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Symptoms and Signs of Depression in Children and Adolescents

Depression in children and teens is not rare. However, because normal behaviors vary from one childhood stage to another, it can be difficult to tell whether a child is just going through a temporary phase or is suffering from depression. Here is a list of symptoms and signs to help identify when a child is suffering from depression.

Symptoms of Depression Common to Children, Adolescents, and Adults

Common symptoms include:

Signs of Depression That May Be Present in Children and Adolescents

Note : Not every depressed child will experience every symptom. The severity of symptoms will vary from child to child. Depression can be serious, but it is treatable. If your child is showing any of these signs and symptoms, talk with your child's doctor.


American Psychological Association

National Institute of Mental Health


Canadian Mental Health Association

Mental Health Canada


Depression in children and adolescents. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: Updated January 18, 2017. Accessed January 18, 2017.

Depression in children and teens. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: Updated August 2012. Accessed January 18, 2017.

How do children and adolescents experience depression? National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at: Updated October 2016. Accessed January 18, 2017.

Symptoms of depression. Kids Health—Nemours Foundation website. Available at: Updated August 2016. Accessed January 18, 2017.

Last reviewed January 2017 by Michael Woods, MD  Last Updated: 1/16/2015