Childhood Depression

Clinical Depression is becoming more and more common amongst children and teens. This is a phenomenon that I notice both in my office as well as in more casual situations in daily life. Currently 1 out of 8 teens is Clinically Depressed, and that number seems to be rising from year to year. Often children and teens do not get the mental health services that they need, not because their parents are not paying attention, but because parents often have difficulty identifying depression in kids and teens. Children and adolescents are notoriously reticent in describing their feelings of sadness often associated with depression. Instead kids and teens experience depression through a different set of symptoms commonly seen in adults. The following are symptoms that parents should look-out for in their children: frequent headaches , frequent stomachaches, changes in appetite, changes in sleep patterns, inattention, lack of energy, and social isolation. Teenagers who present with several of these symptoms may be suffering from depression, and may need to be evaluated by a mental health professional in order to obtain relief from their symptoms, and avoid further psychological complications resulting from untreated depression.

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