Who Is Affected by Depression in Children and Teens?
Depression in children and teens is a growing problem that
often goes unrecognized and untreated. Depression affects young people from all
races, cultures, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Before puberty, depression
occurs equally in boys and girls. After puberty, girls are
two to three times more likely than boys to experience depression.1Depression lasts an average of 8 months in children and adolescents. Even with
treatment, at least half of those children and adolescents with depression
suffer another depression episode.2
children and adolescents are at higher risk for developing depression, such as
Have a family history of
Are preadolescent boys
(younger than 13).
Are girls in the early stages of
Have another health or mental
disorder, such as an
anxiety disorder or
attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
substance abuse problems (such as with alcohol, drugs,
Complain of physical symptoms without any physical
problems (such as
physically or sexually abused.
Have had a previous episode of
Have faced a recent trauma, such as a death in
the family or problems with peers.
Live in a home environment that
has family conflict.
Have a serious or long-term illness, such as
diabetes or cancer.
Wagner KD, Brent DA (2009). Depressive disorders and suicide. In BJ Sadock et al., eds., Kaplan and Sadock’s Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, 9th ed., vol. 2, pp. 3652-3663. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
(2007). Practice parameters for the assessment and treatment of children and
adolescents with depressive disorders. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 46(11):
Primary Medical Reviewer
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Lisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry
April 5, 2011
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
April 05, 2011
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