Depression In Children

Written By: Butler Hospital on November 30, 2023

Signs and Symptoms of Depression in Children

Depression doesn’t discriminate by age – and it impacts children and teenagers.

Nearly five percent of children and adolescents in the general population suffer from depression at any given point in time. Children under stress, who experience loss, or who have attentional, learning, conduct, or anxiety disorders are at a higher risk for depression. Depression also tends to run in families.

Depression often looks different in children and teenagers than it does in adults. Child and adolescent psychiatrists advise parents and caretakers to be aware of signs of depression in their children.

When to Seek Help

The signs and symptoms of depression will look different in every child.  But, as a rule of thumb, if one or more of the following signs persist, parents or caretakers should seek help.

  • Frequent sadness, tearfulness, crying
  • Hopelessness
  • Decreased interest in activities or inability to enjoy previously favorite activities
  • Persistent boredom or low energy
  • Social isolation, poor communication
  • Low self-esteem and guilt
  • Extreme sensitivity to rejection or failure
  • Increased irritability, anger, or hostility
  • Difficulty with relationships
  • Frequent complaints of physical illnesses such as headaches and stomachaches
  • Frequent absences from school 
  • Poor concentration
  • A major change in eating and/or sleeping patterns
  • Talk of or efforts to run away from home
  • Thoughts or expressions of suicide or self-destructive behavior
Seeking Help for Your Child or Teen
With the uptick in mental health concerns for teens across the country, it can be difficult to find a therapist or doctor in a timely manner. It can require a lot of work on the phone to find the right level of care and fit.  

At Butler Hospital, there is a 24/7 call intake line: 1-844-401-0111, where a clinician can assist you in determining the next best step for your child within one brief phone call. They will be sure you understand your options and if you and your child are ready, they will assist you in putting the recommended plan in motion.  

Disclaimer: The content in this blog is for informational and educational purposes only and should not serve as medical advice, consultation, or diagnosis.  If you have a medical concern, please consult your healthcare provider, or seek immediate medical treatment. 

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