Depression in Young Children Is Treatable and ids more dangerous than Covid-19
Parent-child interactive therapy decreases depressive symptoms in kids.
Over the last decade, research has demonstrated that children as young as 3 years old can develop clinically serious depression. Often, depression is associated with other childhood psychiatric disorders. Young children with depression also have increased risks of clinically significant depression as adolescents and adults.
Although depressive disorders can be diagnosed in very young children, there is little empirical data to support specific therapies for this age group. In an article recently published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, Joan Luby and colleagues reported that a specific type of therapy targeting parent-child interactions is very effective at decreasing depressive symptoms in kids.
Young children have brains that are still developing and are more capable of forming new neural connections in response to external stimuli – a process termed neuroplasticity – than adults. Thus, early interventions may have better chances for success in young children. For example, when a child has a lazy eye, patching the good eye can force the weaker eye to get stronger, provided that this treatment is implemented when the child is young. As a child reaches early adolescence, the brain is less plastic and patching is no longer effective.