Children and teens can become depressed. Divorce, learning problems, family stress, and physical or sexual abuse, and other issues, can cause depression in youth. Clinical depression differs from the third stage of grief as put forth by Elisabeth Kubler Ross in her book On Death and Dying. A depressed person of any age needs professional help. Ignoring depression can be deadly. Is that clear? Deadly.
If you have or know of a child or teen who is experiencing a number of the symptoms listed below, contact a doctor or counselor or both.
1. Sadness that lasts for several weeks.
2. Complaints of physical illness or aches and pains that seems to have no physical causes.
3. Decreased interest in previously enjoyed activities.
4. Unable to sleep or sleeping all the time.
5. Decreased activity level or increased activity level, seemingly to avoid thinking.
6. Change in eating patterns leading to weight loss or gain.
7. Boredom, listlessness, or sudden onset of poor concentration.
8. Drop in grades or increase in school absences.
9. Wide mood swings.
10. Low self-esteem.
11. Frequent discussions of suicide.
12. Use of alcohol or drugs.
13. Aggression, temper tantrums, or anti-social behavior.
14. Excessive crying.
16. Strong feelings of guilt.
Childhood and teen depression is a serious problem. Please help others by sharing any experiences you have had with depression, whether your own or that of someone you know. Please don’t break any confidentiality with someone you know.
List taken from Growing Seasons: Helping Children Heal from Divorce and Other Losses, published by Living Free Ministries. http://store.livingfree.org/Growing-Seasons-Coordinators-Guide_p_162.html