How to recognize depression symptoms in children and adults

Life can really throw some twists and turns at you every once in a while. There are plenty of opportunities to contend with anxiety, stress, and negative emotions. Sometimes children and adults encounter unfortunate and hurtful situations that can cause sadness and pain.  It really is unavoidable to encounter painful situations in life, but suffering is optional. 

Suffering means that you don’t really have power over your emotions and for some people this tends to cause major depression.

Haven’t you ever had a loved one or friend have something terrible happen and suffer a bout of depression?  Plenty of things happen if life that can cause such, such as a divorce, job loss, the death of a loved one or pet, disappointments, and so on.

Chances are most people struggle with sadness on occasion, but sometimes that sadness can turn into depression and because of this, it’s important to know the depressive symptoms associated with such.

Depressive symptoms in children and adults are much the same, with a bit of a variation. 

Here are some common depressive symptoms for adults:

  • Extreme feelings of sadness for more than a week or two
  • Tired much of the time, may sleep a lot. Tends to feel that sleeping is the only time they feel good.
  • Apathetic; they don’t care about much anymore like they once did
  • Very little energy, making it difficult to perform daily tasks or go to work
  • Loss of appetite or overeating
  • Restlessness, irritability, short fused
  • Feelings of hopelessness, feelings of having no purpose in life
  • Feelings of intense emptiness
  • Withdraw and isolate from others, stop attending community functions or chatting with friends
  • Feelings of extreme guilt or obsessing about past mistakes
  • Trouble concentrating, attention is quite limited
  • Physical body aches and a tendency to get ill more often
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts

Depression symptoms in children are similar to adults, yet there are some minor differences.

  • Significant sadness lasting for more than a week or two
  • Clinginess; wants to be around Mom or Dad all the time
  • Loss of appetite or overeating
  • Feelings of no worth, hopelessness
  • Isolating from friends and once loved activities, drops out of school activities
  • Self-harming behaviors like cutting, injuring self in some fashion
  • Alcohol or drug use
  • Drop in grades at school
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts

There are different types of depression and various intensities as well.  Also, some people only experience depression once or twice in their lives, while others may struggle with it on a more consistent basis. 

If you or a loved one are battling depression symptoms, it is important to see a mental health professional for an evaluation, as if you are diagnosed as clinically depressed, your doctor can create a treatment plan for you that will help reduce or eliminate depressive symptoms.

If you or a loved one is suffering from some of these depression symptoms, know that there is help available.  There are professional counselors who would love to sit and talk with you about your feelings and help you cope with them.  Talk therapy has proven quite helpful for children and adults who struggle with depression. 

Sometimes prescription medicine can help reduce depressive symptoms as well and both treatments together are often helpful.

The numbers of adults and children struggling with depression continues to grow, so knowing what to look for regarding symptoms will serve you well. Many times just going to see a professional for a few sessions of talk therapy will be enough to help you begin feeling better. 

Sometimes just being able to be open and honest with someone you don’t really know can help you let out feelings that you might not normally tell someone that you know.Counselors are well-equipped to handle concerns and help you to get to a place where you feel more joy and peace in your life.

There’s no shame in asking for help when you need some help, as everyone needs help once in a while.  If you resonate with some of the depression symptoms mentioned above, feel free to reach out today for help and get to feeling hopeful and happy again. After all, you’re well worth it!

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