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Signs of Childhood Depression

Depression can be triggered by events such as moving, changing schools, divorce, or medical illness -- but other times it seems to hit for no reason at all.

Regardless, if your child is sad, irritable, or listless most of the day almost every day and has had at least five of the following symptoms for two weeks or more, be sure to take her in for a checkup with her primary care physician. (If she has thoughts about hurting herself or others, or threatens to run away, take her to be evaluated by a doctor immediately.)

  • She's bored, low on energy, and having trouble concentrating

  • He's lost interest in once-loved activities

  • She's easily aggravated and prone to throwing tantrums

  • He's having problems at school, or is frequently absent

  • She's complaining about headaches, stomachaches, or other physical pain

  • He's eating less because food "doesn't taste good," or eating more, seemingly to try to soothe himself

  • She's having trouble sleeping (or sleeping too much) nearly every day

  • He's having difficulty in relationships

  • She's voicing an unusual fascination with death