Rebellion or Depression


With all problems in schools these days, my husband
and I have been wondering what some of the basic
warning signs might be for depression in children. What
should we watch out for?


That's a great question, because depression is easily
masked especially in young people. It affects millions of
children under the age of 18, and can lead to serious
emotional health problems later in life. As parents,
educators, and professionals, we have to be careful not
to mistake depression for a "rotten" attitude. Young
people can often display mood swings, however a
continued slump may indicate a more serious condition.
Look for:
1. a loss of joy in activities.
2. feelings of emptiness, worthlessness,
hopelessness, and guilt.
3. difficulty in thinking clearly, making decisions,
completing schoolwork.
4. isolation from friends, family and increased conflict
with others.
5. repeated complaints about being tired and bored.
6. poor school performance, falling grades, frequent
7. possible complaints about aches and pains, lack of
energy, problems sleeping, changes in eating or
8. drug or alcohol use, sexual activity, running away,
vandalism, or other antisocial behavior.
9. thinks or talks about death, suicide or other
morbid activity.
Certainly all young people experience some negative
thinking and activities while on their way to adulthood,
but when a child displays persistent, unexplained and worrisome 
behavior, it's time to act, not to wonder.
Depression does not go away on it's own. With
professional help a child, adolescent or adult can
recover from this disorder.

For a free telephone consult contact us at the Rice - Lewis Clinic.

Answered by: Dr. Susan Bryant, Ph.D.