How is depression diagnosed?
There are other problems in children that showed similar symptoms with depression. It is therefore important for the primary care provider to accurately differentiate the diagnoses of mental illness and medical conditions. To assess the illness, there are many depression rating scales available for children and adolescents. The proper assessment can be used as a tool for developing effective therapeutic and pharmacological interventions.
The diagnostic criteria for depression in children and adolescents and for adults are basically the same, but the expression of symptoms varies with each developmental stage. Since adolescents may not always show the same depressive symptoms as with adults, the most prominent way to recognize and diagnose the depression is through its symptoms
Because of the related developmental issues, diagnosing depression on these age groups may be difficult. In some cases, children and adolescents have difficulties in identifying and describing the state of their internal mood.
DSM-IV criteria for Depression in child and adolescents