Sadness is a normal emotion for children. However, if you notice your child is persistently sad or has sudden changes in their mood, they could be dealing with depression. Depression impacts people of all ages, including children. If you think your child might be suffering from depression, the following may be helpful:
Are There Different Types of Depression Kids Suffer From?
Children can experience different mood disorders. A licensed therapist will see your child to determine which type of issue your child is dealing with. Major depressive disorder is a form of depression that is common in children who seem sad or despondent for a long period of time. Persistent depressive disorder is a milder form of depression but still lasts for a long period of time. Adjustment disorder is a type of depression that occurs after a child suffers from a stressful or sad event. This may include when their parents get divorced or if there is a death in the family. There are other types of depression that children may suffer from. A therapist will evaluate your child to determine exactly what type of depression your child has and follow up with treatment.
What Are the Symptoms of Depression in Children?
There are several signs your child might be suffering from depression. This can include difficulty maintaining friendships, a decreased desire to do their normal favorite activities, or feeling abnormally sensitive to rejection. Depressed children may persistently cry or feel sad, have low self-esteem, and have lower than normal energy. They may also be more irritable, have significant tantrums, or talk about running away from home. Depressed children may also have a change in their eating and sleeping patterns.
What Could Cause Depression in Children?
There are several reasons why a child may become depressed. A child may have problems adjusting to a new school or living situation. They may be dealing with bullying or feeling stressed about their school work. They may feel like they are under pressure because they are not doing something well enough. Children often deal with depression when there is a major negative change within the household. Children who have a new and different living situation may also suffer from depression.
If you think your child is exhibiting symptoms of depression, it is important that you have them evaluated right away. There are several treatment programs that can help your child feel better and help them learn to cope with their feelings. Contact a depression treatment program for youth to learn more.