Depression in Children (cont.)
In this Article
Depression in Children: Who's at Risk?
Children with a family history of depression are at greater risk of experiencing depression themselves. Children who have parents that suffer from depression tend to develop their first episode of depression earlier than children whose parents do not. Children from chaotic or conflicted families, or children and teens who abuse substances like alcohol and drugs, are also at greater risk of depression.
How Is Depression Diagnosed?
If symptoms of depression in your child have lasted for at least two weeks, you should schedule a visit with his or her health care provider to make sure there are no physical reasons for the symptoms and to ensure that your child receives proper treatment. If your child's health care provider suspects depression, he or she will recommend you take your child to see a mental health care professional, either a psychiatrist or a psychologist.
There are no specific
What Are the Treatment Options?
Treatment options for children with depression are similar to those for adults, including psychotherapy (counseling) and medicine. The role that family and the child's environment play in the treatment process is different from that of adults. Your child's
health care provider may suggest psychotherapy first, and consider antidepressant medicine as an additional option if there is no significant improvement. Currently, there are no good studies documenting the effectiveness of medicine over psychotherapy in children.
Reviewed on 5/15/2012
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