Childhood Depression


While all children experience stress, worry, and fear, an anxious or depressed child will experience such intense emotions they cannot function normally in daily activities. They may feel unhappy, overly worried, and have a sense of despair or hopelessness. Behavior changes include intense irritability, extreme restlessness or fatigue, withdrawal from activities and friends, difficulty concentrating, and failure to complete work in a timely manner.

Childhood depression can result in serious problems with relationships, learning, and physical health, but with proper support and treatment, children can overcome their struggles and flourish.

Treatments include:

  • Therapy
  • Medication
  • Lifestyle changes

Key Things to Know About Childhood Depression

  • Depression is one of the most commonly diagnosed mental disorders in children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 4% of children suffer from depression.
  • Childhood depression is a serious illness that can have a negative impact on your child's mental health and well-being.
  • What distinguishes childhood depression from the sadness of normal adolescence is that it lasts longer and causes more problems in daily life.
  • In some kids, especially younger ones, depression may have no obvious cause.
  • Depression in children can take many forms. Some kids show extreme sadness and tearfulness. Others get angry or hyperactive, or withdraw from friends, family and activities they used to enjoy. Moodiness, irritability and trouble concentrating are also common symptoms of childhood depression.
  • While the cause of depression in children is often unknown, proper treatment can help your child manage depressive symptoms and restore a sense of normalcy so he or she can function and live a happy life.

More Resources:

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