Childhood Depression: What Parents Need To Know


If you have concerns that your child is suffering from depression, the time to act is now. Many children have bad days. It is normal for kids to feel sad sometimes. However, if your child has persistent feelings of hopelessness or sadness, it is time to have your child evaluated for depression. This is a serious health condition that requires medical attention. Here are some things you need to know:

What Causes Depression in Children?

There is no known cause for depression in children. There are several factors that can cause a child to feel depressed. Some factors include certain life events, their environment, a family history of depression, or even genetic factors.

How Do You Know If Your Child Has Depression?

Depression is a different condition than just having feelings of sadness. Depression in children presents as constant feelings of helplessness, worthlessness, and feelings of being alone. The condition is never-ending and can disrupt your child's daily life. Depression causes your child to have poor relationships, fall behind on their schoolwork, and lose interest in activities.

There are some signs to look out for if you think your child might be depressed. These signs include difficulty concentrating on tasks, feelings of guilt, irritability, feelings of anger, the inability to concentrate, fatigue, a sudden loss of interest in activities, and the inability or unwillingness to participate in social activities. If you have ever heard your child mention thoughts of suicide or what life would be like if they were no longer alive, you need to seek help right away.

How Is Childhood Depression Diagnosed?

If your child has persistent symptoms of depression, you first can take your child to their pediatrician. The doctor will check to see if there are any physical issues that may be causing your child's symptoms. Your child's doctor can also refer your child to a mental health professional for a diagnostic evaluation.

The evaluation will include an interview with your child and with yourself. Psychological testing may also take place to help recommend the best course of treatment. Your child's mental health provider may also wish to obtain information from your child's teachers and other people close to them to better understand your child's condition. Some testing will also include questionnaires and obtaining a full medical history.

How Do You Treat Childhood Depression?

There are several treatment options for children who have depression. Treatments are often combined to get the best outcome. This can include psychotherapy along with medication.

For more information, look into depression treatment programs for kids.


6 May 2022

Counseling is Important Even if You Are Taking Depression Medication

I suffered depression for much of my life, and I lived with it for years before seeking help. I visited a psychiatrist and received an antidepressant prescription along with a referral to a counselor. I filled my prescription, but I put off making an appointment with the counselor. The medication began to help, so I decided that I didn't need to see a counselor after all -- or so I thought at the time. After a couple of months of medication, a close friend of mine died of an illness. I then learned that even though the medication helped my depression, I still had not learned the coping skills I needed to deal with traumatic life experiences. That even motivated me to seek counseling, and it helped me immensely. I created this blog to remind others that medication can help when suffering with depression, but counseling is also extremely important.