Depression in Children; "Let Not Another's Disobedience to Nature Become an Ill to You;" Epictetus, (A.D. C. 50-C. 138), Stoic Philosopher That We Ought Not to Be Affected by Things Not in Our Own Power. Chap. Xxiv
Byline: DR. BRIX PUJALTE
WOULD it have made a difference if Mariannet Amper (suicide@12 years old) read Epictetus? The Roman slave turned freedman turned Stoic philosopher wrote centuries ago: "For you were not born to be depressed and unhappy with others, but to be happy with them. And if any is unhappy, remember that he is so for himself; for God made all men to enjoy felicity and peace." But I suspect Mariannet was far too depressed (and hungry). Suicide was her action ("disobedience to Nature").
Symptoms of depression. The cut-off period between sadness and depression in the textbooks is two weeks. This is to say that mere sadness, disappointment; a somber mood should last no longer than two weeks. Normal people somehow cope and snap out it. The link between depression and suicide is strong. But before our two Davao politicians mow each other down, let us stress that depression is genetic, due to a brain chemical imbalance but yes, triggered by personal crisis. The point here is that if depression is because of poverty or misfortunes alone, then we'd have millions of Filipinos hanging themselves or jumping from buildings or walking in front of speeding buses. Major depression throws a person out of kilter and the symptoms, according to familydoctor.org are:
* No interest in things that used to be pleasurable
* Feeling sad or empty
* Crying easily or crying for no reason
* Feeling slowed down or feeling restless and unable to sit still
* Weight gain or weight loss
* Thoughts about death or suicide
* Trouble thinking, recalling things, or on focusing on what needs to be done
* Problems sleeping, especially in the early morning or wanting to sleep all the time
* Feeling tired all the time
* Feeling emotionally numb, sometimes to the point of not being able to cry
Depression in children. The symptoms above are those seen in adults. Mental health professionals admit that diagnosing depression in children is more difficult. The Mayo Clinic has nevertheless identified some additional signs and symptoms in kids. A preschooler (defined as between 3 and 5 years old) may be listless, has decreased interest in playing and cries easily and more often than usual.
A depressed elementary school child may be listless and moody, more irritable than usual, looks sad, easily discouraged, complains of boredom, has difficulty in school work and talks about death. …