Not only adults become depressed. Children and teenagers also may suffer from depression. Depression is defined as an illness when it persists and interferes with the ability to function. About 5% of children and adolescents in the general population suffer from depression.

Children under stress, who experience loss or who have attention, learning, or conduct disorders are at a higher risk for depression. Depression also tends to run in families.

The behavior of depressed children and teenagers may differ from the behavior of depressed adults.

In children, the signs of depression often can differ than those in adults. Children exhibit depression often with excessive irritability, anger, and quick mood swings. It is not always the typical picture of depression such as withdrawal, fatigue, and loss of interest that is seen in adults. Child and adolescent psychiatrists advise parents to be aware of signs of depression in their youngsters.

In therapy, we work with children showing signs of depression by helping them process their feelings through play, drawings, games, books, and other expressive outlets. We help them identify their feelings, develop solutions and problem-solving skills and re-frame their thoughts into positive ones.