Depression is a worldwide phenomenon. It exists in all parts of any society. Even children can be depressed. This is worrisome. That is why it is important to know what depression in children is as a parent. Depression in children can namely show itself in a completely different way than it does in adults.

Depression in children: similarities to adults

Just like in adults, depression in children will be characterized with a constant somber mood. They do not want to do anything. They will also do poorly in school because they get problems focusing and remembering things. This is also so in adults. Furthermore, children will even see the future in a sad way. They do not see the goal of learning of going to school, because they will not do anything in their life anyway. The self-worth is also affected in depression in children. They will think that they are worthless. As their depression progresses, their self-image worsens more and more. Children will also develop somatic complaints. They will have stomach aches and issues with their bowels and can get headaches from all the worrying. Depression in children in this aspect is not different from depression in adults. Depression in children is also characterized by a feeling of guilt, which is also found in depression in adults. They will feel guilty about everything in their environment, even thought they cannot do anything about it. Combined with somber future expectations, they will even feel guilty about the things they will not be able to do. Examples could include a university degree. They will think that they can never get one, because they are stupid. Above all, they will not feel loved by parents, classmates, and family. They will think that nobody likes to see them. This is also so in adults, except adults are more likely to think about their family. For this reason, depression in children and adults will make it so that the persons shy away from social situations. They isolate themselves from the outside world in fear of being rejected.

Depression in children: differences from adult depression

Depression in children is clearly characterized by changes in behavior. Except for their somber mood, they will often become aggressive. Because they have not yet learned what social behavior is accepted, they will be aggressive more often than adults. Furthermore, children will try to act cooler. An example is a little boy trying to talk about cool things on the playground with his friends. This is something you will not often see in adults. Children with depression will also be more likely not to enjoy games and contact. They do not want to discover anything anymore and not want to play. We are not only speaking of playing with other kids, they will not even want to play alone. Depression in children is characterized by a general disinterest in playing. As opposing the above symptom, children with a depression will be very dependents. They will isolate themselves and not want to contact other people, but the moment they trust someone, they will hold on to this person all the time.


For parents it is very important to know how depression in children works. If you have children who are depressed, you will question yourself quite often. 15Minutes4Me, a recently developed self-help program, can help you with this. It helps you to keep a positive outlook in life so you can help your child. 15Minutes4Me gives you daily questions and videos which can provide you with new insights. It can also help you to understand depression in children and to deal with it better. The program was scientifically built up with the help of cognitive behavioral therapy and solution focused therapy. It needs to be said that some mature children can partake in the online self-help program. The average age we use is 13 years of age. If your child is younger or you have questions about the participation of your child, you can always send an e-mail. We would love to help you out.

Am I depressed?

You can always fill out the free depression test to see if there is depression at play in your case. After the test you integrally arrive to a page with your scores. On this page, an interpretation of these scores is also given!