Depression in young people can be hard to spot. Does your child show these signs?
Depression is the most common mental illness in the U.S. and affects people of all ages. Kids and teens with depression show different signs than adults, which can make it hard to tell when a child or a teenager is depressed. Young people also often need an adult’s help to get treatment, making it more difficult for them to get the support they need.
If your child or a child you know shows some of these signs for two weeks or longer, s/he may have depression. Find out below how you can help.
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If your child is depressed, don’t blame yourself but do get help as soon as possible. Talk to your child’s doctor about your child’s behavior. A doctor will be able to advise you on the best treatment options for your child, which may include counseling and/or medication.
You can help your child manage his or her difficult feelings by encouraging him or her stick to a treatment plan and by giving support. Rather than dismissing your child’s feelings or telling him or her to ‘get over it,’ urge your child to talk to you or someone s/he trusts about the way s/he is feeling. Remind your child that feelings of depression are not his or her fault, and don’t mean that s/he is doing anything wrong.
If you believe that a child is suicidal or in danger of harming him or herself, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK for 24/7 counseling support. Don’t wait! Taking action can save a life.
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Healthfirst is the brand name used for products and services provided by one or more of the Healthfirst group of affiliated companies. This health information or program is for educational purposes only and not intended to treat, diagnose, or act as a substitute for medical advice from your provider. Consult your healthcare provider and always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions.
“Anxiety and Depression in Children,” Anxiety and Depression Association of America. July 2015.
“Depression in Teens,” Mental Health America. Accessed February 19, 2016.
“Understanding Depression,” KidsHealth. March 2015.