By Daniela McVicker from NAMI

5 Things You Can Do To Help Your Child With Depression

As a parent, you need to be prepared for dealing with problems—big and small. That includes taking care of your child’s mental health. It’s important to step up when things get serious.

Teen depression is not as rare as we’d like it to be. In fact, a 2016 study shows that 12.8% of US adolescents had at least one major depressive episode.

If you suspect your child might be experiencing depression, here are some steps you can take.

Learn How To Recognize Warning Signs

Teenagers go through various phases. There’s often a lot of mood swings and emotional episodes that comes with adolescence, and it can be hard to know when their behavior is a part of growing up and when it’s more serious. The first step towards helping your child battle depression is to learn how to spot it. Become familiar with the warning signs.

  • Low self-esteem
  • Withdrawal
  • Lack of interest
  • Hopelessness
  • Academic success deterioration
  • Drastic changes in eating habits (too little or too much)
  • Feeling guilty and ashamed
  • Lack of energy and motivation
  • Fatigue and aches
  • Thoughts of suicide and death

If your child is experiencing one or a combination of these symptoms, they may need professional help.



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External Resources

Mayo Clinic

Genetics Home Reference – NIH

Support program: Autism Sibling Support Initiative

Support program: Sibling Support Project

Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council

Maryland Early Intervention and Special Education Services

Administration for Community Living

Pathfinders for Autism

Disability Scoop

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

National Center for PTSD

Wounded Warriors PTSD Project

Warriors Journey Post Traumatic Stress

The Blue Ribbon Project: supporting victims of child abuse and youth in foster care

Faces of PTSD

Eating Disorder Hope website