Distinguishing Between Unhappiness and Depression is important
Keeping a journal of changes in your child’s behavior is a good way to do this:
- Make note of specific shifts in their demeanor or any signs of depression (a few of which are listed below) that he or she exhibits.
- Record any instances of negative self-talk, especially those that seem out of character for your child.
- Pay attention to any times when your child seems more irritable than others and see if you notice a pattern forming.
In addition to general changes in your child’s personality, there are some other common signs associated with childhood depression of which you should be aware:
- Problems at school
- Low self-esteem
- Changes in sleep patterns and/or eating habits
- Inability to concentrate
- Lack of energy or caring
- Emotional outbursts
- Irritability (This can be an especially tell-tale sign for children.)
Remember, you know your child better than anyone else, so don’t underestimate any changes you see in them, even if they do fall into what might be termed typical pre-teen or teen-aged behavior.