Children's depression

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:45 pm
Childhood and adolescence can be stressful times, especially when children experience upsetting situations such as divorce or cross-country moves. If your child seems very passive or withdrawn, perpetually sad, or highly demanding and unsatisfied most of the time, these could be signs of depression. The depression could be triggered by either stress or a biological problem. You should consult a doctor, who can rule out any physiological (fizz-ee-uh-LAHJ-uh-cuhl) problem or may refer you to a children's mental health professional. Many adolescents today are taking more drastic, unhealthy actions to deal with stress, such as experimenting with drugs, alcohol, and tobacco; becoming involved sexually; and exhibiting violent behavior, either toward others or themselves. You shouldn't be concerned that your child will be labeled mentally ill or sick if he receives treatment, or that you'll be blamed. Your child's life, and the life of others, could be at stake. If you suspect that your child or adolescent might be depressed or suicidal, seek appropriate help immediately.

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