Charles Sophy (Private Practice in Adult, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry) gives expert video advice on: What are the signs that my child's depression could lead to a serious crisis?; What is the professional treatment for childhood depression? and more...
What is "depression"?
Depression falls under the mood disorder spectrum of a mental health disorder. It's either a high mood or a low mood or an irritable mood. It can be manifested in many ways. Depression can affect your sleep, it can affect your appetite, it can affect your socialization. It can affect your academics as a child. Depression is pervasive depending on the severity.
Do children of all ages become depressed?
Depression has been diagnosed in children as young as two to three months of age in reactive detachment disorder, where a child is not able to bond to their caregiver for many different reasons, all they way up to adulthood. So yes, any child, any age can be diagnosed with depression.
What are the signs that my child's depression could lead to a serious crisis?
Signs that your child's depression if diagnosed could lead to a significant issue or crisis will be an escalation of that mood or ecalation of the sleep problem or an ecalation of the appetite or school disfunction not getting better with a diagnosed and treatment plan in place. So if you have been diagnosed and on a treatment pathway and you see the significant issues that you were trying to address are not being addressed or actually getting worse, than you would want to say maybe we need to reevaluate that planning process because we're heading toward a crisis. You will also hear verbalizations from your child of maybe wanting to hurt themselves or others or not caring about things or the inabilities to get out of bed in the mornings or want to see their friends. There the kinds of things that would make you think that you not on the right path necessarily.
What is the professional treatment for childhood depression?
There has been a lot of research done in the treatment of depression and significant research supports the combination of medication and therapy for depression for children and adolescents. Depending on the severity of the depression, we'll add medication as a component to an overall treatment plan of either individual therapy, family therapy, group therapy or behavioral therapy. A combination of treatments will give us the best outcome when dealing with childhood depression.