13 Things You Didn't Realize Are Signs Of Depression In Adults & Children

by Lindsay E. Mack

Depression sucks. And although the condition has received more attention and understanding in recent years, many misconceptions about it still exist. For instance, not everyone who is depressed presents their symptoms in the same way. In fact, the things you didn't realize are signs of depression in adults and children may be surprising.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, depression is a real illness that impacts a person's ability to function in everyday life. What's more, the symptoms of it may appear in somewhat unexpected ways. Some people may withdraw and find it difficult to get out of bed in the morning, whereas others could have a short temper or sudden appetite changes.

Additionally, depression may affect more people than you initially realize. As noted by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), 2 to 3 percent of children, as well as 6 to 8 percent of teenagers, may suffer from serious depression. Unfortunately, the numbers for adults are not much more promising. As the ADAA further explained, approximately 6.7 percent of the U.S. adult population may cope with instances of major depression in a given year. Fortunately, there is help available for persons of all ages who deal with depression. If you or a loved one shows these symptoms, then it may be a good time to visit a professional for help coping with depression.


Short Fuse

Having a hair trigger temper may be a sign of depression. According to Prevention, many people with depression have reported symptoms of hostility and anger. If you or your kid is quick to lash out for apparently small reasons, then depression may be the real culprit.


Digestive Problems

Some people carry the pain of depression in their gut. Anything from nausea to diarrhea may be the result of depressive episodes, as noted in WebMD. Frequent bathroom trips may point to depression.



Do you or your kid have trouble making decisions about most anything? Persons suffering from depression may have trouble making even the most mundane of decisions, as explained by Healthy Place. Although the exact causes remain unknown, it may be a red flag if you or your kid struggles with deciding simple things such as what to eat for breakfast. In some cases, the depressed person may even freeze up and refrain from making any decisions, as further noted in Healthy Place, and stay in bed all day.


Changes In Eating Habits

For both children and adults, food can say a lot about mood. As explained by Everyday Health, either a loss of appetite, or an uptick in binge eating, could signify an onset of depression. In fact, any change in appetite may be a good reason to visit your doctor.


Sensitivity To Rejection

OK, so no one particularly enjoys feeling rejected. But for persons who suffer from major depression, rejection sensitivity is often a component of the condition, as noted by Psychology Today. Second-guessing whether others like you can be a burden, and it's unclear whether this rejection sensitivity is a symptom of depression or a contributor to it.


Outbursts & Crying

This may be one of the more obvious clues. As explained by WebMD, children with depression in particular may react to the condition with outbursts and crying. Although you may associate depression with symptoms of withdrawal in adults, for children, it may show up in the form of acting out.



Some of the physical symptoms of the condition may appear strange. For instance, some people with depression may deal with bouts of lightheadedness or feeling dizzy, as noted in WebMD. Pay attention if your kid complains about feeling woozy from time to time.


Decline In Work Or School Performance

Depression can severely affect a person's cognitive functioning as well. As noted in Psych Central, people dealing with depression may have increasing difficulty at work or school. Flagging grades or missed deadlines may tell a deeper story.



Sure, everyone feels a little blah from time to time. But depression may cause a sense of disinterest in activities you previously enjoyed, as noted in Students Against Depression. For some people, even previously beloved hobbies may not seem like any fun at all.



This just seems cruel, but many of the symptoms of depression also show up as physical pain. According to Everyday Health, depression has been strongly linked to headaches (especially migraines). Although depression is enough to deal with on its own, these headaches can make the condition even more debilitating.



Granted, many adults and kids alike have trouble sitting still for very long. But as noted in The Joint Chiropractic, feeling restless and fidgety is often a sign of depression. Those underlying feelings of agitation may work themselves out in this physical way.


Impaired Functioning

For people caught in the fog of depression, even the simplest tasks can feel insurmountable. Both adults and children may face a reduced ability to function in everyday life when they're coping with depression, as noted in WebMD. Even activities that once brought joy may now feel like too much trouble.


Concentration Problems

Sometimes focus is elusive for everyone. But for persons with depression, concentrating at work or school may begin to feel impossible, according to Everyday Health. What's more, even personal relationships may suffer from a lack of focus and attention.