Depression in Children and Adolescents

Not only adults experience depression. Children and teenagers can also experience depression. However, depression is treatable.

What is depression in children/teenagers?

Depression is an illness when feelings are persistent and interfere with a child or adolescent’s ability to function. Children who are under stress, experience loss or have attentional, learning, conduct or anxiety disorders are at a high risk for depression.

Depression is also hereditary. However, depressed children and teenagers differ greatly from depressed adults. Child/adolescent psychiatrists advise that parents need to be aware of signs of depression in their children.

What are signs of depression in children/teenagers?

  • Change in eating or sleeping habits
  • Decreased interest in activities
  • Difficulty with relationships
  • Extreme sensitivity to rejection or failure
  • Frequent absences from school
  • Frequent complaints of physical ailments such as headaches and stomachaches
  • Frequent sadness or crying
  • Hopelessness
  • Inability to enjoy favorite activities
  • Increased irritability, anger or hostility
  • Low energy
  • Low self-esteem or guilt
  • Persistent boredom
  • Poor communication
  • Poor concentration
  • Poor performance in school
  • Social isolation
  • Talks or efforts to run away from home
  • Thoughts or expressions of suicide or self-destructive behavior
  • Alcohol or other drugs as a way of trying to feel better

image-35-360x240How are depressed children/teens diagnosed and treated?

Early diagnosis and treatment are vital for depressed children. Depression is a real illness and requires professional help. Comprehensive treatment includes both individual and family therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy and interpersonal psychotherapy are forms of therapy that have been effective in treating depression. Treatment may also include antidepressant medication.

Contact Fifth Avenue Psychiatry

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3 East 85th Street
New York NY 10028
T. 212-734-0506

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