It is normal for an individual to have emotional ups and downs throughout the day. But, if you notice your child or teen having mostly down days filled with irritability, sadness, and/or loss of interest in things they once enjoyed, you may want to reach out to a mental health professional to see if your child is experiencing depression.
Depression can happen at any age, to anyone, and is more than a sad or down day once in a while or normal grief or bereavement. Depression is persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness that interfere in daily life activities such as sleep, school, and home life for long periods of time. It is not uncommon for depression to look like irritability in children and teens.
SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION IN CHILDREN AND TEENS
- Chronic feelings of sadness
- Chronic feelings of hopelessness
- Low Self-Esteem
- Temper Outbursts
- Feeling Numb
- Isolating from Family and Friends
- Loss of Interest in Once Enjoyable Activities
- Changes in Appetite
- Sleeping Too Much
- Difficulty Sleeping
- Difficulties Concentrating
- Thoughts of Suicide
- Self-Injurious or Self-Destructive behaviors
WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT DEPRESSION IN YOUR CHILD OR TEEN
Depression is a treatable mental health disorder. If you are concerned about your child or teen being depressed, consult with a mental health professional.
Treatments that are beneficial for children and teens with depression include therapy, medication, or a combination of the two. Consult with a doctor to learn more about how medication management can help. Therapy can help to reduce the symptoms of depression and increase your child or teen’s skills to improve their daily functioning and to lead a more fulfilling life.
OTHER TIPS TO HELP YOUR CHILD OR TEEN MANAGE SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION
- Engaging in Physical Exercise
- Maintaining a Consistent Sleep Schedule
- Maintaining a Consistent Eating Schedule with Balanced Meals
- Create a Support Network Including Spending Time with Friends and Family
- Monitor Your Child’s Social Media Use
- Spend Time Outside
- Visit our therapist page to learn more about how our therapists can help your child or teen
If you are concerned that your child or teen is experiencing depression and want to get started with therapy, give our office a call at (605) 275-0009 to schedule an appointment.