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Depression in Children and Teens

Depression in children and teens often first presents itself as changes in behavior.  Grades may drop.  A normally easy going child is irritable.  A normally social child is withdrawn and isolates herself in her room.  Sometimes there are clear triggers for the depression such as a major loss, move, social rejection or death.  Other times, it is impossible to identify the source.  Regardless intervening early is the best option as lingering depression only leads to more issues and potentially serious consequences.


For Further Information:

Understanding Childhood Depression
This website describes depression including causes of depression, signs of depression, and what you can do about depression. [kidshealth.org]

A Parent’s Guide to Teen Depression
This site provides information for parents dealing with teens who are depressed and what parents can do to help. [Helpguide.org]

A Teenager’s Guide to Depression
This site provides tips and tools for teens who are depressed or who have a friend struggling with depression. [Helpguide.org]


Screening Tools:

Columbia Disc Depression Scale for Teens and Preteens (11 and older) filled out by child
This is a checklist of signs and symptoms that can help determine if an adolescent is depressed and is to be filled out by the child.

Columbia Disc Depression Scale for Teens and Preteens (11 and older) filled out by parent
This is a checklist of signs and symptoms that can help determine if an adolescent is depressed and it is to be filled out by the parent.

Age Appropriate and Dysfunctional Behaviors in Adolescence
This document contains a listing of examples of both age appropriate and dysfunctional adolescent behavior.


Support Options:

Crisis Text Line
The Crisis Text Line serves anyone, in any type of crisis, providing access to free, 24/7 support and information via the medium people already use and trust.

National Suicide Prevention Hotline
This hotline is for people experiencing a crisis who need to talk to someone. It is staffed by professional counselors 24/7/365. If you need help for yourself, a friend, or family member, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) right away.