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Depression services offered in Raleigh, NC

Depression services offered in Raleigh, NC

Without help, children with depression could self-harm and even attempt suicide. If your child develops depression, visit Katherine Peppers, DNP, CPNP-PC, CPMHS, and her highly experienced colleagues at Behavioral & Developmental Pediatrics in Raleigh, North Carolina. Depression and suicide statistics are scary, but the good news is that your child can overcome their condition with an expert diagnosis and treatment. Call the office to arrange a consultation or request a depression assessment online today.

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Depression Q & A

Do children suffer from depression?

People tend to think of depression as affecting adults, but adolescents and young children can also experience it. The symptoms may present differently, though, which, coupled with the lack of understanding about childhood depression, means young people sometimes don’t get the help they need.

You might not want to believe your child has depression or worry that it’s your fault they’re depressed. But depression’s causes are complex and unlikely to be a reflection of your parenting skills.

Why would my child have depression?

There’s no single reason why anyone gets depression. Genetics plays a role, making some people more likely to develop mental health problems. Brain chemistry is also significant — hormone imbalances and a lack of neurotransmitters like serotonin (chemicals that enable the brain’s nerve cells to communicate) are common in people with depression.

Factors that could increase your child’s likelihood of developing depression include:

  • Family breakdowns
  • Losing a loved person or pet
  • Chronic stress
  • A chaotic home life
  • Rejection or bullying at school
  • Trauma, such as abuse or assault

Depression isn’t a sign of weakness — it’s a serious, potentially life-threatening disorder. Sadly, close to three in every 100,000 children aged 10-14 die by suicide each year in the United States.

How do I know if my child has depression?

As children develop, they undergo considerable mental and physical changes, so it’s often hard to determine if they have a clinical disorder or are simply going through a natural developmental phase. Signs to look out for include:

  • Appetite or weight changes
  • Persistent sadness and tearfulness
  • Irritability and anger
  • Chronic fatigue and lack of energy
  • Feeling unwarranted guilt or shame
  • Difficulties concentrating
  • Slowed or agitated movement and responses
  • Declining grades
  • Frequently thinking about death and/or suicide
  • Insomnia (inability to sleep) or hypersomnia (sleeping excessively)

Your child might lose interest in activities they used to enjoy and spend less time socializing with family and friends. They may also develop unexplained stomach problems and headaches.

How do I help my child overcome depression?

Behavioral & Developmental Pediatrics specializes in supporting children with depression and helping their parents through this challenging time.

Medications need careful use in young people because some may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts. The child and adolescent mental health experts at Behavioral & Developmental Pediatrics combine age-appropriate counseling with carefully monitored medication use where needed.

Call Behavioral & Developmental Pediatrics to arrange a depression evaluation for your child, or book an appointment online today.