Children and young people are not always in the best mood. However, if a child loses interest in playing and shows increased irritability, loss of appetite or insomnia, or frequently complains of stomach pain or headaches, these may be signs of depression. It is important to pay attention to these symptoms and promptly engage the services of a psychologist or therapist.
Children of any age can be affected by depressive disorders. But detecting depression in children and adolescents is often difficult. One reason for that is that children are generally not as good as adults at reporting their feelings. In addition, depression in children expresses itself in different ways.
The symptoms depend on the young person's age and only some of them correspond with the criteria for depression in adults.
Ultimately, medical specialists and psychotherapists are the only ones who can make a diagnosis. But, as a parent or carer, you can watch out for the symptoms.
Di Gallo, A., & Weber, M. (2005). Depression im Kindes- und Jugendalter: Wie erkennen, was tun? Schweizer Medizinisches Forum, 5, S. 925–930.
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