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Depression In Children, Ambulatory Care

Depression

is a medical condition that causes your child to feel sad, hopeless, or irritable. Depression may cause your child to lose interest in things he used to enjoy. He may also be angry, do poorly in school, isolate himself, or complain about pain. These feelings can interfere with your child's daily life.

Common symptoms include the following:

  • Appetite changes, or weight gain or loss
  • Trouble going to sleep or staying asleep, or sleeping too much
  • Fatigue or lack of energy
  • Feeling restless, irritable, or withdrawn
  • Feeling worthless, hopeless, discouraged, or guilty
  • Trouble concentrating, remembering things, doing daily tasks, or making decisions
  • Thoughts of self-harm or suicide

Seek immediate care for the following symptoms:

  • Your child tries to harm himself or others.

Treatment for depression

may include medicine to improve or balance your child's mood. Therapy may also be used to treat your child's depression. A therapist will help your child learn to cope with his thoughts and feelings. This can be done alone or in a group. It may also be done with family members.

Manage depression in children:

  • Watch your child carefully for any behavior changes. Talk to your child's healthcare provider if you have concerns or questions about your child's behavior. Children with depression have an increased risk of suicide.
  • Encourage healthy eating and sleeping habits. Make sure your child eats a variety of healthy foods. Stick to a sleep schedule so he gets enough sleep. Your child may sleep better if his room is quiet and dark.
  • Make sure your child gets 1 hour of physical activity every day. Encourage your child to play sports or be active every day.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your child's visits.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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