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Depression in children and adolescents is a very important subject it is more important than most people think In earlier times it was thought that children could not suffer from depression so they were not tested for it Now days it is evident that children and adolescents can suffer from this mental disorder In an article derived from the Medline Plus website The National Institute of Mental Health NIMH stated that depression has been starting at earlier ages in recent decades and early depression in life often persists recurs and continues into adulthood The NIMH also said that more than 3 million children under 13 years of age in the US suffer from depression The clinical signs that a child might be experiencing depression are feeling unhappy being distant from friends not participating in usual activities getting poor grades having low self-esteem constantly being irritable crying often having sleeping problems experiencing appetite changes loss of energy fatigue lack of motivation and guilty feelings A startling fact given by the NIMH is that 25 percent of children and up to 83 percent of adolescents experience depression in the United States Numbers do not lie but they might be miscounted During a doctor visit it only takes about 15 to 30 minutes for a physician to assess whether or not a child has depression The most common assessment tool used by doctors to determine if a child has depression is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 4 DSM4 This manual is full of questions for the physician to ask the child that is being diagnosed these questions are directly related to the clinical signs of depression The most common questions to be asked are whether they have been eating less or overeating if they are experiencing insomnia or hyperinsomnia if they feel low energy or fatigue if they have low self-esteem or feelings of hopelessness if their concentration is poor if it is difficult for them to
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