Life And Success! Discover ways to cope with depression and melancholic tendencies! Depression and anxiety particularly have become so prevalent that it’s exceedingly common for individuals to be taking medication for one or even both of these mood disorders.