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Kids and Depression | USAGov

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Date: January 18, 2018


mother hugs her kid

You know in your heart something’s not right. Your child is withdrawn and just seems so sad. It’s hard to see them in so much pain. 

One in five teens experiences depression. And depressed kids are at a greater risk for substance abuse and suicide attempts.  

This guide from USA.gov helps you recognize and talk to your child about depression, and find the help they need to feel better again.

For Parents, Grandparents, and Teachers

  • It’s normal for younger children to worry or be afraid sometimes. Learn what to do if those feelings grow and turn into anxiety or depression.

  • Certain life experiences can make teens vulnerable to depression. Find out the risk factors and signs of depression in teens.

  • Counseling or medication can help. Learn about treatment options, what to consider when selecting a therapist, and how to prepare for the first appointment.

To Share with Your Child

For Younger Kids

  • When sadness is deep and lasts a long time, it’s called depression. Learn what that means, and what you can do to feel better.

  • Talking can help. Get ideas for sharing your feelings with someone you trust and find out what it’s like to visit a therapist or counselor.

For Teens and College Students

  • Depression can be confused with normal sadness or a bad attitude. Learn how to explain what you’re feeling to your parents or to a counselor or therapist.

  • Severe depression can put you or a friend who’s experiencing it in danger. Find out how to get urgent help.

  • College can be exciting, but it can become overwhelming. Get answers to college students’ questions about depression.

If You Think Your Child Might be Suicidal

Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 for confidential help 24 hours a day.

Learn ways to prevent suicide, signs to watch for, and advice for helping your child heal psychologically following a suicide attempt.

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