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Moody or Depressed?

​​​​​This information is included in our Substance Abuse Guide. Click here to see the rest of the guide.

The Tween Years are a time when your child experiences many changes. One of the things you may begin to notice is mood swings. One minute your child may be happy and laughing and the next he or she is sad and sullen. Should you be concerned by his or her gloomy behavior?

A certain amount of moodiness is entirely normal. But true childhood depression may be a serious matter. As a parent, how can you tell when your child is experiencing depression? The following is a checklist of things to look for:

  • Has your child lost i​nterest in playing or in his or her favorite possession?
  • Has your child regressed to an earlier stage of development?
  • Has your child stopped wanting to participate in family activities?
  • Has your child's grades dropped?
  • Is your child genuinely sad?
  • Is your child's behavior violent or rebellious?
  • Have you noticed frequent mood swings?
  • Have your child's eating or sleeping habits changed?
  • Does your child have difficulty staying on task?
  • Has your child's personality changed drastically?
  • Has your child shown signs of persistent boredom?
  • Have you noticed poor hygiene or a sloppy appearance? 

If you believe your child suffers from symptoms of depression, please see your pediatrician for advice. Also, the Boys Town National Hotline is available to anyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Trained counselors can help as well as provide you with resources in your local area. Call 1-800-448-3000.