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When to Seek Help for Depression in Children

Get Help for Depression & Children

Most children feel sad and low every once in a while, but these feelings usually pass in a few days. Untreated depression, however, lasts for a long time and interferes with day-to-day activity.

Children who are depressed may complain of feeling sick, refuse to go to school, cling to a parent or caregiver, or worry excessively that a parent may die. Older children may sulk, get into trouble, be negative or grouchy, or feel misunderstood. Youth are more likely to respond to treatment if they receive it early in the course of their illness.

What to Watch For

  • Anger, irritability & agitation are typical

  • Deep feelings of sadness and hopelessness

  • Anxiety and fearfulness

  • Physical complaints: headaches, stomachaches

  • Withdrawl from family & friends

  • Loss of interest/pleasure in activities

  • Extreme sensitivity to rejection & failure

  • Low self-esteem, guilt, feel worthless

  • Trouble concentrating & making decisions

  • Loss of energy/increased fatigue

  • Insomnia or oversleeping

  • Changes in appetite & weight (up or down)

When to Worry

All parents might see any of these symptoms in their children on occasion. It is time to seek professional help when:

  • Multiple symptoms appear

  • Over a long period of time

  • Symptoms are interfering with the child’s ability to function: refusal to go to school, personal hygiene, grades, lack of friends, troubled relationships, running away, self injury, substance abuse

  • Child talks about wanting to die and has thoughts of suicide

24-Hour Crisis Hotline

24 hour crisis lines are available to help in a mental health crisis, answer questions and concerns, and to schedule appointments with a mental health professional. Call 330.296.3555 for Coleman or 330.678.4357 for Townhall II, or text 4hope to 741 741.

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