How do you know if your child or teen is depressed?

Depression in children and teens is a serious mental health issue. Many of the symptoms that present themselves with depression can closely resemble behaviors that may present themselves as problematic behaviors in children and teens. Although sadness is a symptom of depression, the kind of sadness that occurs with depression lasts longer than the kind of sadness that may come over losing a toy or not having a date to the school dance. It can last for weeks, months, or years. Young children may refuse to go to school, cling to parents, and have a fear that the parents may die. Teens may become significantly moody, sulk most days, become irritable and often remain angry, view life negatively, and feel misunderstood. These symptoms can often be mistaken for normal behavior in a hormonal and developing teen. gives the following symptoms of depression to look out for in children and teens:

· Changes in appetite and/or weight

· Not spending as much time with friends

· Trouble concentrating

· Self-blaming

· Not taking enjoyment in things once found enjoyable

· Low self-esteem

· Disinterest in school or grades

· Change in sleep habits

· Feeling suicidal

· Feelings of sadness, irritability

· Tearful crying spells (more than typical for your child)

According to PsychCentral, up to 3% of children and 8% of teens experience depression in the United States. The incidence of depression is higher in boys under 10 and higher in girls over 16. Depression in teens often coincides with other problems such as eating disorders, disruptive behaviors, substance abuse, anxiety, and an increased risk for suicide. This is why it is so important for parents to be involved in their children’s lives and know how they are doing on a daily basis. If they are not tuned in, they might easily miss the very symptoms that can save their child’s life.

Childhood depression that is left untreated has a great likelihood of recurring on into adulthood. For this reason, it is very important for parents to take their child to a doctor or counselor if they suspect their child is suffering from depression. Depression is very treatable, and includes a multi-faceted approach including individual and/or family counseling, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT, healthy lifestyle, exercise or physical movement, healthy meal planning, effective communication, mindfulness and medication. Our counselors at eSupport Counseling provide treatment for depression. Take a look here to learn more about CBT: Click below to give us a call and get started feeling better today.

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