Depression

Throughout life we all experience ups and downs. Feeling blue at times is considered normal. There are times, however, when changes in mood should not be ignored.

Signs of depression in your child you may notice include:

  • Changes in sleep habits (sleeping more or less)
  • Changes in appetite (eating more or less than usual)
  • Persistent sadness or hopelessness
  • Withdrawal from friends or activities they used to enjoy
  • Increased irritability
  • Poor concentration
  • Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt
  • Indecision, lack of concentration or forgetfulness
  • Increased physical complaints i.e., stomachaches, headaches
  • Poor motivation
  • Low energy
  • Experimentation with alcohol or drugs
  • Recurring thoughts of death or suicide

If your child is experiencing several of these symptoms for 2 weeks or longer, there is reason to be concerned. Take some time to talk to them about the changes you are noticing. It may be helpful to contact your pediatrician or mental health professional for support on assisting your child to get through this difficult time.

Other good sources of information on depression can be found here:

http://www.apa.org/topics/topicdepress.html

http://www.brightfutures.org/mentalhealth/pdf/families/bridges/dep_signs.pdf

http://www.aacap.org/cs/root/resources_for_families/glossary_of_symptoms_and_illnesses/depression