Many children and teenagers experience moments of sadness. We all do. However, when depression plays a role, that sadness can become overwhelming. It’s important to know the signs to look for and how you can help at home.
Symptoms of Depression in Children
- Prolonged periods of sadness or mood which does not change as circumstances resolve
- Shift in sleeping pattern (too little sleep or too much sleep)
- Reduced interest in activities that once brought enjoyment
- Change in appetite
- Physical complaints including stomach and/or headaches. These should always be reviewed with a pediatrician
- Verbalize thoughts “I just want to die” or giving possessions away
- Low motivation or an absence of pleasure
- Thoughts of or attempted suicide
Symptoms of Depression in Teenagers
- Depressed mood or irritability
- Behavior problems
- Low self-esteem
- Difficulties interacting with others and/or social isolation
- Poor appetite or overeating
- Trouble sleeping
- Lack of energy and motivation
- Trouble concentrating
- Difficulty making decisions
- Change in school performance
- Active use of alcohol, marijuana or other substances
- Thoughts of or attempted suicide or self-injurious acts, such as cutting arms and legs with a sharp object
- Acting out in risky behaviors without caring if he or she dies
Most children and teenagers will experience some “up and down” moods. A child with depression will experience a consistently lowered mood with many or all of the symptoms mentioned above. A teenager who is depressed, will have a consistently low mood or irritability for at least 14 days and is evident in every part of their lives, including their peers. Learn more on symptoms of depression and how you can help at home.
Horizon has experienced teams of clinical staff and resources that can help you and your child through these difficult times.
Call us today at 716.831.1800.