It is normal for your growing child to be moody or somewhat irritable as he or she moves through adolescence. But symptoms of prolonged sadness or irritability and a loss of pleasure in activities the child enjoyed before can point to depression. Depression is not a normal part of growing up. Deciding whether your child's behaviour is normal or a symptom of depression can be difficult.
A family history of depression, substance use problems, or anxiety increases your child's risk for depression. A child is also more likely to become depressed if a parent is depressed.
Your child may need to be evaluated for depression if he or she:
Most children will experience some unexplained sadness or boredom now and then. Asking your child a few questions about how he or she is feeling overall may help identify mild or moderate depression, which is more difficult to recognize than symptoms of severe depression. Some examples of questions to ask your child to help you decide if your child needs to see a health professional for possible depression might include:
While questions such as these will not diagnose depression, they can open the doors of communication with your child and help you decide whether your child needs to be further assessed by a health professional.
Health Tools help you make wise health decisions or take action to improve your health.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerJohn Pope, MD - PediatricsDonald Sproule, MDCM, CCFP - Family MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerDavid A. Axelson, MD - Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Current as ofJuly 26, 2016
Current as of: July 26, 2016
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
& Donald Sproule, MDCM, CCFP - Family Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & David A. Axelson, MD - Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
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