What is depression?
Depression is a mental illness that is marked by a persistent feeling of sadness. Like adults, children & adolescents may also get depressed, but the characteristics of a child and adolescent depression is often manifested by irritability, boredom, or an inability to feel pleasure rather than sadness. Depression can be mild, moderate, or severe. Untreated depression can last for seven to nine months and depressive episodes are likely to recur and persist even up to adulthood.
It is important to identify depressive symptoms in children and adolescents because it can intervene with their daily activities & causes negative impact on their social functioning, school performance, and overall well-being. Depression is also associated with an increased risk of suicide. However, depression is treatable and there are different treatment options available depending on the child’s age, severity of the illness, and causative factors.