How to detect depression in your child

Lynne Adkins
January 20, 2020 - 4:30 am
Young boy sitting alone at school.

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Every child gets sad at one time or another, but how do you determine if it's a bigger problem?

If your child is unhappy and dragging around the house and it lasts for a couple of weeks or more, it's possible that child is depressed, according to Dr. Angela T. Anderson, a child and adolescent psychiatrist at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

"The core symptoms of major depression are a depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure in previously enjoyed activities and/or irritability," Anderson explained.

Other symptoms include changes in sleep and eating patterns, low energy, difficulty concentrating and a change in grades or problems with relationships. "The child is feeling worthless or having inappropriate feelings of guilt, which would mean the amount of guilt is out of proportion with the event," she added.

Anderson advised talking to your child, but if there are any worries about suicidal thoughts, seek professional help, immediately.