Discussing depression with your children is always a difficult discussion to have, but also incredibly important. The markers of depression often go unnoticed in children due to their usual abundance of energy or positive attitudes. Shockingly enough, 60% of teens and children with depression are not being given help that they need!
Summer is a happier time for children and teens in general: no school, hanging out with friends, and playing by the pool. Nonetheless, it is crucial to know the signs of depression in your children, whether they are in school or not.
Signs and Symptoms of Depression in Teens and Children:
- Dismal Academic Performance:What were your child’s grades this year? An overall decrease in your child’s usual grades can be a telltale sign of depression. Depression causes a decrease in motivation, a lower amount of energy, and a lack of concentration, resulting in poor overall academic performance.
- Drained of Energy:Does your child seem more lethargic, tired, or drained? Depression, in teens and children, can manifest itself in a lack of sleep. This causes a large disruption in their normal sleep schedule, leading them to seem and feel more easily fatigued and sluggish.
- Annoyance and Irritability:Have your child’s behaviors become more confrontational or do they get irritated often? Annoyance and irritability is a frequent symptom among people with depression. The change of their sleep cycle and lack of sleep causes them to become irritated and annoyed much easier. Children are prone to beginning confrontation or starting fights when experiencing depression.
- Friend Change: Has your child changed friends recently? New friends can pop up in your child’s life while they are going through depression. This is because, as they are going through depression, they are turning to others who share a pessimistic or cynical view. Be careful, as running with the wrong crowd has dangerous effects, such as the abuse of drugs and alcohol.
- Social Isolation:Does your child seem withdrawn? When children isolate themselves from their usual friends, it can be a defining sign of depression. As they become more lethargic and tired, they begin to pull back from their usual interests, activities, and friends. Children experiencing social isolation might say things like “I’m not in the mood,” “I just don’t want to,” or “I don’t feel like myself today.”
Depression is a medical condition that can be treated when cared for correctly. If you recognize any of these signs or symptoms in your teen or child, call the Institute for Advanced Medical Research at770-817-9200 to learn more about how to best to treat depression in your teen or child.