Depression?

My son is nine and doesn’t want to leave the house. Not only that but he doesn’t want to play with toys, hang out with friends and is a lot more withdrawn than usual. This is a very new thing going on with him but he also suffers from anxiety. I feel like he’s depressed, what do you think? Should I bring him to a doctor? Therapist?

  • anonymous mom
    Apr 06

    I’d say the pediatrician would be a good start..our office has a big sign up telling parents they’re the first advocate for their children and the pediatricians can only help if you make them aware of behaviors that seem “off.” Good luck, mama!! You’re doing the right thing by noticing and talking about it now!!

  • Amy
    Apr 06

    My sister is a child therapist and kids usually get referred to her through the school - you might ask his teacher if his anxiety is making his school work/behavior suffer and if they have resources available. Your pediatrician is a good place to start too. Kids have all the same emotions and worries we do but even fewer abilities to deal with them without help.

  • Rebecca
    Apr 07

    Hi. I am a LCSW. Definitely would check with your pediatrician first. When these are signs of depression, it usually presents a bit different in children with more behavior and irritability. Lots of possibilities could be considered. I would try just talking with him seeing what he may say about the difference in his behavior and also would definitely check with dr and maybe also set up a therapy session with someone that works with children and uses play therapy.

  • Rachel
    Apr 11

    I’m a clinical psychologist and an expert in child and adolescent depression. These are certainly signs of depression, and I would recommend making an appointment with a child psychologist to have him evaluated. I do not recommend play therapy as there is no empirical evidence of its effectiveness. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a better option for a 9-year-old. There are a ton of great resources on the Child Mind website: https://childmind.org/topics/concerns/depression/