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Depression in two year old?
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Depression in two year old?

My grandson is 21/2 and was developing normally until at 15 months his mother who was pregnant with his twin sisters was sent into the hospital for 2 months. During this time of great family stress he lived with his other grandmother and did not see his mother as she was too far away. At this time he quit talking or even babbling. When she finally came home she brought first one baby home then another and was swamped with the care of 2 preemies.Add to that a fire in their apartment that necessitated a move. A year later he still isn't making any effort to talk.

I understand as a nurse that he was traumatized but now he is showing to me signs of depression. He is frustrated at being non-verbal so he acts out physically by hitting, gets punished, acts out some more... I have told my son in what I hope is not an interfering way that this cycle is not what he needs but more talking and positive interaction but I have seen D go from a happy interactive baby to a withdrawn unhappy toddler who no longer makes eye contact and only laughs when he is being physically played with. Because he is not talking he gets talked about as if he is not even there and just because he doesn't talk doesn't mean he doesn't understand what is being said about him.

The last cornerstone here is a family history of bi-polar disorder in his own father, aunt and grandfather. I don't want to see him this sad already. Any suggestions or thoughts on depression in young children or am I over anylizing this?
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Mood disorders are one type of biologically-related mental health disorders, and they have a strong genetic component. It may well be that you are witnessing the early signs of this. But, to some extent this is a moot point, because the idea of medication for a two-year-old is not sensible. At the very least, he is displaying a depressive reaction to the separation, loss and turmoil he has experienced. He requires sound nurturance, structure, attentive supervision and the safety and predictability of consistent routine. Limits on physical acting out are important, but they are only part of an overall approach.
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