Why Does Childhood Depression Occur?

543.02Comment: In the last 15 to 20 years childhood depression has become very common. Doctors do not know what to do about it. They cannot find the reason. There can be some reasonable explanations for adult depression.

My Response: It is not just that. We can restrain adult depression. You can force a person to be lower, more limited. But we need to develop our children.

A person who is depressed is given sedatives, tranquilizers, even some drugs just to “put him to sleep.” How can we do this to children? By doing this, we detach them from their natural growth. The manifestation of depression in children is opposite to the tendency that they must develop, overcome, and grow. We encounter a phenomenon here that we cannot conquer.

Question: The fact is that patients are five to six years old children. Why is a six-year-old child depressed and finds that nothing pleases him?

Answer: The question of the meaning of life! Many great Kabbalists wrote about this and in particular Rav Kook and Baal HaSulam.

As long as I can remember, as a child, I had this question. Not explicitly, but it was: “Why? What for? What is all this about?” This question did not allow me to live, did not allow me to rejoice. It was necessary to find an excuse to have fun: to go on a spree, to get carried away with something in order to escape this question. And it was all during childhood.

But let us assume that the soul has no age. Then it will be easier for us. Let’s not look at the young generation as being children.

A soul is a soul. We received it from our past incarnation in which we lived to our old age. And today, in our brand-new young body lives an old soul that has lived on this earth for many generations and has been through a lot.

The fact is that you evaluate a child by its small body, but you should look at its soul. It is already old, wise, and understands that all this is pointless. It has already lived for so long that you cannot confuse it. What will you do with it?

So through depression it gives you its external emptiness and lack of fulfillment. So what if it manifests itself in a small child? And if it was in its thirties, in its forties, is it different?

Depression does not come from life. Absolutely not! We see that there is a lot of depression and suicides among people who have everything in life.

Comment: Usually they say about such people: “They get mad from fat” [unsatisfied from prosperity.]

Answer: No, not from fat. A person simply needs to know what he lives for. And when he has everything and his daily bread is not in question, he really does not see what to live for.

As long as you are forced to take care of your body, you have no opportunity to free yourself for other matters. And as soon as you provide it with everything you need, the question of the meaning of life immediately arises.

This question also appears in children. Why not? I don’t see much difference. The fact that it occurs in children suggests that, after many reincarnations in this world, our souls have come to a state where they actually need the answer to: “Why do we exist?”

Question: You want to say that we incorrectly approach a person from the very beginning by focusing on him as the biological body?

Answer: Of course! After all, this is not a person at all but his animal body. An animal! And how does it differ from other animals?

But its inner part, our “I,” has nothing to do with this body. It goes through many different improvements, dipping into the body, coming out of it, accompanying it. As a result, these metamorphoses lead it to such a development, when—that’s it! We already live in a generation in which we must necessarily answer the question: “What for?”
From KabTV’s “Close-up. Depression in Children” 8/24/09

Related Material:
Teenage Depression
Depression Among Youth
Depression—An Illness Of Lack Of Meaning In Life

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