Depression in Children
While you might have thought depression was something that just affected adults, the unfortunate truth is that children can suffer from it too. This is more than just a temporary sad mood or "the blues." It is characterized by prolonged, persistent feelings of sadness, worthlessness, helplessness, and more. If left untreated, depression can seriously affect a child's life in terms of school performance, social interactions, and even drug and alcohol abuse.
The good news is that once it is diagnosed, depression in children is treatable. Medications and psychotherapy are common options; your child's healthcare provider will help devise a plan that is right for your child. If you are worried that your child might suffer from depression, do not delay in talking to them about it and seeking help.
(Click Childhood Depression for a detailed look at this condition, with info on possible symptoms, risk factors, how it differs from depression in adults, and developmental stages that need to be taken into account.)