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Comparing Symptoms of Normal Moodiness With Depression in Children

Table of Contents


Overview

It is normal for your child to be moody or somewhat grouchy as they get older. But if your child is sad or grouchy for a long time or seems to take less pleasure in activities they used to enjoy, it could point to depression. Depression is not a normal part of growing up. Deciding whether your child's behavior is normal or is a symptom of depression can be hard.

Having a family history of depression, substance use disorder, or anxiety increases your child's risk for depression. A child is also more likely to become depressed if a parent is depressed.

Your child may need to be checked for depression if your child:

But younger children may have more physical symptoms, like stomach aches. This is because it may be hard for them to describe how they feel.

Most children will have some unexplained sadness or boredom now and then. Asking your child a few questions about how they are feeling may help you decide if your child needs to see a health professional for possible depression. These questions might include the following:

While questions such as these will not diagnose depression, they can open the doors of communication with your child and help you decide whether your child needs to be checked by a health professional.


Credits for Comparing Symptoms of Normal Moodiness With Depression in Children

Current as of: February 9, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
John Pope MD - Pediatrics
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
David A. Brent MD - Child and Adolescent Psychiatry


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