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Childhood Depression Warning Signs

What are the childhood depression warning signs? This article covers some of the warning signs of child depression and  what factors may contribute to childhood depression. Know what warning signs to watch for in your children and when to seek help.

Many children have times that they are moody and may even seem depressed. Some have outburts of anger or times that they are very sad. Some parents may wonder if their child's behavior is just a normal part of childhood or if the child may be suffering from childhood depression. In this Childhood Depression article we will take a look at the warning signs if childhood depression to help parents determine if the problems their children are facing are more than just normal childhood emotions.

According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, if the following signs of childhood depression persist, parents should seek help for their child.

  • Frequent sadness, tearfulness and/or crying
  • Hopelessness
  • Loss of interest in hobbies, activities or lack of enjoyment in previously enjoyed activities
  • Persistent boredom; loss of energy
  • Social isolation, poor communication
  • Low self esteem
  • Guilt
  • Irritability, anger or hostility
  • Strained relationships
  • Frequent complaints of physical illnesses such as headaches and stomachaches
  • Frequent absences from school and/or poor performance in school
  • Lack of concentration
  • Major changes in sleep and/or eating patterns
  • Thoughts or talk of suicide or other self destructive behaviors

The AACAP states that 5% of children and adolescents suffer from childhood depression. This of course takes into account that children under high stress or that have experienced a loss, such as death of a loved one or divorce, are at a much higher risk for depression. Depression can also be hereditary.

Depression can be disguised by a child or adolescent causing trouble at home. Depression can be ruled out because the child doesn't show symptoms of sadness but in reality they are acting out and need help just as much as the child who appears to be sad or troubled. It is important to ask a child pointed questions to allow them to state whether they feel sad or unhappy.

In children and adolescents the early diagnosis of depression is key. Depression does require professional help. If you are concerned that your child may be suffering from depression, seek the help of a child psychologist or child therapist.

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