Depression is a mental state characterized feeling of sadness, loneliness, low self esteem and self approach. Teen Depression occurs in children and teens as it does in adults. The accompanying signs include psychomotor retardation or at times agitation, withdrawal from inter-personal contact and vegetative symptoms such as insomnia and anorexia, although less common in children than in adults.
Prevalence rate is found to be, 0.3% in pre schoolers, 0.4 to 3% in school age and 0.4 to 4.6% in adolescents.
Etiology and course:
Offsprings of adults with mood disorders have higher incidence of depression.
Monozygotic twins are 2- 5 times higher risk than dizygotic twins
2.Anaclitic depression occurs in children between 7- 30 months usually due to lengthy separation from care givers with those they have established attachment relationship.
3. Children often become depressed after a loss, such as the death of a parent or friend, the death of a pet.
4. Others causes include, parental conflicts, abuse rejection, failing grades at school.
Teen Depression Symptoms:
According to DSM-IV and ICD- 10, the criteria for childhood and adult depression are almost the same.
Feeling of apathy
Low threshold for frustration
Associated conditions such anxiety, substance abuse and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder may be present (ADHD).
Teen Depression: Consequences
Poor school performance
Dropping out of schools
Teen Depression: Treatment
Intensive psychotherapy continues to be the mainstay of treatment for depression in children and adolescents.
Medications such as SSRI’s and tricyclic antidepressants are the treatment of choice in some adolescents and children with vegetative signs, not responding to psychotherapy.
Follow up needed regarding child and family education, when to stop the anti depressant treatment and treatment of co-morbid psychiatric disorders. Teen Depression can also be treated through various therapy sessions that can be helpful too.
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