DEPRESSION is one of the most common mental disorders. Many people experience extreme feelings of sadness, unworthiness and hopelessness. This includes children.

According to mayoclinic.org, depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Depression is beyond the normal sadness. In children, these feelings of sadness hamper with a child’s ability to function.

Dr. Jocelyn Gauzon-Gayares, a volunteer child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist of the Philippine Mental Health Association (PMHA), shared the symptoms of depression in children through this acronym "SAD C WEEPS," with some behavioral examples:

S - Sleep disturbances (sleeps a lot, does not sleep at all, hard to wake up in the morning)

A - Anhedonia (inability to experience pleasure from activities usually found enjoyable)

D - Depressed mood (continuous feelings of sadness, hopelessness, declining grades in school)

C - Concentration problems (impaired thinking)

W- Weight changes (weight gain or weight loss)

E - Energy loss (always tired)

E - Excessive guilt (blames self even if not true)

P - Psychomotor retardation or agitation (slower than usual or being restless)

S – Suicide (suicidal tendency)

Other behavioral signs would include, low self-esteem, low self-worth, withdraws socially, temper tantrums, crying outburst, does not want to go to school. Some children would complain of a stomache or head ache.

If a child experiences at least five of the symptoms within two weeks, it is suggested that he or she consult a psychiatrist.

Only a psychiatrist can diagnose depression or any mental health condition. The earlier you see one, the higher chances of cure.

Parents or guardians can also call PMHA at 433-8868 for questions. Our psychiatrists also come to PMHA for consultation.