Depression in children and teens is not rare. However, because normal behaviors vary from one childhood stage to another, it can be difficult to tell whether a child is just going through a temporary phase or is suffering from depression. Here is a list of symptoms and signs to help identify when a child is suffering from depression.
Common symptoms include:
Note: Not every depressed child will experience every symptom. The severity of symptoms will vary from child to child. Depression can be serious, but it is treatable. If your child is showing any of these signs and symptoms, talk with your child's doctor.
American Psychological Association
National Institute of Mental Health
Canadian Mental Health Association
Mental Health Canada
Depression in children and adolescents. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T906140/Depression-in-children-and-adolescents. Updated January 18, 2017. Accessed January 18, 2017.
Depression in children and teens. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: https://familydoctor.org/depression-in-children-and-teens/. Updated August 2012. Accessed January 18, 2017.
How do children and adolescents experience depression? National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/depression-in-children-and-adolescents.shtml. Updated October 2016. Accessed January 18, 2017.
Symptoms of depression. Kids Health—Nemours Foundation website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/teen/your_mind/mental_health/depression.html. Updated August 2016. Accessed January 18, 2017.
Last reviewed January 2017 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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