Sherman, TX – Many people believe children can't suffer from depression: they are too young; they haven't experienced enough in life to be depressed. Unfortunately, there are a significant number of children that do suffer from childhood depression. As many as one in every 33 children may have depression; in teens, that number may be as high as one in eight.
Specializing in adolescent and child psychology, Dr. Paulette Pitt of Applied Psychology Group of Texoma offers mental health assessment and treatment services for children suffering from a variety of disorders, including depression and anxiety.
“Childhood depression looks different than depression in adults,” says. Dr. Pitt. “With adults it often presents as lack of motivation, like a grey cloud following them around. Children’s depression tends to present as more behavioral issues because they haven’t developed their coping skills. An adult can attribute their sadness to something, but a child hasn’t reached that stage in their cognitive development.”
While treatment depends on severity, doctors have traditionally employed a psycho-pharmacological approach, which utilizes both therapy and medications. Dr. Pitt, however, prefers to exhaust all treatment possibilities and leave medication as a last resort.
“My preference is to get them into therapy so they can learn coping skills and identify things that trigger their depression. If they don’t show improvement through therapy or they have a really long family history of mood disorders, you may be seeing something that’s more biological in nature and in those instances medication is appropriate.”
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