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Telltale Clues That Your Child Is Depressed

By Robert Preidt

SATURDAY, April 14, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Know what to look for if you suspect your child or teen may be depressed.

"In children and adolescents who are depressed, you may notice more irritability and loss of interest rather than just sadness or a depressed mood," said Kimberly Burkhart, a pediatric psychologist at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center.

Be alert for 11 telltale warning signs, she advises. They include changes in sleeping habits, such as sleeping too little, too much or taking long naps; avoiding or not enjoying activities they once liked; withdrawing from family and friends; trouble thinking or concentrating; and a decline in school performance.

Other warning signs include changes in appetite, weight loss or gain; fatigue or loss of energy; lack of self-confidence or self-esteem; feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness; self-harm; and recurring thoughts of death or suicide.

About 5 percent of U.S. children and teens suffer from depression, according to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

The causes can be external factors, such as stress, bullying or a traumatic event, or depression or anxiety may run in your family, according to Burkhart.

A number of treatment options are available, including several that don't involve medication.

"One of the most effective treatments for dealing with depression in children and adolescents is cognitive behavioral therapy, which looks at the relationship among thoughts, feelings and behavior," Burkhart said.

Other approaches include exercise and behavioral activation -- where a patient's involvement in positive activities is gradually increased.

If moderate or severe depression persists, a doctor may recommend an antidepressant, Burkhart said.

More information

The American Academy of Pediatrics offers resources on emotional problems.

SOURCE: University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, news release, March 2018

Copyright © 2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=732334

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
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The list of medical terms above are retrieved automatically from the article.

Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


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