The Truth About Childhood Depression
With summer in full blast and many different family transitions going on, it’s understandable why many children might feel anxious. But what about feeling depressed? While most of us are familiar with the symptoms of depression in adults, depression can look a little different in children and teens.
- In younger children, symptoms may include sadness, irritability, hopelessness and worrying.
- Symptoms in adolescents and teens may also include anxiety, anger and avoidance of social interaction.
- Changes in thinking and sleep are common signs of depression in adolescents and adults but are not as common in younger children.
- In children and teens, depression often occurs along with behavior problems and other mental health conditions, such as anxiety or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
- School work may suffer.
It is important to note, depression may not get better on its own – and could get worse if it isn’t treated. Untreated depression can lead to other mental and physical health problems or issues in other areas of life. Feelings of depression can also lead to suicide. It is crucial that if you notice signs of depression and/or suicidal ideation in your child have them evaluated by a doctor or mental health professional.
-Meredith Beard, LMSW, KITM therapist