Depression in children and adolescents. When "moodiness" merits special attention

Postgrad Med. 2002 Sep;112(3):53-6, 59-61. doi: 10.3810/pgm.2002.09.1300.


Depression does occur in children and adolescents and can result in significant morbidity and mortality. Therefore, identification and treatment of depression are essential. Referral to a mental health clinician, preferably a child and adolescent psychiatrist, is important for suicide evaluation, psychotherapy, and management of complicated medication treatment regimens. The SSRIs are most often used in youngsters because of their favorable side effect profiles and their efficacy as documented in some double-blind, placebo-controlled studies.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic / adverse effects
  • Child
  • Comorbidity
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Depression / drug therapy*
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Depression / psychology
  • Half-Life
  • Heart Conduction System / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Mood Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / metabolism
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use


  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors