Child Psychiatry

5 Signs Your Child Might Be Struggling with Depression

Depression is a mental illness that can affect anyone, and it becomes more prevalent with children as they grow into adolescence. If you are worried about your child’s behavior or moods, there are some signs to look out for. 

Here, I’ll share with you five main signs and symptoms that could indicate to you that your child is depressed and some tips on how to support your child.

 

Here are 5 signs your child might be struggling with depression:

 

  1. Decreased interest in favorite activities.
  2. Difficulty initiating and/or maintaining social relationships.
  3. A sudden decline in grades at school and or different behavior at school like loss of focus or arguments at school.
  4. A change in eating and sleeping patterns.
  5. Increased irritability and lower self-esteem.

 

Though there are more symptoms than what I have just listed here, this might give you a good blueprint to better understand the issues that your child is going through.

So how can you support your child who may be experiencing depression? 

What we know of depression is that it is typically a worry about the past which drags us down and robs us of our enjoyment of daily activities and things that we used to like to do. 

We also know that consistent “behavior activations” can help your child climb out of the depressive hole they might be in. You, the parent or caregiver, know your child best and just might be the best resource in igniting their journey back to health. 

  • Start by encouraging them to engage in the things that used to bring them joy.
  • Physical movement is another great behavior activation.
  • Walking has been shown to effectively help in depressive moods. Walk with them with an understanding that they are in a tough place emotionally.

Change doesn’t come all at once and I know that can be hard for you as their parent or caregiver. 

Sometimes we need to understand where our kids are at and have the patience to sit with them in their troubled emotional spaces so that they can feel less alone.

If you or your child would like extra support, please reach out and schedule an appointment today. I can help. 

Matt Smith, Adolescent & Adult Therapist