Montgomery Pediatrics, Inc.

Pediatrics located in Cincinnati, OH

Childhood can be an emotionally turbulent time, and for some kids, serious mental health issues like depression begin even before the age of 18. At Montgomery Pediatrics, in Cincinnati, Ohio, parents can find help for kids suffering from emotional troubles. If you’re looking for answers about your child’s persistent sadness, lack of interest, or other troubling symptoms, call the office to request an appointment today. A thorough evaluation can get to the bottom of symptoms and get your family on a path toward improved emotional balance.

Depression Q & A

Can kids develop real depression?

Childhood is often filled with wonder and excitement and is a time in life when one has relatively few responsibilities. 

Many adults wonder if kids can truly experience depression, but the research shows that not only is childhood depression possible, it’s far more common than many adults believe. 

Emotional ups and downs are a normal part of life, even for kids. In some cases, however, sadness and emotional turbulence extend beyond what’s expected. Knowing the signs of childhood depression can help parents understand when to seek help.

What are some symptoms of depression in children?

It can be challenging to detect depression in kids because they often go through a wider range of emotions than adults. 

All children will be sad at times, but the primary symptom of depression is sadness that remains long after the initiating event has passed. Additional symptoms include:

  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Social withdrawal
  • Anger or irritability
  • Difficulty maintaining concentration
  • Vocal outbursts or crying
  • Changes in appetite
  • Sleep disruptions or excess sleeping
  • Complaints of headache or stomach ache
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Changes in social interaction
  • Thoughts of suicide or death

It’s easy to overlook many of these symptoms as just another part of being a kid. However, when emotional issues begin to affect the course of normal days and nights, impairs your child’s ability to function at school or activities, and interferes with their relationships with family and friends it is time to get help.  

How is childhood depression treated?

Treatment depends on your child’s needs. The first step is a diagnostic evaluation that evaluates for depression as well as other medical or behavioral health causes for your child’s symptoms.

The foundation of depression management in children is behavioral therapy. Working with a skilled therapist is a great way to clearly define the struggles your child is facing and teach coping and communication skills. Counseling can be done on an individual, group, or family basis. 

Depending on the severity of your child’s depression, medication may also be a good treatment option. Your pediatrician can discuss the need for medication and the various methods available. A combination of drug therapy and psychotherapy often yields excellent results.

To explore this topic in greater detail, schedule an appointment with your pediatrician.