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Children’s Anger: Could It Be Depression?

Children’s Anger: Could It Be Depression?


Children’s Anger: Could It Be Depression?


Children often do not show the same signs as adults when they are depressed. They may not understand their feelings, and may be confused. Depression can manifest in a way that you don’t expect, such as anger or irritability.

Many adults/parents often misinterpret children’s anger as disrespectful or bad behavior, or a sign of a foul mood, totally missing depression as the culprit. When this happens, you may not promptly recognize that your child is depressed and fail to get help for them.


The Classic Symptoms of Child Depression

As a parent, you need to know how to ascertain that your child is depressed. Since the symptoms vary from child to child, it is easy to miss them, if you are focused on the classic symptoms of depression in children—persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness, changes in sleep and eating patterns, lethargy, social withdrawal, etc.

Experts would tell you that not every depressed child manifests all of the classic symptoms. Some may function quite well in a controlled milieu, showing very minor changes in their behavior, except perhaps for occasional outbursts. Frequent and excessive acting out, rebellious behavior, or irritability should not be allowed to pass without a second look, because anger, a powerful emotion, can be released in these ways.


Seeing through Child Anger

Anger is normal and does not necessarily mean your child is depressed. Having a “short fuse,” however, is common among depressed children and must not be ignored. When your child exhibits irritability and anger often and with intensity, you should pay attention.

Depressive symptoms, particularly extreme sadness, are something that children can have difficulty understanding. According to Elements Behavioral Health, “Depression has been aptly described as a ‘whole-body illness’ because it involves not only changes in mood but in almost every other area of a child’s life, as well.” Commonly, they will respond to it in ways that they are familiar with, such as irritability and anger. In addition, the condition can affect their ability to focus and think, disturbing their studies. They may also become withdrawn, especially when they are always misunderstood. 


Turning a Blind Eye to Your Child’s Anger

Like many parents, you may not readily accept that your child isn’t perfect, and may delay diagnosis and treatment. You may hope or think that it will just pass, like many other changes that come with each developmental milestone. Covering up irritability and anger, however, will not help. Recognizing that they can be signs of depression is critical to pave the way for the proper assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of your child’s symptoms.

It is painful to watch your beloved child suffering depressive symptoms, but it will hurt more if you don’t provide the professional help they need as early as possible, and they continue to feel miserable and confused. Without treatment, the symptoms run the risk of worsening, further complicating your child’s depression and depriving your child of the opportunity to recover sooner rather than later. 


Stifling the Rage

Depressive symptoms may not dissipate even if you are doing everything in your power to nurture, understand, and take care of your child. Your child needs professional help from a therapist who can assess their symptoms, diagnose their condition, and provide personalized treatment. Despite your great love for your child, tracing the roots of their anger and finding ways to control their moods can be too much for someone without professional training in counseling, therapy, psychology, or psychiatry.

Since taking care of a depressed child can be very challenging, you may be overwhelmed by their anger and resistance along the way. Losing patience and resorting to the use of parental dominance may only intimidate your child and defeat your purpose. If you are merely shutting up your child, it may only be fueling their anger to a fiery level. To quell your child’s unreasonable tantrums or meltdowns, seek out positive ways to resolve them, such as seeing an expert therapist or counselor.

For the child to be helped, their symptoms must be properly evaluated so that an accurate diagnosis can be made. It is equally important to discover the root causes of the child’s tantrums and to modify their behavior to be able to control their rage. All these require expertise you may not be prepared to provide.


Resolving Anger the Positive Way

There is nothing wrong with feeling anger. It is a good way to release your child’s negative emotions. You cannot, however, allow it to destroy your child’s relationships or deter your child from progressing in development. When the outbursts become explosive, frequent, and long, it isn’t healthy anymore. The most critical thing to do is to get your child’s unhealthy anger and other symptoms assessed by an expert therapist contracted with Carolina Counseling Services — Pinehurst, NC, to establish if the symptoms are connected to depression. 

The power to help your child is in your hands. Do not ignore your child’s anger, and don’t be afraid to act. Depression is treatable, particularly when therapy is provided promptly. Your decision to call Carolina Counseling Services — Pinehurst to find the right therapist or counselor for your child can make a huge difference in their health, relationships, life, and future. Give your child the best advantage against depression that you can muster: the CCS brand of professional help.  


Serving Areas: Carolina Counseling Services – Pinehurst, NC

Counties: Moore county, NC, Lee County, Hoke County, Chatham County

Areas: Pinehurst NC, West End NC, Taylortown NC, Seven Lakes NC, Eagle Springs NC, Jackson Springs NC, Foxfire NC, Candor NC, Norman NC, Ellerbe NC, Rockingham NC

Zip Codes: 27281, 27376, 28315, 28347, 28350, 28373, 28374, 28387, 28388, 28394

Kelly ErkenBrack, LCSW

Specializes in: (Ages 3+) Children, Teens, Adults, Couples and Families. Anxiety, Depression, Grief and Loss, Mood Disorders, Trauma, Adjustments and Life Transitions, ADHD, Behavioral Issues, Parenting, Relationship Concerns, Self Esteem
Insurance: BCBSTricare Prime/Select, Medicare and Cash
Credit Cards:  
Location: Pinehurst, NC

Robin Caswell, MSW, LCSW

Specializes in: (Ages 5+), Individuals, Adults, Anxiety, Depression, Grief, Loss, ADHD, ODD, Trauma/PTSD, LGBTQ, Self-Harm, Military Family Life, Mood Disorders, OCD, Phobias
Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Medicare and Cash
Credit Cards:  
Location: Pinehurst, NC

Counseling Information

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Carolina Counseling Services – Pinehurst, NC

45 Dowd Circle Suite 5
PinehurstNC 28374

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Fayetteville, NC 28311