Depression is a mood disorder that causes a child or teen to feel sad or irritable for a long period of time. A young person who is depressed may not enjoy school, play, or friends. He or she may also sleep more or less than usual, lose or gain weight, and be withdrawn.
Depression may run in families. It is linked to a chemical problem in the brain. The chemical problem can be caused by medicines, illness, or stress. Events that cause great stress, such as moving or the loss of a loved one, can trigger it.
Depression can last for a long time. It may come in cycles of feeling down and feeling normal. It is important to know that all forms of depression can be treated.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
Call 911 anytime you think your child may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if your child has any problems.
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Current as of: December 7, 2017
Patrice Burgess, MD, FAAFP - Family Medicine
& Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & David A. Brent, MD - Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
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