Signs of depression

Valissa Milanovich

Lakes Area Youth Service Bureau

 Teenagers and mood swings go hand in hand: Your child may be excited one moment and completely down the next.

Most of these situations are typical. How do you know when to be concerned?

Here are some signs to watch for in your child:

-Feeling sad, down or irritable most of the day, nearly every day for at least 2 weeks.

-Lack of interest or pleasure in almost all activities most of the day, nearly every day for at least 2 weeks.

-Significant weight loss when not dieting, or significant weight gain.

-Sleeping too much or not enough.

-Significant change in body movement (hyper/jumpy or slow/lazy) nearly every day.

-Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day.

-Feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt nearly every day

-Diminished ability to think or concentrate nearly every day

-Recurrent thoughts of death, recurrent thoughts of suicide without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or specific plan for committing suicide.

A child experiencing five or more of these symptoms in the same two-week period may be experiencing depression.

Depression should be taken seriously. Teens should be evaluated by a mental health professional.

Talk therapy is found to be effective in mild cases of depression. More severe cases may require the evaluation of a psychologist or psychiatrist, and medication may be helpful.

Parents know their children best. If you have observed a change in your child’s behavior, functioning, or mood, the child may be experiencing depression or another mental health issue. Talk to your child and help seek support if needed.

For more information, call the Lakes Area Youth Service Bureau at 651-464-3685.