Depression in children and teens is not rare. However, because normal behaviors vary from one childhood stage to another, it can be difficult to tell whether a child is just going through a temporary phase or is suffering from depression. Here is a list of symptoms and signs to help identify when a child is suffering from depression.
Common symptoms include:
Note: Not every depressed child will experience every symptom—some will experience a few symptoms, some many; and the severity of symptoms will vary from child to child. Depression can be very serious, but it is treatable. If your child is showing any of these signs and symptoms, talk with your child's doctor.
American Psychological Association
National Institute of Mental Health
Canadian Mental Health Association
Mental Health Canada
Depression. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated October 30, 2014. Accessed January 16, 2015.
Depression in children and teens. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/depression/depression-in-children-and-teens.html. Updated August 2012. Accessed January 16, 2014.
How do children and adolescents experience depression? National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/depression-in-children-and-adolescents.shtml. Accessed January 16, 2015.
Symptoms of depression. Kidshealth.org website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/teen/your_mind/mental_health/depression.html. Updated November 2011. Accessed January 16, 2015.
Last reviewed January 2015 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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