Sadness, Loss, and Depression

Children and teens can be sad for many reasons and it can be helpful for them to come in to speak with a psychologist when they are sad.

Our psychologists see children who are sad about their peer relationships or are sad because they are not “good enough” or perfect. We also see children whose parents have recently separated or are in other sad situations such as just losing a family member to illness.

If the sadness is interfering with your child or teen’s functioning and there is a change in behaviour, then your child or teen may be depressed.

Services - Children & Teens - Sadness, Loss, & Depression: closeup image of a monarch butterfly on a sunflower

Depression is rare in children under 10 years old, but it does happen. Rates of depression increase in adolescence to the same rates as in adulthood. Unfortunately, depression in childhood or adolescence leads to a much higher lifelong risk of chronic recurrence than if a first episode occurs in adulthood. Therefore, it is imperative to intervene early to reduce the likelihood that relapse will occur by changing key underlying psychological factors that lead to recurrence (e.g., low self-confidence).

Depression involves a collection of symptoms in addition to feeling sad or unmotivated. Depression can involve low energy, difficulty sleeping or oversleeping, lack of appetite or overeating, difficulty concentrating or making decisions, or feelings of self-criticism or guilt . Sometimes the primary change in children and teens is anger and parents do not realize that the reason their children are angry, irritable or having tantrums is because of depression.

We can help your child or teen feel happy again.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is the most common and effective therapy for sadness and depression.