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You may have heard it said, “A parent is only as happy as their saddest child.”   As a parent and/or caretaker, we can handle the normal ups and downs of our child or adolescent’s life.  Yet what happens when we notice our child is persistently sad, irritable, and/or uninterested in things they used to enjoy?

Here are common symptoms of major depression in children and adolescents:

  • Irritable mood
  • Feelings of persistent sadness
  • Depressed mood
  • Loss of interest and pleasure in most activities
  • Unintentional weight loss/gain
  • Decrease/increase in appetite
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Tiredness or low energy
  • A sense of worthlessness
  • Excessive, inappropriate, or delusional guilt
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • High sensitivity to failure or rejection
  • Recurrent thoughts of death (not just fear of dying)
  • Suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts

In order for a child/adolescent to be diagnosed with depression, a child/adolescent would be feeling several of these symptoms most of the day for at least 2 weeks in a row.

If you find your child/adolescent is exhibiting these symptoms, please know you are not alone.  The CDC reports that 3.2% of children aged 3-17 years (approximately 1.9 million) have diagnosed depression.

According to the CDC, childhood depression may mask itself as “unmotivated” behaviors causing one to miss the true symptoms of depression.  It is important to note that a child and/or adolescent who may be “acting out” or appear “lazy” could be struggling with depression.

If you are concerned your child/adolescent may be depressed, we are here to help.

Our caring therapists are trained to provide your child and family with a safe, supportive therapeutic environment. Our goal is to help your child discover the main cause of their depression, develop the best methods of treating the depression, and increase your family’s strengths and bonds.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us via phone or our Contact Us page. Feel free to visit our page “Preparing Your Child for Therapy” to learn helpful ways to begin supporting your child’s journey to strength and hope.