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Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Specialty

Pediatrics

Advisor

Dr. Tom Colletti, DHSc, PA-C

Abstract

ABSTRACT

Purpose: The purpose of this article is to review the available scientific data regarding diagnosis, screening, risk factors, treatment, and management of depression in children and adolescents.

Method: Using a PubMed search engine with terms depression, adolescents, children, evaluation, management, treatment, diagnosis, screening, risks, a literature search was conducted. Twenty-one scholarly articles were retrieved and will serve for the purpose of review in this article.

Results: Depression continues to be a challenging illness to diagnose in children and adolescents. Awareness and understanding of this disease process and its risk factors can help primary care providers diagnose and implement timely treatment plan.

Conclusion: The rising risk of depression in children and adolescents is a major concern in our healthcare system and growing concern around the world. By recognizing this complex disease process and establishing early diagnosis, treatment plan, and arranging a timely referral to mental health specialists, may save many innocent lives. Although challenging to diagnose, considering this illness when differentiating chronic somatic complaints in children and adolescents or other behavioral or mental health concerns, can lead to correct diagnosis. Importantly, although depression is a treatable illness, if unrecognized and undiagnosed early, it becomes a life threatening illness. With increased awareness and directing our concentration to disease prevention, the mortality rate from suicidality can improve as well as sequelae that often extend into adulthood.

Keywords: Depression, Children, Adolescents

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