July 25, 2016
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Depression in Children

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Depression in children facts

  • Depression is a condition that is more severe than normal sadness and can significantly interfere with a child's ability to function.
  • Depression affects about 2% of preschool and school-age children.
  • Depression in children does not have one specific cause but rather a number of biological, psychological, and environmental risk factors that are part of its development.
  • General symptoms of depression, regardless of age, include having a depressed or irritable mood or loss of interest or pleasure for at least two weeks and having at least five clinical signs and symptoms.
  • Suicide is the third leading cause of death in youth 10-24 years of age.
  • To diagnose depression, a health-care professional will likely perform or refer for a thorough medical assessment and physical examination and ask standard mental-health questions.
  • Treatment for childhood depression may include addressing any medical conditions that caused or worsened the condition. It can also involve lifestyle adjustments, psychotherapy, and, for moderate to severe depression, medication.
  • Interpersonal therapy (ITP) and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) are the major approaches commonly used to treat childhood depression.
  • About 60% of children who take antidepressant medication improve. It may take up to six weeks of treatment with medication at its effective dose to start improving.
  • Childhood depression is a risk factor for developing a number of other mental-health symptoms and disorders.
  • Depression is the leading cause of disability in the United States in people over 5 years of age.
  • Prevention of childhood depression seeks to reduce risk factors and strengthen protective factors using approaches that are appropriate for the child's developmental level.
  • Family members and friends are advised to seek mental-health assessment and treatment for the depressed child.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/18/2015

Source: MedicineNet.com

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