Question for parents of preteens. My 11 year old daughter seems to be getting depressed. Like, at the drop of a dime. Even when we’re at Disney World. I played it off for a while being like, she just doesn’t want to go to bed or she’s just tired. But I’ve noticed it’s not that. For the past two weeks. And she notices it too. She’ll ask me why she’s sad for no reason. Help please. Anyone going through this? I do have check up appointment tomorrow with her where we will bring this up.

  • Nini
    Mar 19, 2018

    Maybe it could be hormones or maybe it could be too much screen time. There has been a LOT of research coming out about the link between screen time and depression. It does something to the brain. Is she interested in sports at all? I tend to believe exercise and team spirit is really good for a person's mood. Just a few ideas for you to ponder...

  • Jean
    Mar 19, 2018

    You're right to take action. So many children struggle needlessly. Your pediatrician is a great place to start, and he or she can recommend child therapists. Both of my sons had early therapy, and it was truly life-changing, teaching them coping skills and life skills that they were unwilling to learn from us. FYI - Sleeping a lot can definitely be a sign of depression (at all ages).

  • Emma
    Mar 19, 2018

    My 12 year old has gone through the same thing for the last year. I finally figured out that she is synced with my cycle. She hasn't started her period and I think she is at least a year out but she will have break outs and will start to cry and not know why. She is involved in team sports and it always turns her moods around.

  • Lisa
    Mar 19, 2018

    I went through depression at an early age. I can see it starting to effect my daughter at a young age. One of the best things to do is to make sure your family is eating healthy, is active, has a good routine but also can be spontaneously fun, and loving. This is a hard part of life that can only be eased by good self care, and even that won’t work sometimes, sometimes you just wait it out. The best thing you can do is be a support system! ❤️

  • Drea
    Mar 19, 2018

    My daughter is going through that too and she is the same age .

  • Tiffany
    Mar 19, 2018

    As someone who has dealt with clinical depression from an even younger age than 11 I would definitely suggest looking into therapy, but also open communication without pressuring her can be helpful. If she knows she can go to you with her feelings and that you’ll just listen without trying to fix everything it could make a world of difference.

  • Anne
    Mar 19, 2018

    It could be depression or it could be pre-puberty! In girls especially, the mood changes start early, before you can see any physical signs of puberty. There is a good page about the issue here: It does say to be on the lookout for excessive mood swings or long-lasting sadness as these can be signs of emotional issues that may need help. I think talking to your doctor is smart. Good luck!

  • Bridget
    Mar 19, 2018

    She could possibly be about to start her cycle

  • Lindsay
    Mar 19, 2018

    I’m not sure what state you’re from, but it could be SAD due to the Winter season. I’m up in the northeast, and it’s really common in my region for adults and children to be affected by lack of sun exposure and fresh air. The only thing we can do is take a lot of Vitamin D and get away on vacation.

  • Mindy
    Mar 19, 2018

    You might want to have a blood test done to see if she is lacking any vitamin. It could play a big role in her mood change.

  • Mariah
    Mar 20, 2018

    Also see about possibly getting her thyroid checked

  • Taylor
    Mar 20, 2018

    My 16 year old is currently going through this, I’m so glad she was able to open up to me about it.

  • Barb
    Mar 23, 2018

    I am having the same issue with my 11 and now 12 year old son. He goes into these swings where he can’t even tie his shoes... and then it is a big massive failure. He also is revisiting holding his bowls, that he did when he was 5. The pediatrician has been at first not helpful. Yes, we Could medically stop the holding with drugs, but once off, he returns to it. I am now pressing to get A referral To Psychologist next week. Will let you know

  • Amy
    Mar 25, 2018

    My daughter went through the same thing at that age, she is now 13 and sees a therapist twice a week. I would definitely suggest asking your pediatrician for a referral to a therapist, make sure she gets plenty of exercise, and is eating the right food. I know that it nutrition played a big part in my daughters depression and pre-teens/teens don’t always make the right food chooses. And always remember your child is still learning how to deal with emotions, things that seem small to adults could be world ending to a preteen. Always let them know this too shall pass and that you love them.