Understand & Learn About Childhood and Teenage Depression
Childhood and Teenage Depression – What can be done to help them?
Childhood and teenage depression is 11 times more likely when there is evidence of a family history of depression. What can be confusing is that children and teenagers that are experiencing depression will display symptoms that are different from typical adult depression symptoms. It’s also difficult to pinpoint depression in these age groups because normal behaviors vary from one childhood stage to the next.
Children and Teenage Depression Checklist:
In children and adolescents, warning signs to be on the lookout for include:
Complaints of feeling sick
Refusal to go to school
Clinging to a parent or caregiver
Excessive worry that a parent may die
Getting into trouble at school
Negative or grouchiness
In addition, look for symptoms that may be present in those suffering from depression at any age:
Loss of interest or pleasure in activities they used to enjoy
Sleep disturbances (falling asleep, staying asleep or too much sleep)
Eating disturbances (loss of appetite and weight, or weight gain)
Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
Thoughts of Suicide or suicide attempts
Chronic aches and pains that don’t respond to treatment
Depression has a higher chance of being present if a younger person also experiences other disorders such as anxiety, disruptive behavior, eating disorders or substance abuse.
If a child presents five or more of these symptoms of depression, for two weeks or longer without physical cause, contact Fairmount Behavioral Health System at 215-487-4100. Fairmount provides free assessments 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A psychiatrist is on site at all times.
Read more from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) describing the how depression affects high school students, as well as what the future holds for research on this important topic.