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Childhood Depression and Anxiety- Don’t overlook these important signs!

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Childhood Depression and Anxiety
I would like to discuss a touchy subject in pediatrics. Us adults
think that Lexapro or Prozac should be in the water because depression
and anxiety is so rampant with our hectic lives and numerous
stressors. However, it is also possible for children to have clinical
depression and anxiety. The way kids behave when mood is disordered is
different than that of adults and also varies according to age group.
Look for the following signs and take your child to a pediatric
psychiatrist or pediatrician:
Preschool children ( to thrive. disruptive behaviors, social withdrawal, decreased enjoyment.
developmental delay or regression in milestones.
school-aged children (6-12y): headaches, stomachaches and appetite changes.
irritability, boredom, apathy, fatigue, emotional outbursts, negative
self-statements, enjoyment (observed self-reported). worsening grades,
ability concentrate at school (this is often mistaken
for adhd).
adolescents (>13 years): Headaches, stomachaches, sleep and appetite
changes. Apathy, boredom, social isolation increased sexual activity
(think of sexual or physical abuse as well here), drug use (commonly
marijuana, smoking and alcohol), aggression, self-injurious behavior
(hitting self, cutting). Worsening grades, decreased ability to
concentrate at school.
RED FLAGS: If your child says that they want to hurt themselves, kill
themselves or hurt others please take them to the ER or to be seen by
their doctor right away for suicidal ideation assessment.
Furthermore, it is important that the child be seen by a therapist and
psychiatrist. One is for talk therapy and the other is for possibly
starting medication.

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