Coping with different emotions is part of everyone’s life, and we all feel happy and sad at different times. Sometimes feeling sad is a natural and appropriate response to what is happening in our lives. Mostly, we find the passage of time, life changes and the support of those around us help these feelings go away.
Depression occurs when sad feelings do not go away, and when they overwhelm a person and stop them from doing the things they normally do. It used to be thought that children and young people couldn't get depressed, but in fact they can, they may just show it in a different way to adults.
Some of the things that can cause children and young people to become depressed include:
- Parents arguing
- Divorce or separation of their parents
- The death of someone close to them
- Feeling rejected or left out within the family
- Problems with school work or exam pressure
- Changing school or moving home
- Friendship problems
- Physical illness in themselves or a carer
- Poverty or homelessness.