Can Children Get Depression?

Yes. Children often have typical “down” days, but when sadness and hopelessness are interfering with activities, school, relationships, and family life, it is often a sign of depression.

Signs of Depression in Children

One of the most significant signs of depression in children is persistent irritability. Other symptoms of depression in children are similar to depression in adults. You may recognize significant changes in mood and a loss of interest in enjoyable activities. There may be changes in sleeping and eating patterns, isolative behaviors, increased tearfulness, difficulty concentrating, problems with motivation, and feeling disengaged with others.

Triggers of Depression in Children

Common triggers of depression in children are a loss of a loved one or pet, significant changes in family life, such as separation and divorce, moving to a new area, family history of depression, serious physical illnesses, isolation or exclusion from social groups, family, or friends, relationship difficulties, substance abuse, and physical, sexual or emotional abuse. Symptoms of depression may coincide with anxiety and other common disorders such as ADHD, obsessive compulsive disorder, enuresis, or disruptive behavior disorders.