Alphabet Kids

Finding your way through psychiatric labels for kids.

20 signs and symptoms of childhood/teen depression

Childhood depression can be helped if you recognize the signs.

In yesterday's article "Depressing news about childhood and adolescent depression," I wrote about the disturbing rise of depression in children and teens. Today, as promised, in Part 2, I will list some signs and symptoms of the disorder. The following list not only includes officially acknowledged symptoms, but also incorporates anecdotal ones culled from hundreds of interviews I conducted for my book Alphabet Kids, with parents of kids with the disorder, specialists who deal with these young people and those children who have the disorder. These additinal symptoms are often less discussed or rarer than the established ones suggested by the DSM or ICD, but, for that very reason, they might turn out to be the very key needed for a diagnosis.

Be careful with these symptoms; sometimes they are also signs of other disorders, but often they are signs that are present in normal, typical children.

20 signs and symptoms for childhood/teen depression:

1) angry outbursts 2) anxiety 3) chronic pain 4) clinging to parent 5) decreased energy 6) digestive disorders 7) helplessness/hopelessness 8) feeling melancholy or sad most of the day, every day 9) feeling tired 10) feigning illness 11) getting into trouble 12) inability to concentrate 13) inabiity to experience pleasure or excitement even when doing activities that were pleasurable 14) insomnia or oversleeping 15) mania 16) memory loss 17) phobias 18) refusal to go to school 19) serious weight loss in a short period of time 20) sulking

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For more signs and symptoms, and additional information on childhood depression and other childhood disorders, check out Alphabet Kids: A Guide to Developmental, Neurobiological and Psychological Disorders for Parents and Professionals.

Robbie Woliver is a journalist and editor. He is the author of the book Alphabet Kids.

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