If you are concerned your child may have depression here are a few symptoms to look for. If your child shows symptoms, ask a childcare specialist for advice. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention symptoms of depression may be –
1) Feeling sad, hopeless, or irritable a lot of the time. Children on edge often are experiencing feelings they can’t explain or don’t yet know how to express. Feeling sad and hopeless may look like a lack of motivation or “laziness”. Your child may longer do things they usually enjoy, show no interest in fun activities or hobbies. Irritability is a defense mechanism used more often when a person doesn’t know how to describe why they feel what they do. A hopeless person will have trouble being “optimistic” and may not respond well to forceful positive prodding.
2)Social withdrawal. Children may start to act differently around their siblings or friends. They may make excuses to not visit someone they otherwise would be happy to see. Seem more angry or violent than before. Will distance themselves from friends and family and may fuss when told to join a group event. They may also have a hard time connecting with others or show no interesting in trying.
3)Increased sensitivity to rejection. Some children are naturally more sensitive than others. But this is if you notice an increase amount of sensitivity to being in trouble or being told no. Expressive fits, or excessive screaming and crying are signs of reacting sensitively (like I said children will often act this way when scolded or told no). Also, may show low-self-esteem and bad talk themselves when rejected.
4)Changes in appetite, either increased or decreased.
5)Changes in sleep, sleeplessness or excessive sleep unusual for them.
6)Vocal outbursts or crying. More so than usual, and for inappropriate/ unusual for you child reasons.
7)Difficulty concentrating. May seem dazed, or daydream often when at school. Child may have a hard time playing games from lack of interest and focus.
8)Physical complaints (such as stomach aches, headaches) that don’t respond to treatment. Or that don’t come from a physical ailment. Doctor may say they can’t find any illness.
9) Giving things away or running away. A child giving away thing unusually, or things that a precious could show a child uninterested in their life. If your child tries, or has run away your child may be unhappy, or think they are unhappy with their living conditions.
10)Self-injury or thoughts of death or suicide. Child may self-harm or talk of death. If your child mentions suicide, take it seriously. If needed Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Lifeline) at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or text the Crisis Text Line (text HELLO to 741741) Get help to find treatment
If you need a healthcare provider familiar with treatment options:
- Psychologist Locator external icon, a service of the American Psychological Association (APA) Practice Organization.
- Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist Finder external icon, a research tool by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP).
- Find a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist external icon, a search tool by the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies.
- If you need help to find treatment facilities, visit MentalHealth.govexternalicon.