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    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.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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