The following questions highlight common signs
of depression in your children. You may have noticed one or more of them in
your child. Even if you have not, consider them anyway. This broadens your
perspective as you think about the range of difficulties your child can
As you consider each question, think about
whether your child has had the problem within the past month or so. If not, go
to the next question. If he has experienced the problem, put a check mark
beside the question and then go to the next question. Repeat the process until
you have considered each question.
Seem not to be getting up-and-over the
loss of an important relationship?
Seem not to be getting over a serious
loss or disappointment?
Think he cannot do anything about what
happens to him?
Talk about suicide?
Have a history of attempting suicide?
These are very serious signs and progress from
one sign to the next. It is hard to acknowledge your child has these problems,
your child is depressed and perhaps suicidal. It is easier to think he is just
having a bad day. Though this may be true, think about whether it is just one
bad day or if perhaps he has been having a lot of bad days lately. Honestly
consider whether there may be a pattern of bad days over a few weeks. Carefully
consider each sign. Does it apply at all to your child? If so, start by
assuming he has the problem. Since it is very easy to dismiss what you see,
your safest course is to over-interpret his behavior to be sure you are not
taking it too lightly. The following sections help you better understand signs
of depression that can lead to suicidal thoughts and behavior, facilitate
pinpointing the key issues, and enable you to appropriately respond to them.