When we talk about depression, we usually imagine an adult person with a series of symptoms, such as: sadness, loss of the ability to enjoy activities, recurrent crying … However, depression is a very common mood disorder in children and adolescents.

Despite its prevalence, it often goes unnoticed or is underestimated due to the lack of information and knowledge that is available since its expression is different from what we know in adults. Likewise, children at this age have not yet developed the ability to reveal their inner world, which makes it difficult to diagnose them.

For this reason, parents should be alert if they detect signs or symptoms that may be associated with this disorder because if it is not intervened it can worsen and become chronic over time, interfering in the different aspects of their lives.

Symptoms of childhood depression vary depending on the child’s personality and the stage of development they are in. The most common are the following:

SadnessSudden mood swingsIncreased irritabilityCrying more easilyLoss of interest in activities you previously likedConstant feeling of being boredHigh anxiety when going to school or participating in social eventsHypo or hyperactivityRestlessnessSocial isolationTantrumsSleep difficulties and/or nightmaresLoss of appetite and weighDecreased academic performanceBehavioral problems
Difficulty concentratingNegative thoughtsLow self-esteemFeelings of despairFeelings of worthlessness or guiltIrrational fears about the futureDecreased energyFeeling tiredComplaints of physical discomfort (headache, abdominal pain…)

In general, the symptoms that usually stand out and alert to the possible presence of depression are: low academic performance, constant boredom, feeling tired, loss of appetite and / or weight, sleep problems, feeling of uselessness, social isolation, hyperactivity and high irritability.

Psychological treatment can help parents understand how their children feel and what is happening to them, as well as learn to manage emotions and manage those situations that are generating discomfort.

If after reading this article, you have doubts about whether your child may have a depressive disorder or do not know how to act, you can contact us and we will guide you during the process.

Laura Maymó Gallurt

Psychologist Col. No B-03427