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Children can feel overwhelmed by life circumstances—from feeling ostracised and bullied at school or home to media coverage of global events like war and natural catastrophes. The common use of medical metaphor relabels overwhelm as depression. A psychologising gaze understands depression as a disease of the individual, caused by failing within the individual. This entry examines depression across time and cultures and some common approaches to treating depression in children.

Depression Across Time and Cultures

The word ‘depression’ does not appear in the lexicon of names for dejection until the early 18th century. Samuel Johnson, William Tuke, Philippe Pinel, Jean Esquirol, Richard von Krafft-Ebing, Emil Kraepelin, Alfred Meyer, Henry Maudsley, and Sigmund Freud all attempted to categorise and delineate forms of distress variously described as melancholia, involutional ...

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