Depression in Children and Teens - When To Call a Doctor
Call 911, the national suicide hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255), or other emergency services right away if:
- Your child is thinking seriously of committing suicide or has recently tried to commit suicide. Serious signs include these thoughts:
- Has decided how to kill himself or herself, such as with a weapon or pills.
- Has set a time, place, and means to do it.
- Thinks there is no other way to solve the problem or end the pain.
- Your child feels he cannot stop from hurting himself or someone else.
Call a doctor right away if:
- Your child hears voices.
- Your child has been thinking about death or suicide a lot but does not have a plan to commit suicide.
- Your child is worried a lot that the feelings of depression or thoughts of suicide are not going away.
Seek care soon if:
- Your child has symptoms of depression, such as:
- Feeling sad or hopeless, or being irritable.
- Not enjoying anything.
- Often complaining of stomachaches or headaches.
- Having trouble with sleep.
- Feeling guilty.
- Feeling anxious or worried.
- Your child has been treated for depression for more than 3 weeks but is not getting better.
Who to see
Treatment for depression may involve professional counseling, medicines, education about depression for your child and your family, or a combination of these. It is important that your child establish a long-term and comfortable relationship with the care providers for the treatment of depression.
Your child may be diagnosed and treated by more than one health professional, including a:
Professional counseling (or psychotherapy) for depression can be provided by a:
Other health professionals who also may be trained in counseling include a:
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.