During childhood, we are taught many things, however, spotting depression is not one of them. While childhood is often thought of as a better time in our life, that isn’t the case for everyone.

Most adults assume when a teenager or adolescent shows signs of depression that they are just moody, or hormonal. In other cases, they may pass it off as them trying to seek attention. But, by doing so, they are overlooking a severe and treatable illness that is much easier to deal with early on.

If you grew up with depression, then you know what I mean. Regardless, there are signs of depression and for many of us, we realize them much later on when looking back at that time. Here are 8 signs you grew up depressed.

1. Difficulty making friends.

Depression during childhood can be hard on a child, and can also impact their ability to make friends and to socialize. In many cases, depressed children will have low self-esteem and in turn, they may isolate and spend more time alone, rather than trying to make friends.

2. Extreme caution.

In children, depression looks much different than it does in adults. Depressed children may be fearful, anxious, or overly cautious of activities that children without depression would be interested in.

3. Feelings of emptiness.

While most believe depression to be extreme sadness, that isn’t always the case. For many, especially younger people, depression can look like anhedonia, which is the feeling of emptiness. This can be especially frightening for children because it can come on suddenly.

4. Su!cidal thoughts.

Children or adolescents who are depressed may talk about death and su!cide, or even idealize su!cide. If you know a younger person who is obsessed with death or the idea of su!cide, it’s best to seek help for them.

5. An inability to focus.

Many people who experienced depression as a child report an inability to focus. This makes sense because depression can be mind-consuming, making it hard to focus on much else.

6. Sleeping too much or too little.

A depressed child may sleep all hours of the day, or barely sleep at all, it depends on them. However, notable sleep changes are a major indicator of depression.

7. Not having an interest in activities.

As children, we are much more open to fun and spending time on our favorite activities. But, depressed children often lose interest in their favorite activities and withdraw inward.

8. Behavioral problems.

One of the most prevalent signs of depression in younger people is behavioral problems. Since younger people are still in their formative years, they often don’t have the tools to express their feelings. In turn, their feelings may come out in several unexpected ways, including bad behavior.

Going through depression at a young age is a difficult experience for anyone. I spent the majority of my late childhood and teenage years extremely depressed, and couldn’t understand what was wrong with me. And the above signs all fit the bill and match up to much of what I experience. What do you think?

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