Depression in Children

  • Medical Author:
    Roxanne Dryden-Edwards, MD

    Dr. Roxanne Dryden-Edwards is an adult, child, and adolescent psychiatrist. She is a former Chair of the Committee on Developmental Disabilities for the American Psychiatric Association, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, and Medical Director of the National Center for Children and Families in Bethesda, Maryland.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Understanding Depression Slideshow

Quick GuideDepression Pictures Slideshow: Physical Symptoms of Depression

Depression Pictures Slideshow: Physical Symptoms of Depression

What is childhood depression?

Clinically significant depression can be generally understood as being severe enough to interfere with the person's ability to function. It is quite common at every age, affecting more than 16% of the population in the United States at sometime in their lives. Other statistics about depression include its tendency to occur at a rate of about 2% prior to the teenage years and is a leading cause of health impairment (morbidity) and death (mortality). About 3,000 adolescents and young adults die by suicide each year in the United States, making it the third leading cause of death in people aged 10-24 years.

What are the types of depression in children?

Children may suffer from the episodes of moderate to severe depression associated with major depressive disorder, or more chronic, mild to moderate low mood of dysthymia. Depression may also be part of other mood problems like bipolar disorder, as a consequence of psychosis, as part of a medical condition like hypothyroidism, or the result of exposure to certain medications such as cold medications or drug abuse, like cocaine withdrawal.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/18/2015

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