Reading time: 4 minutes
Suitable for: Families of secondary-age children. Families with older primary-age children may find this useful too.
Lots of parents worry about child depression. Many children have periods of sadness in their lives and they often naturally overcome them with your support. But how can you tell if it’s more serious and your child is depressed?
Signs your child may be depressed
It’s common to go through short periods of sadness as a child, particularly because of a specific event like bereavement, changing school, or friendship difficulties. However, it’s important to look out for signs that your child may be depressed.
Signs of depression include:
- Showing less interest in their usual hobbies: They might give up clubs they previously enjoyed and not just because they’ve grown out of them or moved onto a new interest.
- Stopping socialising: You may notice they are spending more time alone and making excuses not to see friends or family.
- Lack of energy: They may seem to sleep all the time, seem too tired to do normal everyday things, and take a long time to do tasks.
- Decline in school: Dropping test scores, lack of interest in school work, and concerns from school when they were previously fine are all signs something’s wrong.
- Low self-esteem: Your child thinks they are worthless.
- Feeling guilty: They might blame themselves when things go wrong, even when it’s completely out of their control.
- Feeling misunderstood: They feel no one understands them.
- Sudden aggression and impulsivity: You may find them damaging things, vandalism, or angry outbursts.