More than 1.9 million children are diagnosed with depression each year, and the number rises every year. However, this number doesn't include children that don't receive a diagnosis.
Depression is scary for adults, but it's even more challenging for kids, as their brains aren't fully developed. As a result, kids can't always say how they feel because they don't know how to describe their feelings accurately.
Parents can help, though, by knowing the signs to look for in their children. Learning the signs can help you answer the question, "Is my child depressed?"
Continue reading to learn about the top 11 warning signs of depression in kids.
Sleeping is one of the most vital functions the body needs, and kids need a lot of it. Therefore, when your child begins experiencing problems sleeping, it can indicate a problem.
While many issues can interfere with a child's sleep patterns, depression is one of them. As a parent, you should watch for this sign, as it's a common symptom of depression or other serious issues.
Parents know their children best, so they typically feel concerned when they notice personality changes in their children. In fact, personality changes are one of the top signs of depression in kids.
For example, does your child appear sad lately? Do they seem angry, unhappy, or discontent with life?
When personality changes occur, they happen for a reason. So while it might not be depression, it could be another problem that you may want to address.
Depression tends to cause people to withdraw and isolate themselves. Therefore, this is another one of the top depression warning signs to look for if you suspect that your child might be depressed.
Isolation tends to be where people go when they're sad or hopeless, but it's exactly the opposite of what people need when facing depression. If you notice this trait in your child, take the time to talk to them about it.
You might wonder why your child feels this way, but it's important to know that it happens for many reasons. Some children are more at risk for developing depression due to trauma or other events they've experienced.
Another sign to watch for is problems at school. If your child's teachers are issuing reports of problems, you should start considering why this is happening. After all, it could be depression.
Kids suffering from depression tend to act out. They might do this at home, at school, or both.
A sudden loss of friends might also indicate depression. Additionally, if your child recently changed their friend group, you might also feel concerned about your child's mental health.
Kids don't typically dessert or change friend groups for no reason. Instead, they do these things due to issues they have with their friends or in their minds.
If your child has always been a good kid, it might alarm you if they begin acting out at home. For example, if your child suddenly starts talking back or failing to do the things you ask, they might be struggling with something.
You can research more facts about depression to learn more about these warning signs and others. Additionally, you can research the importance of diagnosing and treating depression in kids.
This issue is not one you should ignore, as it might only worsen over time.
Weight changes also indicate a problem, which might be depression. A child's weight shouldn't fluctuate a lot. So if they suddenly lose a lot of weight or gain a lot, it could be a sign of depression.
Some kids will eat more when they feel sad and hopeless. However, others might stop eating completely.
If you see this sign and others, your child might benefit from depression treatment.
It might also alarm you if you notice that your child seems to have lost all signs of hope and joy. If your child is sad all the time and appears down and hopeless, there might be a problem.
Children shouldn't feel this way, yet they do when suffering from depression.
One of the most common signs that parents look for is a loss of enjoyment. For example, if your child played sports or was involved in clubs, you might know there is a problem if they no longer want to do these things.
Kids tend to stop doing activities they once enjoyed when they feel depressed. So if your child stops doing activities, you might want to ask them why they decided to stop.
Another trait of depression in kids is irritability. If you can't talk to your child without them becoming angry or frustrated, it's a sign of depression.
Depression can lead kids to feel this way for several reasons. First, depression makes them feel miserable, and this comes out in how they communicate with others.
Secondly, children struggle with understanding their feelings, and they might act this way because of confusion.
Finally, your child might suffer from depression if they experience focus problems. However, some kids always have problems focusing.
If your child never had this problem before but does now, you might want to start looking for professional help.
Is my child depressed? If you're asking this question and notice any of these signs, you should find professional services for them. Treating depression is vital for kids and adults, and help is available.
If you'd like more information about the services that help children with depression, contact us at NYTPS in New York. We offer a variety of services that can help your child with these issues and others.