Child and Teen Depression

Normal behaviors vary from one child to the next, and adjust during developmental stages. This makes it difficult to tell whether a child who shows changes in behavior is going through a "phase" or is actually suffering from a bigger issue, like depression. 

Symptoms of Depression in Youth

Children and teens who suffer from depression may show signs that are slightly different than typical adult symptoms of depression. Youth who suffer from depression may:

  • Sulk
  • Complain of feeling sick
  • Refuse to go to school
  • Cling to a parent or caregiver
  • Withdraw from friends and activities
  • Worry excessively that a parent may die
  • Feel misunderstood
  • Become grouchy or moody
  • Have suicidal thoughts and/or actions
  • Irritability and/or depressed mood
  • Loss of interest in usual activities
  • Low energy and/or restlessness
  • Poor concentration
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Feeling hopeless and helpless
  • Feeling worthless and guilty

*These symptoms may resemble other conditions or problems. Always consult with a provider for a diagnosis.

Statistics about Teen Depression

  • Girls are more likely to suffer from depression than boys  
  • Recent studies suggest as many as one in five teens suffer from clinical depression
  • According to the World Health Organization, major depressive disorder is the leading cause of disability among Americans age 15 to 44
  • 30 percent of teens with depression also develop a substance abuse problem
  • About half of people diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.
  • Untreated depression is the number one cause of suicide