Who Is Affected by Depression in Children and Teens?
Depression in children and teens is a growing problem that often goes unrecognized and untreated. Depression affects young people from all races, cultures, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Before puberty, depression occurs equally in boys and girls. After puberty, girls are two to three times more likely than boys to experience depression.Reference 1 Depression lasts an average of 8 months in children and adolescents. Even with treatment, at least half of those children and adolescents with depression suffer another depression episode.Reference 2
Some children and adolescents are at higher risk for developing depression, such as those who:
- Have a family history of Reference depression Opens New Window.
- Are preadolescent boys (younger than 13).
- Are girls in the early stages of Reference puberty Opens New Window.
- Have another health or mental disorder, such as an Reference anxiety disorder Opens New Window or Reference attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) Opens New Window.
- Have Reference substance abuse Opens New Window problems (such as with alcohol, drugs, or nicotine).
- Complain of physical symptoms without any physical problems (such as Reference somatization disorder Opens New Window).
- Have been physically or sexually abused.
- Have had a previous episode of depression.
- Have faced a recent trauma, such as a death in the family or problems with peers.
- Live in a home environment that has family conflict.
- Have a serious or long-term illness, such as Reference diabetes Opens New Window or cancer.
- Are uncertain of their sexual orientation.
Wagner KD, Brent DA (2009). Depressive disorders and suicide. In BJ Sadock et al., eds., Kaplan and Sadock’s Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, 9th ed., vol. 2, pp. 3652–3663. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (2007). Practice parameters for the assessment and treatment of children and adolescents with depressive disorders. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 46(11): 1503-1526.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: April 5, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Lisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry