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Depression can look very different in the child and adolescent versus the adult. Most adults are aware of feelings of Depression and can usually talk about them. Children and/or adolescents may have difficulties recognizing feelings of prolonged sadness, especially if there is no identifiable stressor or trauma. Certainly Depression may be caused by a traumatic event such as the death of a family member or pet, moving from one home to another, or a change in family relationships such as separation or divorce of parents. However, sometimes Depression can seem to come from nowhere. Regardless of an identifiable cause, it is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of Depression and to understand that Depression is a treatable illness in children and in adults. There are a number of medications available for pharmacologic intervention, and Depression responds well to psychological intervention by a competent therapist or counselor.    Facts for Families



Anxiety is a broad realm of specific disorders which may include Panic Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, to name a few. Anxiety responds well to medication and some types of Anxiety, specifically Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, respond very well to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. A referral to a local therapist can be made for this particular treatment. When medication is used, the antidepressants provide relief for the symptoms of Anxiety. Benzodiazepine medications may sometimes be used, as well, but generally are not used in the treatment of children.  Facts for Families



ADD and ADHD are disorders usually diagnosed in childhood but persist into adulthood for most people. The difference between Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is the hyperactive component. Hyperactivity is more common in children and very often fades as the individual reaches maturity and can self-monitor. These disorders respond well to stimulant medications which help the patient focus and organize. There is a non-stimulant medication available, as well. The stimulant medications can be used on days or at specific times in order to target treatment of the symptoms. If the situation or setting allows, stimulant medication may be withheld with little or no effect to the patient, depending on the patient’s baseline level of functioning.   Facts for Families

© Angelina Montoya, MD 2018