We commonly think of depression as being an illness that affects adults, however it can also affect children. Many adults can recognize if something isn’t feeling right within themselves and the question, “Am I depressed?” may arise. Children, on the other hand, may not even realize if something is out of whack within themselves. If they do feel off, they may lack the ability to communicate how they are feeling. So, how can we tell if our child is showing signs of depression?
Symptoms of depression in children include:
- Persistent sadness-They cry easily and become withdrawn.
- Loss of interest in activities -Sports or past-times once enjoyed become suddenly of no interest.
- Anxiety-They may become tense and worried.
- Changes in sleep patterns- They may have trouble falling asleep, or even trying to stay awake during the school day.
- Appetite changes- A child with a once healthy appetite may suddenly lose interest in food, while another child may use food to medicate.
- Feelings of worthlessness- They may feel as though no one likes them and obsesses over their faults.
- Self-Harm- They may try to cause pain to themselves or take extreme risks.
Depression doesn’t only occur in children who have experienced a life-changing event like the loss of a parent, or divorce. Sometimes depression is triggered in children who seemingly have the “perfect” lives. That is why knowing the symptoms of childhood depression is so important for parents. If your child if suffering with the symptoms of depression and you are seeking new treatment options, a research study may be the answer. Biobehavioral Research of Austin is currently seeking participants for current and upcoming studies. Participants are evaluated by medical professionals, including board-certified doctors, and receive compensation for time and travel expenses.