It was once believed that depression was a condition that plagued adults. However, recent studies have shown that depression among children and adolescents is on the rise.
According to the National Institutes of Mental Health, about 11% of adolescents in the United States will develop a depressive disorder by age 18.
Adolescent depression is characterized similarly to depression in adults:
- Irritable or angry mood
- Withdraw from activities that were once pleasurable
- Feelings of guilt/worthlessness
If left untreated, these can lead to adverse consequences, including violence, problems at school, drug and alcohol abuse, and suicide.
Treatment is available for children and adolescents who may be suffering from depression. Dr. Alice Rubenstein, a private practice clinical psychologist recommends taking the child/teen to a doctor that specializes in treating depression in children and adolescents.
“It’s key to see an expert – you wouldn’t hire a plumber to put on your new roof.”
Montgomery County offers services to treat children and adolescents who are suffering from depression through their Child and adolescent Mental Health Program. Services include mental health screening and assessment, psychotherapy, and support services at selected schools.
Payment is based on a sliding scale and the ability to pay. More information on the program and eligibility requirements can be found on the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services Website.