Children and Depression

Depression can look very different depending on the age of the child.

Preschool (under 5 years old)

  • Frequent unexplained stomachaches, headaches, and fatigue
  • Over-activity or excessive restlessness
  • Frequent sadness
  • Low tolerance to frustration
  • Irritability
  • Loss of pleasure in previously enjoyed activities
  • Tendency to portray the world as sad or bleak
  • Frequent fights with others
  • Withdrawal

School Age

  • Frequent and unexplained physical complaints
  • Significant weight loss or gain
  • Expressions of sadness or helplessness
  • Low self-esteem
  • Excessive worrying or anxiety
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Tearfulness
  • Unprovoked hostility or aggression
  • Refusal or reluctance to attend school
  • Changes in school performance
  • Little interest in playing with others
  • Poor communication
  • Thoughts about or efforts to run away
  • Hyperactivity
  • Frequent disobedience or aggression
  • Easily frustrated, frequent crying, overly sensitive
  • Suicidal thoughts