All children and teens feel sad sometimes and they might not always know or be able to articulate why. Some, however, experience more than just sadness and may struggle with depression. Determining whether your child or teen is depressed can be difficult, especially when it’s developmentally normal to experience a wide range of emotions for a variety of reasons. If they are sad, irritable or angry, you could assume that it’s just part of being a child or the turbulent teen years. The signs of depression can be hard to miss, but there are some things that parents and caregivers can look out for.
Signs of Depression in Children and Teens
Some of the signs of depression include:
- Low mood or sadness
- Irritability or anger
- Low energy
- Lack of interest in things they previously enjoyed
- Problems sleeping (sleeping too much or not enough)
- Finding it hard to concentrate
- Interacting less with friends and family
- Eating less than usual or overeating
- Low self-esteem or feelings of guilt
- Thoughts of suicide or self-harm
Causes of Depression
The risk of depression in children and teens can be increased by a number of factors. These include a family history of depression or mental illness, bullying, or social and family difficulties, to name a few. A combination of things could lead to depression or one event might trigger depression, such as a bereavement or their parents separating.
If you think that your child or teen might be struggling with depression, professional help from a therapist is one of the tools available to you. Bridge to Balance provides therapy for children and teens, as well as their parents, and can help support your mental health needs.