Know the Signs of Depression in Kids

According to psychologist Victor Gardner of Detroit’s Henry Ford Health System, the main symptoms of depression in children involve persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness as well as mood changes, similar to adults. Any significant change in a child’s behavior should be addressed by your pediatrician. The following are signs for different age groups:

Young children:
• Increase in temper tantrums
• Self-abuse such as slapping or head banging
• Excessive demands for parent’s time and attention
• Restlessness
• Frightening images of monsters and fearful creatures
• Talking about physical danger
• Constant self-stimulation: thumb-sucking, masturbation, rocking

School age to adolescents:
• Drastic change in sleeping and eating habits
• Decline in school success
• Lack of emotional responsiveness
• Sullen, defiant, overly sensitive
• Withdrawal from friends or family
• Aggression against others
• Sleep problems: nightmares, teeth grindin
• More illnesses

In all ages, as in adults, additional symptoms to watch out for include:
– Problems concentrating
– Lack of energy and motivation
– Reduced interest in previously enjoyed activities
– Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
– Physical complaints like headaches or stomachaches that seem to have no physical cause
– Thoughts of death or suicide

Categories: Early Education, Family Health, Fit Family Challenge, Health, Health & Wellness, Health and Development, Nutrition, Preschool Health & Wellness, SK Health & Wellness