KIMT NEWS 3 – According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 10% of adults suffer from depression, but catching depression at an early age, such as middle school, could help those kids once they enter the work force.
Depression doesn’t only affect adults, and diagnosing depression in children isn’t always easy.
“Withdrawing, isolating and not finding enjoyment in their activities that they might have once enjoyed, some of those symptoms don’t come through in our young kids because it’s hard to decide what it might be,” says Sandy Thomson, a Charles City School Counselor. “I know as they get older, early adolescence, some of those symptoms start to come through.”
Sandy has been a counselor in the Charles City School District for 8 years, and she has noticed an increase in depression among students.
“We are definitely across the board, not just Charles City Iowa, not just Floyd County, but the state of Iowa, and across the country are at a loss for resources for our depressed children and those suffering from mental illness,” says Thomson.
“We see a lot of increase in depression in children,” says Cody Williams, a Mental Illness Counselor in Mason City. “A lot of the depression increase comes from trouble in families.”
While noticing or understanding these symptoms can be tough, so is overcoming depression.
“It’s not really something that is going to go away right away,” says Thomson. “Sometimes it’s something they have to deal with their whole life, but by telling them what I see that’s great about them, what’s going well for them, they start to think in their own mind: yeah that was really great, I did do a good job, I could control myself, I am aware of my own feelings, because that’s how we are going to build that resilience in kids that might have depression or mental health.”
Thomson says while teaching students the core classes such as math, science, and English, are important, so is teaching students how to deal with life’s turmoils.