Successful treatment available for childhood depression
JEFFERSON CITY —
Occasional sadness or the feeling of hopelessness is a part of every child's life. When children feel persistent sadness and hopelessness however, they may be diagnosed with depression.
While depression must first be identified, successful treatment is available.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 60 percent of adolescents experience depression at some time.
"They place themselves kind of isolated and they don't want to interact anymore," pediatrician Dr. Olga Brea-Pena said.
She said life changes often set off depression.
"Family disruptions such as divorce, those can be the trigger for depression, also having friendship issues can trigger despression as well in teenagers and children." She said there is help for depression.
"It's very important to acknowledge that this is a disease, that it can happen, that it's ok, but we can help."
For teens, a patient questionaire helps doctors determine what type of treatment is needed.
"It's better to be on the safe side rather than regret not looking for help and seeing the consequences," Dr. Brea-Pena said.
As treatment progresses and children are able to put depression behind them, happiness of the patient comes with rewards for doctors, "It's very rewarding to see that the family and the patient can thrive and look for better options on how to cope with emotions."