Everyone gets sad on occasion, and kids are no exception. But with countless heartbreaking news reports of children and young teens taking their own lives after silent battles with depression, it's more important than ever to recognize the signs your child is depressed and not just sad.
According to Health Central, depression in children and teens can come in two forms; recurrent major depression, which are periods of severe depression, and dysthymia which is a "low level" depression that can last for years. Both forms of depression require a visit to a health professional such as an psychologist or psychiatrist for a diagnosis and treatment. It's tough when you aren't quite sure if your child is experiencing a normal bout of everyday sadness, or is in fact depressed. One good indicator is the length of time your child has been exhibiting symptoms. If it's been two weeks or more, you will want to consider making a doctor's appointment.
Unfortunately, depression is becoming all too common in children. WebMD reported that approximately two percent of young children, and four to eight percent of adolescents, suffer from depression. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), in 2014, an estimated 2.8 million adolescents ages 12 to 17 in the United States had at least one major depressive episode.
If you're worried about your child, here are some signs that your child may be suffering from depression. And, as always, if you have an suspicions, it's important to consult a doctor as soon as possible.