Everyone feels down sometimes, but depression is more than this. People with depression feel sad for long stretches at a time – and this can be experienced by young people as well as adults.
This is similar with anxiety. Everyone feels nervous from time to time. But some people find it harder to control anxiety.
Children and young people can find it especially difficult to express their feelings and open up to others. If they’re suffering from depression they may feel like there is no hope and find it difficult to imagine ever being happy again. Or, if they’re highly anxious they may be even more worried about talking to someone about how they feel. (NSPCC)
The symptoms of depression
Depression affects different people in different ways. Symptoms can include:
- not wanting to do things that you previously enjoyed
- avoiding friends or social situations
- sleeping more or less than normal
- eating more or less than normal
- feeling irritable, upset, miserable or lonely
- being self-critical
- feeling hopeless
- maybe wanting to self-harm
- feeling tired and not having any energy
Just because you experience one or more of these symptoms, it doesn’t mean you’re definitely affected by depression. It’s important to talk to your GP to get a full diagnosis. (Young Minds)
What to do about depression
Take the first step
depression can affect anyone, and you deserve help to feel better. Talk to someone you like and trust, like a teacher, relative, counsellor or friend.
You should also see your GP. They may offer to refer you to the child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS), an expert or a psychiatrist who can help you. (Young Minds)
The following website links have valuable information to help support your child: