Depression Community
10.5k Members
Avatar universal

My 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?
4 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi Jay,

Yes it is possible. Why? Dunno, it's a very individual thing I'm afraid. There are no definitive stats on genetic depression but one shows a % of about 33 as people being born with depression evident.

So it can be that simple (or complex). They just have it from birth. It may not manifest early and may take something happening in life to bring it to the fore but it's there from the beginning.

The rest of us develop depression over time as a result of major and minor negative events. Mine started at 10 as the result of surviving a fatal car accident and being the only one awake to see the carnage. I even hid that from myself for 25 years before the dam wall burst. But underneath I felt "something" for all those years.

The risk in taking your son to a psychiatrist is they will want to prescribe drugs to your child. Are you up for that? They will do so from a stance of expertise and in the hope they can relieve at least the symptoms your sone feels. Lower the agony etc in other words.

The trouble is human brains are not fully formed until about age 24 and what damage psych drugs may do is still really unknown. But if the choice is how he is now or maybe less agony, what will you decide? I'd go to the psychiatrist and talk it out first at least. Don't believe promises but consider the options and what is offered.

I'd trade places with your son in an instant if I could. I so hate kids suffering this ****. Best to you and good luck.

Avatar universal
Thankyou!!! I am very sorry to hear about what happened to you.  Yes, when he was 1 an occupational therapist did see him. They said he just is late with emotions. He never smiled until he was 2. And as he has gotten older you can see he is not typical. Very sad, I try to make him happy and i don't succeed all the time. It is soooo heartbreaking because every child deserves to be happy. As well as adults who have suffered lke you.  I want these damn doctors to do something. They just want to treat the stomach pain associated with his anxiety instead of maybe taking a blood test to see if there is an imbalance of chemicals.  I am still waiting for the referal for the therapist. But his pediatrican feels that depression can not accure in a child under the age of 12. I DISAGREE  and you have confirmed that i should. Yes the drugs scare me alot, and that is why I want a blood test done before they stick him on zoloft or any other antidepressant. Again, THANK YOU!!! I hope you stay well. I will write to you again if I need help.
874521 tn?1424120397
Its so sad to see/hear of someone so young being so unhappy...I had similar issues with my son abt that age tho not as severe until abt 12.
I agree with what whodunnit has told you..therapy is the place to start just to attempt to find out if there is some other underlying issue such as being bullied for instance.
My son never had the oportunity to see a therapist or psychiatrist when younger and this may have made a big difference in his life. he got diagnosed with bipolar at abt 33. and he said he can remember being so depressed and anxious as early as 10...would I have put him on antidepressants that young? probably not, would treatment have prevented him from seeking out illegal drugs in his 20's to stop the mental anguish..I don't know.
Mom its a hard decision you have ahead, talk to many professionals, therapist, councellors at school and even psychiatrists but weigh all the options and do lots of research...the internet is so useful for that, how I wish I had had this tool years ago..learn all you can before coming to any decisions.
good luck
Avatar universal
I agree with opus.  You need to get many opinions.  I think there may be an underlying cause, more physical than mental.  I feel this, because your child has always had issues that may have just been blown off as being "late" in development.  I don't think any reputable pediatric psychiatrist would not just throw drugs at your child, and they are the most knowlegable when it comes to the effects of doing so. I would have you child get a comlete evaluation first, by someone competent in the field.  Children are happy by nature, and I don't feel depression would present itself in one so young, as it does in adults, it would manifest itself in others way, like acting out, mis-behaving, etc.  I strongly feel now is the time to find and hopefully resolve any issues going on with your child to avoid future problems.  He deserves a happy life, and is missing out on this.  I would get him checked for other physical, emotional issues and not label him too quickly as "depressed".  Too often when children are infants/toddlers are behind in some way the parents are told that the child will develop at their own pace, which many do.  But this can and does often result in a missed diagnosis of the real issue.  Educate yourselves, and make sure they haven't missed something with your child, get many opinions, I just don't believe the is merely depression, I think it is a symptom of something physical.
Have an Answer?
Top Mood Disorders Answerers
Avatar universal
Arlington, VA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
15 signs that it’s more than just the blues
Discover the common symptoms of and treatment options for depression.
We've got five strategies to foster happiness in your everyday life.
Don’t let the winter chill send your smile into deep hibernation. Try these 10 mood-boosting tips to get your happy back
A list of national and international resources and hotlines to help connect you to needed health and medical services.
Here’s how your baby’s growing in your body each week.