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Mental Health Awareness Week: Depression

Mental Health Awareness Week: Depression

Depression isn’t just for adults, and it isn’t just being ‘a bit sad’. We all feel a bit down sometimes, but if these emotions and ‘feeling low’ last a long time or affect your child’s daily life, then they may have depression.

READ MORE: How to spot the signs of self-harm in children

Depression is a common mental health problem that causes people to experience low mood, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or loss of appetite, low energy, and poor concentration.

Spotting signs of depression in a child or young adult signs can be tricky to spot as a lot of these can be shrugged off as ‘just being a kid’, the signs are complex and range from;

  • Persistent sadness
  • Loss of interest in life
  • Tiredness/low energy. If this has been going on for more than a week, a parent should seek help.
  • Extreme moodiness, irritability and volatile behaviour
  • Giving up interests without finding any new ones
  • Showing a lack of interest in school and/or a marked decline in schoolwork
  • Concentration difficulties
  • Losing contact with friends or suddenly embracing new friendships whilst distancing themselves from family
  • Not washing or looking after themselves properly
  • Eating too much or too little
  • Being self-critical and overly worried about appearance
  • Sleeping badly or too much

The triggers for depression are not fully understood however, various contributing factors can lead to it, these can include biological factors (for example, genetics or experience of physical illness or injury) and psychological or social factors (experiences of bereavement, or life-changing events.)


What actually IS depression, though?

How to talk to your mates about mental health

Learn how to look at your problems in a different way

Discover how to help someone who is depressed or anxious

You deserve help to feel better

Depression is different from Bipolar – find out more