5 tips to identify the Childhood Depression

How to Identify Childhood Depression?

Most people think that depression affects only adults and not children or teens. That is the reason why most of these cases go unnoticed and untreated. As per the American Academy of Child and Adoscelent Psychiatry, around 3% of the children in the US alone are affected by childhood depression. Their continuous depression interferes with their regular daily life and school schedules. If not treated, it would result in their suicides as well. I am not scaring you here, but these are the facts regularly coming in newspapers. Now this problem has also spread to India as well, as one can see the increase in the suicide rates among children and teenage kids. So that’s why this blog discusses the causes and symptoms of depression in children in detail.

What are the signs of Childhood Depression?

Emotional fluctuations are common in any human being. So children also can feel blue or down at times, but if a child is consistently in that low mood or blue mood for more than two weeks, then it’s an alarming situation. Generally, instead of showing their pain, kids express their irritability or anger to hide their emotional distress. So, as parents, we need to dig a little deeper to understand the reasons for their continuous irritability. Apart from this continuous irritability and sadness in kids, the following are the additional symptoms that we need to be watchful

# Noticeable changes in appetite and weight

# Inability to concentrate or complete the schoolwork

# Consistent fatigue and tiredness

# Not able to mingle with their own family members

# Always in the blue or low mood (sad, irritable, teary, ready to cry)

# Started using negative talk more frequently

# Changes in sleep pattern

# New/unheard physical problems like stomachache, headaches, etc

# Loss of interest in usual fun activities

In a few teenage kids, we can observe substance usage and identify it as one of the symptoms of depression.

Now the next question that comes to mind is the root cause of this depression. In most cases, it’s either one or the other mentioned below:

  1. Family circumstances: In most cases, the depression would be driven by the surrounding situations like friends and family. Any unwanted disturbance. stress/trauma in these surroundings might result in depression
  2. Imbalance in the Brain: Imbalances in our neurotransmitters or hormones might lead to depression as well. These imbalances may be genetic or a result of malnutrition.
  3. Family History: If the depression is there in one or other members of the close family, then there might be chances of the child getting that gene.
  4. Peer Pressure or High Expectations from Near and Dear: When the child is not able to meet the high expectations of near and dear or the peer pressure at school, there are chances that he might get into a depressive state.

The above-mentioned cases are just the root causes, but the person going through that depression is not a weak-hearted person; he is trying to fight a lot against all the above-mentioned situations, and he needs a little support from friends and family to fight this depression.

Can Depression in children be prevented?

Yes, children with a family history of depression or children with highly chaotic households are the ones who are at greater risk of getting into childhood depression. And it can be prevented if the experts intervene in the early stages of child development itself.

How to handle Childhood Depression?

If the child shows one or multiple symptoms mentioned above, we need to consult our pediatrician immediately to get the initial evaluation done. Then, the doctor would refer us to either the clinical psychologist or a life coach based on the severity of the case.

The treatment options for depression in children are almost the same as those in adults. They include a lot of counseling and medication. If intervened at the right time, childhood depression can be easily curable, and the child could lead a happy life afterward.

The following are some of the tips that we as parents can follow proactively to avoid our children getting into depression.

Create a rich social life for the children, apart from the close family members. So that they can have trusted people with whom they can share their problems

Create consistent eating and sleeping patterns. A healthy body and mind are less prone to depression and other irregularities.

Make the child more emotionally intelligent and talk to him about how to handle various emotions at various points in time.

Let him be a problem solver and let him fail multiple times before he can succeed. Please do not become his cushion to safeguard the kid from failures. Let the child know the pinch of failures.

Always keep the communication channels between you and your child open. Let him have the freedom to come and accept his mistakes to you. This way, you can make him understand that there is no pressure from the parent’s side on him.

As a parent, we sometimes don’t want to accept the fact that our child is depressed or has a mental health issue. It’s very important for the child to get treated at the right time by the right person to make his future life happier. So that’s another reason for us to build a healthy relationship with our child so that he can come and talk to us about everything and anything that bothers him. If that healthy relationship exists, we might be able to help our children as soon as possible.

How to Identify the Childhood Depression and what are the tips to handle the depression in Kids.

Suhasini, IP, is the Author of the book “Practical Tips for Kids Mental Health.” As a certified kids and parents life coach, she helps/guides you toward a happy family life for your kids. She firmly believes that “Emotionally Happy Kids of today are the Mentally Strong and Happy Citizens of tomorrow.” Let’s make the world a happy and beautiful place for our kids to thrive.


  1. Childhood Depression is often neglected, as we never think that kids might also be suffering from it. Thanks for sharing the symptoms and also the ways to handle it. As a parent its our duty to be observant for any signal and help child to get over it.

    1. Yeah, Pragun, Childhood Depression is one thing that’s most neglected in the current modern world.

  2. This scared me. It has become far too common in the last few years for people to ignore. The biggest mistake a parent can make is to not seek help and just assume things will settle down during such a vulnerable and dangerous period.

    1. Yes, Roshan its become a worrisome issue these days and we can’t ignore it. As a parent, we shouldn’t take any different symptoms that our kids show as granted.

  3. I suffer from chronic depression for 36 years now. I cannot handle it yet. I wonder how kids will take it. I really wish no kid ever suffers from depression. But if they do parents should be very supportive and go for treatment.

    1. True Harjeet, it really takes time and effort from both parents and the child. I really wish that no child should go through the Childhood Depression

  4. So true and it is often neglected as temper tantrum. You have spoken in depth about the problem on how to identify it and how to combat it. Kudos
    Deepika Sharma

    1. Well said Deepika. Yes most of the parents just ignore the Childhood depression as one of the antics of the kids.

  5. Thank you for sharing the symptoms. Childhood depression is often neglected a lot and young minds suffer the consequences. You have highlighted all important aspects.

  6. I agree.. Childhood depression is something which not many of us take it seriously and deny it citing some other causes but this make things even worse. You ate right in saying that child should be given responsibility and freedom to take decision this will make them a confident human being.

    1. Thank you Swati. Yes, unless we support our kid, nobody else will support him

  7. You know dear, I was about to write on same topic for my next post for #Causeachatter. I feel making a open communication with your kids work great in resolving all sorts of mental and emotional issues.

    1. Well said Surbhi. Unfortunately, that open channel of communication is missing between most of the parents and children. Though we tend to blame it on the availability of time as the reason for this, we need to take more conscious effort to spend time with kids.

  8. I totally agree that we have to keep the communication channels between us and our child open to overcome this . Let them trust us .

  9. Such an insightful blog. Depression is becoming so common nowadays not only in adults but in children too. being a parent, it becomes our responsibility to listen to the child and finding out “why” they’re behaving like that.

    1. Thank you Radhika. Yes, as parent we should be always on the lookout for the root causes of our children’s behavior

    2. Thank you Radhika. Yes, as a parent we should be always on the lookout for the root causes of our children’s behavior

  10. These are things that need proper attention and care. Parents must handle the situation gently before it becomes chaotic.

    1. Yes, Sindhu. We need to identify the symptoms of childhood depression at the earliest and handle them before the situation becomes worse.

  11. OMG… didn’t know that children can suffer from depression to this extent. I used to think that children can relieve their sadness during their playtime.

    1. Yes Aditi, its a scarier issue only. Especially after working in the Sneha foundation, I came across the number of kids who are really going through childhood depression. The numbers are really mindblocking.

  12. Couldn’t agree more on this, childhood depression has always been unnoticed, by labelling it ‘bachcha ziddi ho gaya hai’. I am so glad that now such sincere series has come as a huge help in raising the awareness and alertness to handle such depression into kids.

    1. Very true Archana. Most of the people think like that only and neglect the kids feelings.

  13. […] adults. Kids, especially after going through the trauma of a divorce can slip into depression. Signs of depression may […]

  14. […] Also, these tips would help you identify the depression in your child […]

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