Depression: Overview

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Learn how depression is different from sadness. Also learn about what causes depression, how common it is in children and teens, and what you can do to help your child.

Key points

  • Sadness in response to big changes or losses can be normal, but it can be a sign of depression if it lasts for weeks to months and begins to interfere with everyday activities.
  • Depression has a number of risk factors, including a person's genetics, the way they respond to stress and their family or school environment.
  • See your doctor if your child is no longer attending school or extra-curricular activities. Go to the nearest emergency department if your child is expressing thoughts of suicide with a plan.
  • Depression can occur with a number of other disorders, most frequently anxiety disorders.
Last updated: April 2nd 2020