Depression and anxiety
What does depression in children and young people look like?
Young people or children presenting with the following could be feeling depressed: Lack of interest in things that they were interested in before; lack of ability to enjoy things; withdrawing themselves; feeling tearful or irritable; lack of concentration; changes in sleep pattern; changes in appetite; having many negative thoughts or feelings about themselves; sense of worthlessness; sense of hopelessness and sometimes strong guilt feelings and at times, feelings that life is not worth living.
Young people often suffer in silence and do not tell anyone that they are feeling depressed. Young people often try and hide their feelings and may work very hard at looking happy. It is a myth that children and young people cannot get depressed. They can get very depressed and it often goes unnoticed by everyone close to them for as long as several years.
What are the triggers?
Many things can trigger depressed feelings in young people or children, these are just a few examples:
- Loss of someone you loved
- Family conflict
- Difficulties in friendships or relationships
- School pressure
- Feeling like a failure
- Worrying about the way you look
- Feeling different from your peer group
- Feeling isolated or lonely
What can you do when you feel like that?
First of all, you are not alone. You are not a freak or mad. You are a brave young person who have been coping with many difficult feelings and I am proud of you. It is important to realise that your feelings are important and you deserve to be taken seriously. Talk to someone you trust or ask for help. I will provide a few links to sources of help. You are also more than welcome to come and have a chat with me. My details are on my website.
When you think your child is depressed:
- Don’t panic
- Don’t tell them to snap out of it
- Don’t ignore it
- Listen & understand
- Provide safety & security
It is also advisable to get professional help. The earlier we can intervene the better.
Useful addresses and telephone numbers
Project dedicated to supporting young people affected byself harm, providing a safe space to talk, ask questions, access information and ask for help.
Free 24/7 helpline for children and young people
Helpline: 0800 11 11
Textphone: 0800 400 222
Helpline: 08457 909 090
For people under 19 years. Confidential and anonymous email and telephone helpline support run by young volunteers.
Helpline: 02088 963 675
Email and online chat via website Monday and Wednesday 6:30 – 9:30 at
For young people who experienced a loss. It is a safe place where young people can share their stories with others. Here you will find information and a listening ear from other young people.
Information and advise to carers of any age has a directory of local carers groups.
Advice line: 0808 808 777