Can Early Childhood Depression Be a Marker for Adult Depression?

Can Early Childhood Depression Be a Marker for Adult Depression?

Children as young as ages 3 or 4 can struggle with symptoms of depression. Although it is not clinically diagnosed, it is seen in the symptoms they exhibit. Genetics plays a role, along with the environment. Poverty and deprivation are some of the causal factors of depression for children over time. Find out how this corresponds to adults having depression and how to find hope for mental health issues. 

Symptoms of Early Child Depression

The visible symptoms of early childhood depression vary, but some of them include irritability, negative affect, lack of ability to enjoy things, not playful, and indifference to rewards for good behavior. They are also at higher risk for ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), and conduct disorders. One of the key issues in the assessment of internalized disorders in young kids is that people don’t always recognize the symptoms. They may think the child is responding out of personality traits like being less motivated or less interested in peers, rather than exhibiting signs of withdrawal from social interaction is a sign of depression. 

How it Changes Over Time

Depressive symptoms shift over the lifespan of a child’s life until they become adults. A typical episode of depression will be serious enough to be referred for treatment. The episodes can last for several months to over one year. Long-lasting depression in young kids said it was older kids who would be far more depressed. Children who experience an episode of minor depression have a high likelihood of suffering from a major depression within two years. Depression interferes with a child’s emotional development. Kids learn social skills in their peer relations. Depressed kids are likely to be among the neglected children in school, the ones others don’t play with much. The impact can be found also on:

  • Memory
  • Cognition
  • Concentration

There are developmental setbacks for them as they grow. This is where they begin to struggle as teenagers, then adults, with depression. Aging into depression can be difficult if it is not caught and supported early. Many instances go unnoticed, so adults with depressive symptoms have had them for quite some time before they realize that’s what’s going on. Learning emotional skills can be helpful, but as an adult, more help may be needed to work through past trauma and neglect that may have led to the childhood depressive episodes. 

Overall, young people are as susceptible, if not more, to mental health conditions. They deal with anxiety, fears, and depressive issues differently than adults. They struggle with similar things to adults but are not as capable of finding words or the capacity to handle them when they are young. Their brains cannot comprehend what is going on. So, they struggle to find grounding. The key to supporting an adult with depression is to seek psychological help, psychiatric support with medication, and any other help that is needed to make life better. It may take some time, but most adults who seek help for depression are able to start living more full, happy lives as a result of seeking therapy and help for the condition. 

Oceanfront helps you get addiction out of your life and supports your healing in sobriety. We work with you to address past trauma, neglect, abuse, and other issues that led to your mental health condition, addiction, and other issues. Oceanfront is a safe space to be vulnerable and find healing. We are located in beautiful Laguna Beach. Call us to find out how we can help you navigate addiction recovery: 888-981-4295