Depression in children is a serious mental health condition that affects a child's emotional, behavioral, and social functioning.
It is characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, worthlessness, and hopelessness, which can interfere with a child's ability to function normally and engage in activities they once enjoyed.
Common symptoms of depression in children may include:
Children may not have the vocabulary to express how they feel, or they may not understand what they are experiencing. As a result, symptoms of depression in children may be more behavioral than emotional.
The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that more than 10 percent of adolescents ages 12-17 experience major depression in a given year. It is on the rise in both children and adolescents. With early onset, childhood and adolescence depression can predict future episodes of depression into adulthood. Early and consistent treatment can help to lessen the risk of recurrence and reduce the severity of symptoms while improving functioning and well-being.
If you are concerned that your child may be experiencing depression, it is important to seek professional help. A mental health professional can evaluate your child and provide appropriate treatment, which may include therapy and/or medication.