Introduction

Depression in children and teenagers is different from the feelings of sadness and other everyday emotions that most children experience. Depressed children are sorrowful beyond the range of normal sadness. Depressed children do not necessarily have the same signs and symptoms as adults. They are often bored by everything. They may be under stress at school, be upset about something that happened with their friends, sleep or eat more than usual, or just want to be alone because they don't have fun when they are out. Depressed children can be irritable, impossible to please, and moody, swinging from great sadness to sudden anger. If a child or teenager’s symptoms become persistent, disruptive, and interfere with social activities, interests, schoolwork and family life, he or she may be depressed. Depression is most likely due to an inherited predisposition to a chemical imbalance in the brain. Effective treatments include medication and cognitive behavior therapy.