Symptoms of depression
The typical symptoms of diagnosed depression in a young person include:
- feelings of unhappiness, emptiness or numbness
- crying a lot
- feeling hopeless or helpless
- feeling worried or tense
- feelings of worthlessness, guilt or self-blame
- feeling agitated
- increased irritability, anger or hostility
- loss of interest and pleasure in activities they once enjoyed
- tiredness, lack of energy and motivation.
- poor attention to personal hygiene and appearance
- decreased interest in activities/interaction with peers
- avoidance of family interactions and activities
- more withdrawn behaviour including clearly more time spent alone
- reckless or risky behaviour
- high use of alcohol or drugs.
- changes in sleeping patterns (trouble sleeping or over-sleeping and staying in bed most of the day)
- changes in eating patterns (loss of appetite and weight or over-eating and gaining weight)
- frequent complaints of physical illnesses such as headaches and stomach aches
- cognitive changes (changes in perception, reasoning and judgement)
- poor concentration, difficulty remembering information or making decisions
- being self-critical and self-blaming
- negative body image and low self-esteem
- thoughts or expressions of suicide or self-harming behaviour.
Depression has many meanings. If someone is feeling depressed it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re suffering from the disorder depression.
There can be a danger of medicalising everyday emotions, so helping your son or daughter to talk about their feelings honestly and openly can help you to fully understand what’s going on.
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