Are you concerned your child is depressed
For the month of September, The Center for Collaborative Counseling and Psychiatry is focused
on increasing awareness of suicide and suicide prevention. Suicide occurs across all ages and
while we often think of mental health concerns as occurring only with adults and adolescents, it
is important to remember that children can also experience anxiety and depression. While it is
less common than older children and adolescents, up to 7% of children can experience anxiety
between the ages of three and 12 and up to 3% of children can experience depression in that age
Depression and young kids and adolescents
Depression can look different in children than in adults or adolescents. They also may not have
the ability to communicate or even realize they are feeling differently than they should. “Causes”
of depression cannot always be pinpointed, but factors such as stress in their environment
(bullying, family life), physical illness, family history of depression, or other stressful life events
can lead to changes in mood.
Parents and caregivers should look out for (often subtle) changes in their children
Are they have more difficulty in school? Are teachers bringing up concerns? Are they struggling with friends? Do they make comments about how they are different from other children? Are they no longer interested in their favorite activities? Would they rather be left alone in their room? Do they cry more easily or shut down more often? Are they more irritable or angry?
If you feel there is a change that is lasting longer than two weeks, contact your pediatrician to
discuss your concerns. It is important to rule out any underlying medical concerns like vitamin D
deficiency or hypothyroidism. Based on their evaluation, therapy or a mental health evaluation
may be recommended. While depression and suicide is far less common in children, recognizing
your child is struggling and seeking out mental health services early on can help and improve
their well-being in the future.
Resources such as the new suicide prevention hotline at 9-8-8 can also be utilized for any
questions or concerns.
If you are seeking out medication management services or mental health interventions, meet with one of our PMHNPs or clinicians in either the St. Charles or Algonquin offices at 847-440-2281.
ARE YOU CONCERNDED YOUR CHILD IS DEPRESSED
Chandni Parikh, PMHNP, CPNP
The Center for Collaborative Counseling and Psychiatry