Depression in Children and Adolescents

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Feeling down or having “the blues” is normal for any person. Sometimes that person is having a bad day or maybe just not feeling right. However, depression is a mental disorder that can cause that down feeling for two weeks or more (Understanding Depression 1). Depression is a serious issue that shouldn’t be treated lightly. For a long time, children and adolescents were not considered able to have depression.(The Relationship of Self Esteem and Depression 6) Some thought the brain hadn’t developed enough for depression to become an issue. Others thought that children and adolescents didn’t have the stress or worry in their life that could cause depression. To this day, childhood depression is seen as a mask of some sort. Some children and adolescents use depression as a mask for other ailements such as digestive problems, constant boredom, or even aggressiveness. The debate still continues today, though, most cases it is not a mask. (The Relationship of Self Esteem and Depression 6) A majority of depression in teenagers and children are serious and should be taken as so. In most cases, depression can go undiagnosed for a long period of time (Depression-Teenagers 2). The most common symptoms are a lack of energy, irritability, and aches and pain. These symptoms must last for two or more weeks in order for a proper diagnosis (Understanding-Depression 1). Sometimes identifying symptoms is the most difficult part of diagnosing. Proper diagnosis should come from a licensed professional. If one thinks that their child has depression, they should first talk to their family doctor. A family doctor will usually refer the family to a psychiatrist, therapist, or any other professional available (Children and Depression 3). From there, the professional will perform a clinical test where it’s mainly questions about the patient, the patient’s medical history, family medical history, etc. (Depression in Children and Adolescents 4) With depression, come problems. The teen with...
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