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It is normal for your growing child to be moody or somewhat irritable
as he or she moves through adolescence. But symptoms of prolonged sadness or
irritability and a loss of pleasure in activities the child enjoyed before can
point to depression. Depression is not a normal part of growing up. Deciding
whether your child's behavior is normal or a symptom of depression can be
A family history of
substance abuse, or
anxiety increases your child's risk for depression. A child is also more likely to become depressed if a parent is
Your child may need to be evaluated for depression if he or
Most children will experience some unexplained sadness or boredom now and then. Asking your child a few questions about how he or she is feeling
overall may help identify mild or moderate depression, which is more difficult
to recognize than symptoms of severe depression. Some examples of questions to
ask your child to help you decide if your child needs to see a health
professional for possible depression might include:
While questions such as these will not diagnose depression, they can
open the doors of communication with your child and help you decide whether
your child needs to be further assessed by a health professional.
May 3, 2013
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
& David A. Axelson, MD - Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
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