Signs of Depression in Children

Signs of Depression in Children

Dr Priya R Nair, Consultant Psychiatrist
signs of depression in children

Rates of childhood depression have been rising in the last several years. Yet, information and awareness about childhood depression has not caught on at the same rate. Millions of people across the world wonder and doubt if children can get depressed. If your child’s mental health interferes with social activities, interests, schoolwork or family life, it's time to get help.

What is Depression?

Depression is a mood disorder that can cause someone to feel sad, irritable or hopeless. It may affect your sleep, appetite or relationships with others. Depression can also cause you to lose interest in hobbies or activities you once enjoyed. In severe cases, depression can lead to thoughts of suicide.Depression is typically diagnosed if symptoms last two weeks or longer. It should only get evaluated, diagnosed and treated by a healthcare provider. Although depression is a serious medical condition, it’s usually treatable.

How Can I Tell if My Child Is Depressed?

Depression in children and teens often presents differently than it does in adults. Irritability and/or anger are more common signs of depression in children and teens. Additionally, young children often find it difficult to explain how they’re feeling, while teens may attempt to hide their emotional pain fearing judgment from others. Because normal behaviors vary as children develop, it can be challenging to know if your child is going through a phase or if it’s something more serious. The first step towards helping your child battle depression is learning how to spot it.

  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Feeling or appearing depressed, sad, tearful, or irritable
  • Fatigue or perceived lack of energy
  • Feeling guilty or ashamed
  • Having more trouble concentrating
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in previously enjoyed activities
  • Psychomotor slowing or agitation
  • Recurrent thoughts of suicide and/or death
  • Sleep disturbance: Insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day

What Causes Depression in Children?

As in adults, depression in children can be caused by any combination of things that relate to physical health, life events, family history, environment, genetic vulnerability, and biochemical disturbance. Depression is not a passing mood, nor is it a condition that will go away without proper treatment.

Can Depression in Children Be Prevented?

Children with a family history of depression are also at higher risk of depression. Children who have parents with depression tend to have their first episode of depression earlier than children whose parents don’t have the condition. Children from chaotic or conflicted families, or children and teens who abuse substances like alcohol and drugs, are also at greater risk of depression.

Managing depression in children: professional support

Your child’s psychologist or psychiatrist might use cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) to help your child change unhelpful or unhealthy thinking habits and behaviour.Your child’s therapist might use other approaches like relaxation, mindfulness, play therapy, parent therapy or family therapy to help your child learn to think more positively and deal with challenges. This means your child will be less likely to have depression again.

Managing depression in children: support at home

As well as working with mental health professionals, here are some simple and effective ways that you can help your child:

  • Make time to talk with your child and listen to their feelings. You could do this when you’re making dinner together or going for a walk.
  • Gently encourage your child to do something they would normally enjoy when they’re feeling depressed instead of dwelling on their feelings. For example, a trip to the park or spending time with friends.
  • Manage your child’s stress and tension. Regular family routines that make time for exercise, relaxing and socialising with friends can help. Getting enough sleep can also reduce your child’s stress levels.
  • Look for apps that can help your child learn relaxation strategies, like deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, visualisations and mindfulness.
  • Speak with your child’s teacher or school counsellor to find the best ways to support your child at school.

Looking after yourself when your child has depression

It’s not your fault if your child develops depression.It can be really hard for you to see your child feeling upset, sad or withdrawn for a long time. In families, the way one person is feeling and behaving can affect other family members.

Although it’s easy to focus on looking after your child, it’s important to look after your own health and wellbeing too. Consider seeking professional help for yourself if stresses and worries are affecting your everyday life. Your GP is a good person to talk with. If you’re physically and mentally well, you’ll be better able to care for your child.

Best Anxiety Disorder Therapy in Nallagandla, Hyderabad

Many parents hope their child might grow out of their current behaviour, often children do. But if you have had concerns for several weeks or more it might be time to consider some professional help.

If you are facing Child Depression problems, then you meet us, we are experts in Child Depression Treatment and we are offering the best services of Depression Treatment in Hyderabad. At Neya Psychiatric Clinic in Hyderabad, Dr. Priya Nair is a specialist of Depression Treatment, and has many years of experience.

Addressing the mental problem at the right time and timely treatment of the problem quickly resolves the problem. Mental problems are very diverse.

We offer time-effective therapy and provide you with the skills and knowledge to achieve the most advanced level of functioning in your daily life. In a supportive environment with trust we will work as a team to develop a shared understanding of your difficulties and identify how these difficulties affect your thoughts, beliefs, behaviours, feelings and daily functioning.

At the Neya Psychiatric Clinic in Hyderabad, we know that state-of-the-art, evidence-based therapy and innovative psychiatry is paramount to your success. That’s why we prioritize exceptional personal service along with outstanding clinical treatment and medication management.


Dr Priya R Nair
Consultant Psychiatrist

Neya Psychiatric Clinic

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