The signs your child may be depressed and what to do about it

Signs of depression in children can include:

-Prolonged sadness
-Lack of interest in things they used to enjoy
-Fatigue and exhaustion
-Insomnia or sleeping too much
-Poor concentration
-Lack of confidence
-Eating too much or too little
-Inability to relax
-Feeling guilty or worthless
-Numb to emotions
-Thoughts about suicide or self harming
-Self harming

Some also have physical symptoms, like headache or abdominal pain.

Older children may misuse alcohol or drugs.

Depression in children can occur due to family issues, bullying, other mental-health problems, or physical, emotional or sexual abuse.

It can be triggered by one event, such as a bereavement, or a build-up of things.

If you suspect your child is depressed, try to talk to them about how they are feeling.

Let them know you are concerned and you are there if they need you.

If they will not talk to you, encourage them to reach out to another relative, teacher or family friend.

If this does not help, contact your GP, who may refer your child to a specialist mental-health service.

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