Children - the Whos, Whats, Whys and What Nows
Loganbill, MSW, LCSW
is a topic that has become more talked about and discussed over
the past decade.
Our understanding and diagnosis of depression
in children continues to increase. Studies show that approximately
2.5% of children and about 18% of adolescents suffer from depression.
All kids experience feelings of sadness, being down in the dumps
or have a bad day from time to time. Normal sadness and/or grieving
is not depression. Life has its ups and downs. This is a part of
life and is to be expected. However, if these feelings interfere
with their ability to function in daily life, or last for more than
a couple of weeks, depression could be the cause. Depression is
more than a temporary change in mood; its characterized by
a prolonged sense of hopelessness and a lack of energy that can
last weeks or months.
Depression can be caused by many factors. Some
of these include a family history of depression, stressful life
events such as a death of a loved one, divorce, repeated discrimination,
a traumatic accident, or being bullied at school. Children who have
been the victim of abuse, neglect, or suffer from a chronic illness
are at a higher risk for depression. It is often caused by an imbalance
of a chemical called Serotonin in the brain. Depression does not
mean you are a bad parent or that your child is a bad child. Depression
is not something of which to be ashamed. It is not a character flaw
or a personal weakness. It is as true, real and valid as diabetes
or high blood pressure. As stated above there are many factors that
can lead to depression, however if left untreated it can result
in social isolation, academic underachievement, difficulties with
relationships, significant decrease in quality of life and at times
SIGNS TO WATCH FOR
The following are symptoms of depression you
may see in adults or children:
- Persistent sad or irritable mood
- Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
- Significant change in weight or appetite
- Difficulty sleeping, or sleeping too much
- Psychomotor agitation or retardation
- Loss of energy
- Feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt
- Difficulty concentrating
- Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide
The following are symptoms that are more specific
to depression in children:
- Physical complaints, such as headaches, nausea, or sore muscles
- Recurrent thoughts of running away from home
- Alcohol or substance use
- Frequent absence from school
- Poor performance in school
- Frequent outbursts of shouting, crying or irritability
- Lack of interests in friends
- Reckless behavior
- Difficulties with relationships
- Fear of death or fascination with death
- Social isolation
- Thoughts about hurting oneself or committing suicide
- Giving away prized possessions
- Writing a will
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
- Psychotherapy Treatment for depression in children
and adolescents often includes short-term therapy, medication,
or the combination and focusing interventions in the home and
at school. Studies show that therapy can often help in addressing
depression and relieving the symptoms. Specifically, cognitive
behavioral therapy as it focuses on addressing cognitive distortions
that a person has about themselves and the world they live in.
- Medication Research clearly shows that antidepressant
medications, especially when combined with counseling, can be
very effective in treating depression. There are many types of
medications and it is important to get as much information as
you can in order to make an educated decision regarding medication.
Talk to your childs doctor and counselor and get all of
your questions answered prior to making a medication decision.
- Access your support systems in your church, school and with
friends Depression can feel scary to deal with, especially
if you feel youre alone in addressing and coping with it.
It is important to ask for encouragement and help from your support
systems so they can help create a sense of balance, support, wisdom
and unconditional acceptance as you make these important decisions
If you have any questions or want further information:
|National Institute of Mental Health
|American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
|National Mental Health Associates
|Salem Pastoral Counseling
Jen L. Loganbill, MSW, LCSW
Salem Pastoral Counseling Center
565 Union St. NE Suite 100
Salem, OR 97301
PROFESSIONAL DISCLOSURE STATEMENT
Approach to Counseling:
I am a trained clinical therapist specializing
in working with children and families with a variety of needs. My
approach to counseling comes from a Christian perspective and is
based on cognitive behavioral therapy, which is a focused, problem-solving
approach to psychological treatment. I have extensive experience
in working with children, adults, and families focusing on issues
such as depression, anxiety, grief and loss, problem solving, anger
management, character defense, ADHD, and child abuse issues and
concerns. I have training and experience working with Brief and
Long Term therapy, Play and Art Therapy and parenting skills training.
My approach to counseling is based on the
belief that persons can become stronger, healthier, and happier
by increasing their self awareness, accountability, sense of responsibility,
acceptance and creating a balanced life. I adhere to the following
- People have an inherent need for each other.
- Change is inevitable and action-based.
- Self-Awareness is a key component of change.
- Children make better progress in treatment when the parents/caregivers
share responsibility for the problem and its solution.
- The only person you have control over is yourself.
- People have an intrinsic need for physical, mental and spiritual
I hold a Bachelors and a Masters degree of
Social Work from Walla Walla College. I am a Licensed Clinical Social
Worker in the state of Oregon through the State Board of Clinical
Social Workers. I am a member of the National Association of Social
Workers, and abide by the NASW code of ethics. I am a Child Development
Specialist and work for the Salem/Keizer school district as an Elementary
School Social Worker. In addition I am a Qualified Mental Health
Specialist with the Salem Psychiatric Crisis Center. Due to many
years living in South America, I am fluently bilingual in Spanish.
To maintain my license, I am required by
the state to participate in annual continuing education. This includes
taking classes dealing with subjects relevant to my profession,
professional supervision and psychiatric consultation with the agencys
psychiatrist Dr. Daryl Ruthven.