Do you know the signs of depression in kids? They’re easy to miss. Yet, when overlooked, the outcome can be tragic.
Data shows that suicide is the second leading cause of death in youth, and a significant portion of those who pass are confronting the condition.
Below are eight indicators of childhood depression that every parent needs to be familiar with.
Signs of Depression in Kids
Deep & Persistent Sadness
Children with depression experience sadness that persists for two or more weeks. And it can be profound! They may have thoughts of suicide or talk about hurting themselves.
Learn more: 9 Warning Signs of Teen Suicide Parents Need to Know
Problems at School
Have you recently noticed a decline in your child’s school performance? Kids confronting depression often have a hard time concentrating, making decisions,
and can be quicker to anger or emotional outbursts.
Be on the watch for a sudden drop in grades, school refusal, and new behavioral issues cropping up.
Changes in Weight or Eating Habits
Has your child recently lost or gained weight? Significant fluctuations in body size or sudden changes in eating habits may signify depression.
A Shift in Sleep Patterns
Have you noticed a change in your child’s sleep patterns? Maybe they’re struggling to fall asleep, waking in the middle of the night, or even sleeping far more than usual?
Depression can impact kids’ rest and wake cycles. So, pay attention to sudden shifts in your child’s sleep routine. It may be a sign that something more is going on.
Changes in Mood & Behavior
Does it feel like your child’s demeanor changed overnight? Take notice if they’ve suddenly developed a more negative attitude or are expressing feelings of hopelessness, guilt, or worthlessness. And if they seem more agitated, irritable, or are quicker to get upset, it could also be a sign of depression.
Decrease in Self-Esteem
Does your once confident kid now seem to need frequent reassurance? A marked decrease in self-esteem is frequently an indicator of depression. Children with the condition tend to think negatively and very critically about themselves.
Kids experiencing depression will frequently withdraw socially from friends and family. So, pay attention if your child no longer wants to participate in activities they once enjoyed.
Depression is more than emotional pain—symptoms can frequently manifest physically. So look out for persistent fatigue, frequent headaches, stomach aches, or any other sudden unexplained discomfort. And remember, it’s essential to rule out underlying medical conditions with a doctor.
We’re Here to Help!
Do any of the signs and symptoms above sound familiar? If so, we want to support you! Youth Dynamics’ provides a wide range of wraparound mental health services designed to help kids heal. Contact us online, or give us a call at 1-406-245-6539 to learn more.
Did you find this article helpful? If so, check out the rest of our blog and make sure to follow us on social media. You can find us on LinkedIn at Youth Dynamics of Montana, Instagram at youthdynamicsmt, and Facebook at Youth Dynamics of Montana & People of Youth Dynamics.