Patient & Visitor InformationContact Us
  • Bradley Hospital Parenting Guide: Depression in Children and Teens

  • Signs of Childhood Depression

  • Bradley Hospital Parenting Guide: Depression in Children and Teens 

    Print the entire guide
    (PDF, 21K)

    If you are concerned or worried that suicide is a possibility, call a mental health professional for an assessment. Bradley Hospital is especially well qualified, with experts in children's mental and emotional health.

    Call Bradley Hospital anytime:

    Sometimes the signs of depression are obvious--a child may talk about his feelings and show his depression overtly. At other times, the signs are subtle. A child may be very lonely and sad but may compensate by being especially outgoing or cooperative with others. Excessive anger and irritability can also be signs of depression.

    Our best advice is to be observant of your children all the time and to pay special attention to changes that persist or seem unnatural.

    Common signs of depression include:

    Behavioral Changes

    • Reclusion
    • Loss of interest in friends
    • Loss of interest in activities the child has enjoyed
    • Negative point of view
    • Frequent thoughts of death
    • Expressions of hopelessness
    • Suicidal intentions
    • Alcohol or drug use
    • Anger or irritability

    Physiological Changes

    • Disrupted sleep patterns
    • Serious loss of or increase in appetite
    • Constant fatigue
    • Inability to concentrate

    These can also be symptoms of substance abuse; depression is often accompanied by alcohol or drug use.

    The symptoms can appear gradually or over just a few days. They can be triggered by an event, such as a breakup with a boyfriend, the death of a pet or an embarrassing experience at school.

    How parents can help