Depression is a common experience and more than 50 percent of people who have depression developed symptoms by the age of 14. It’s important to know what to look for in your teen and when to seek assistance.
The Most Common Signs of Depression in Children and Teens
- Frequent sadness, tearfulness, crying
- Decreased interest in activities – or the inability to enjoy previously favorite activities
- Persistent boredom, low energy
- Social isolation, poor communication
- Low self-esteem and guilt
- Extreme sensitivity to rejection or failure
- Increased irritability, anger or hostility
- Difficulty with relationships
- Frequent complaints of headaches and stomach aches
- Frequent absences from school or poor performance in school
- Poor concentration
- A major change in eating or sleeping patterns
- Talk of, or efforts to, run away from home
- Thoughts or expressions of suicide or self-destructive behavior
If you notice these signs in your child or teenager, it’s important to act.
Depression is not normal moodiness or bad behavior – it’s a real illness that requires professional help. The good news is that there are excellent treatments available (including psychotherapy and medications). Parents should ask their provider to refer them to a qualified mental health professional that can diagnose and treat depression in children and teenagers.