Depression in Children and Teens

THIS INFORMATION IS USEFUL FOR CHILDREN
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Why Yale Medicine?
  • Advanced scientific insight into the environmental context of child depression, including the influence of family
  • Broad experience in mental health disorders and a commitment to helping children move past depression and into happier, more productive lives
  • Known for developing, refining and applying a variety of evidence-based therapies that are carefully chosen for each child

Learning to balance life’s positive experiences and emotions with the unhappy ones is an important part of growing up, but some children find this to be a struggle. Childhood depression affects an estimated 5 percent of American children and adolescents. And while depression was long seen as an adult problem, researchers now know that even a 2-year-old can experience depression.

As children get older, some of those who suffer from depression have thoughts of killing themselves, a condition otherwise known as suicide ideation. Such thoughts can be fleeting ideas that suicide may be a solution to a situation (such as a painful breakup), or they may be more carefully thought out plans on how to make it happen.

At Yale Medicine Child Study Center, our highly trained clinicians have extensive experience delving into the environmental contexts of child depression, including family influence. We work with families to properly diagnose an array of mental health concerns among children and treat them. 

Depression may be diagnosed when a child or teen has persistent feelings of sadness that interfere with the ability to function. Loss, stress, co-occurring mental health conditions (such as ADHD or anxiety) and a family history of depression raise the odds that a child may experience depression.

Clinical Trials

New treatments for many conditions are tested in clinical trials, which ultimately bring lifesaving new drugs and devices to the patients who need them most. By participating in a clinical trial, you may get access to the most advanced treatments for your condition, and help determine their benefits for future patients.