Depression isn't as simple as just "cheering up"

“Just try to cheer up!”

Children with depression hear that a lot – from parents, teachers and friends. They’d love to do nothing more, but it’s much more complicated than that.

Karen Smothers, LSCSW, LCAC, Director of Clinical Operations, notes that depression is one of the most frequently made diagnoses at Family Service & Guidance Center.

Common signs of depression include:

  • Long stretches of sadness, hopelessness, irritability, anger or aggression
  • Losing interest in fun activities they’ve always enjoyed
  • Isolation
  • Frequent unexplained aches and pains
  • Lack of sleep or oversleeping.
  • Loss of energy
  • Frequent worry
  • Missing school and/or poor performance in school
  • Feeling worthless or guilty
  • Self-harm such as scratching or cutting

“Many children and teens who live with a wide range of mental health issues also experience depression,” she said. “Depression affects the whole body – thoughts, feelings, behavior and physical health. It makes an impact on all aspects of a child’s life.”

Smothers cautions parents, however, not to be too quick to say their child suffers from depression.

“A lot of children who aren’t depressed show one or more of these symptoms or behaviors as they grow up. Some of them are pretty normal for older kids and teenagers. A lot of parents need help sorting it out,” she explained.

If you’re concerned because you see these symptoms in your child, call Family Service & Guidance Center. A caring professional will assess your child and, if required, offer treatment tailored to meet their unique needs. Don’t wait. Call FSGC today – 785.232.5005 – and ask to speak to Admissions. Or you can get started by clicking here.