Depression in Children and Adolescents
Only in the past two decades has depression in children been taken very seriously. The depressed child may pretend to be sick, refuse to go to school, cling to a parent, or worry that the parent may die. Older children may sulk, get into trouble at school, be negative, grouchy, and feel misunderstood.
Because normal behaviors vary from one childhood stage to another, it can be difficult to tell whether a child is just going through a temporary "phase" or is suffering from depression. Sometimes the parents become worried about how the child's behavior has changed, or a teacher mentions that "your child doesn't seem to be himself." In such a case, if a visit to the child's pediatrician rules out physical symptoms, the doctor will probably suggest that the child be evaluated, preferably by a psychiatrist who specializes in the treatment of children.
Additional information on depression, not specific to children and adolescents, including details on signs and symptoms, treatment options, research, and where to go for help. more>>
- Child and Adolescent Bipolar Disorder: An Update from NIMH
- Children and Violence
- Child and Adolescent Mental Health
- Antidepressant Medications for Children and Adolescents: Information for Parents and Caregivers
- Clinical Trials
- Information about medications
- Depression Information and Organizations from NLM's MedlinePlus (en Español)
- Some mental illnesses also carry an increased risk for suicide.
Reprinted with the permission of the National Institute of Mental Health. © 2008 NIMH.
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