Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can major depressive disorder occur at any age?"
I think my 10 year old might have major depressive disorder. Is this possible?
Technically, there is no particular age one must be to be diagnosed with major depressive disorder. Thus, at the age of 10, a diagnosis of major depression is possible, though a bit less common than in adult patients. The symptoms of major depression in children tends to have a few differences than in adults. Children tend to exhibit loss of interest in things that they used to enjoy. They may spend more time their rooms alone and may not spend as much time with their friends. They are often described as being irritable and may lose their tempers more easily than before. Their eating and sleeping patterns may change. This could mean that they begin eating more or less than before and sleeping more or less. Sometimes these changes are also associated with a decline in their performance in school. Because depression is a serious condition, I suggest that you schedule an appointment for your child with his or her pediatrician. He or she can ask a series of screening questions which can help detect depression. Some pediatricians are comfortable treating depression and others are not. Thus, your child may warrant referral to a child psychiatrist for further counseling and treatment. I hope she feels better.
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