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8 year old with serious signs of depression
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8 year old with serious signs of depression

My son has been having alot of problems off and on for the past 2 years with sadness, sleepiness, loss of appetite, and unsociable. He was so anxiety stricken last year he was hospitalized with severe stomach pain and constipation, He has been to a GI specialist for the stomach pain because they said constipation can cause these symptoms, however, his xrays and ultrasounds are normal.  Now they want me to take him to a psychiatrist for a possible mental disorder. I just want to know if it is possible for an 8 year old to be so stressed and so sad all the time?  And why?
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Now they want me to take him to a psychiatrist for a possible mental disorder. I just want to know if it is possible for an 8 year old to be so stressed and so sad all the time?  --  your question

YES - our child was diagnosed with severe anxiety and depression at six years of age.  Do not be afraid of seeing a child psychiatrist - it was the best thing we ever did for our child.  By the way, depression and/or anxiety or other mental health issues are often a result of a physical issue; perhaps an overactive amygdala or a chemical imbalance, not the result of life experience.   Sick children need to see a medical doctor so do not be afraid of seeing the psychiatrist (a medical doctor who specializes in brain illness).  I wish you the best ....
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535822_tn?1389452880
You say he is sad, have you asked him why , have you no idea why he would feel like that ,Is he an only child, any siblings, how does he get on with them, does he play games with his Dad and Have fun, friends at school, I would suggest you look into what is happening in his life before saying he has any disorder.I think that counselling would be in order to find out what is going on.
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Avatar_f_tn
I said SHOWING signs of depression with anxiety and POSSIBLE mental disorder. He has already been diagnosed with anxiety issues by his pediatrician. However, his pediatrician says depression can not accure in any child under the age of 12.  I disagree with her and that is why i am turning here to get an opinion from someone who may have a similar case.  I have been very proactive in his life and I talk to him daily, however, I get very little responses from him. I can't push him to talk, that is the worst thing you can do.  He has always been a little off with his emotions, and as he has gotten a little older, you can see he is not the typical 8 year old little boy.  His sibling is 10 and he is the typical 10 year old boy. They are close, rarely fight or disagree. Our family is very loving and patient and we try to have fun, it's hard when no mattter what you do it doesn't work. I am apprehensive about taking him to another doctor because all they want to do is treat the stomach pain with antacids for the anxiety instead of treating the anxiety or finding out why he has these issues.  That is why i came to this site hoping to find someone who can relate and give me advice on how to approach the doctors and make them listen to me. I am afraid for my child because he deserves to be happy and we can't find his smile. It is frustrating.
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Avatar_f_tn
thank you! I appreciate you taking the time to respond to my concern. I am hoping I get the referal from his pediatrician for the therapist so we can figure this out before he gets older and becomes harder to treat.  I am very afraid for my child because he is so unhappy. And I try everyday to make him happy, and I rarely succeed. I do appreciate your advice though.
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973741_tn?1342346373
Hi,  I think I would most definatly change doctors.  That is inaccurate that a child could not suffer depression.   Depression is typically a chemical imbalance that they can even see with radiograph pictures.  The reason there aren't many studies in children with psychiatric disorders is because of the liability of doing the research.  This frustrated me in my former career as kids can be left to suffer.  
The blues is what happens when you have a bad day or series of bad days but if symptoms last consistently (every day) for more than two weeks, that is DM-4 criteria for depression whether it is an adult or child.  
It is also best to do talk therapy (couseling) as well as medication if it is indicated that he has an imbalance.  I've always hated the idea of medicating kids----  but if that is the only option---- it would be better than letting him suffer.  I would only see a psychiatrist for this. Also increasing physical activity can directly affect the brains pleasure center.  
If you do determine it is the blues and not depression, I would try to find out where he struggles most.  Does he have low self esteem or social issue?  How does he function in school, etc.  Good luck.  It must be heart breaking to see your son in pain.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi. How did things turn out with your son? I'm searching the web trying to find out what is going on with my 8-yr old daughter...... Her situation sounds very similar to your sons....We've done full circle at the GI.... nothing wrong there. She seems sad....and withdrawn....declines offers to do things with friends, dropped out of dance/doesn't like girl scouts or choir anymore(although I'm forcing her to finish year)... She said nothing is fun anymore....and she wishes she could be like me...and not have to go to school. Went to child psychologist who offers biofeedback(been one time). He is trying to focus on stomach pain by ruling out cows milk , increased fiber, more water, .... He doesn't handle depression/anxiety...but said he would refer me to someone if we don't make progress in a couple of months. Any thoughts? She was a super happy kid up until Jan1..... And then it was like someone flipped a light switch......she is insistent that there are no friend issues causing her to be this way.
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