What is Depression?
Occasionally being sad or feeling hopeless is a part of every child’s life. However, some children feel sad or uninterested in things that they used to enjoy, or feel helpless or hopeless in situations they are able to change. Some children may not talk about their helpless and hopeless thoughts, and may not appear sad. Depression might also cause a child to make trouble or act unmotivated, causing others not to notice that the child is depressed or to incorrectly label the child as a trouble-maker or lazy. Children also may have more physical complaints, such as frequent headaches or stomach aches. Depressed adolescents may use alcohol or other drugs as a way of trying to feel better.
Common symptoms of depression
in children and adolescents include:
- Feeling or appearing depressed, sad, tearful, or irritable
- Not enjoying things as much as they used to
- Spending less time with friends or in after school activities
- Changes in appetite and/or weight
- Sleeping more or less than usual
- Feeling tired or having less energy
- Feeling like everything is their fault or they are not good at anything
- Having more trouble concentrating
- Caring less about school or not doing as well in school
- Having thoughts of suicide or wanting to die
At Childhood Health Associates of Salem, our Behavioral Health Consultants work with your child’s PCP to provide behavioral strategies to help manage their symptoms. This can include learning coping skills, learning about how one’s thoughts impact their mood and behavior, learning how to challenge negative thoughts, increase mood through behavioral activation, and more.