Medical illness was already cited as a cause of depression, so there's no need to go over that in depth again. But there is one thing that you may want to watch for in your child when it comes to illness and depression.
When Illness Is Depression
Children and teens often express their feelings through somatic complaints. A child who has recurring stomachaches or headaches with no obvious physical cause may be trying to tell you something. Some kids have even more vague symptoms such as a pain in their leg or a stiff back. If you cannot find any reason for these complaints, such as an injury, the flu, or a stomach bug, you might want to consider an emotional cause.
Is He Really Sick?
Parents often remain conflicted as to when a child's complaints need to be taken seriously. A quick trip to the doctor will help you determine if there is something truly wrong, if your child is merely seeking attention, or if there is an emotional problem manifesting itself in physical problems.
Hopefully, you aren't completely overwhelmed by the barrage of information to which you have been exposed. Now that you know so much about depression and related issues, congratulate yourself. But you have another job ahead of you — making the decision to get help.