Moodiness And Depression Specialist

O.C. Child and Family

Harry B. Rauch, MD

Board-Certified Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist located in Irvine, CA

Clinical depression affects over 2% of children under the age of 12 and over 5% of teens over 13. If you’re concerned about changes in your child’s behavior that may indicate depression, turn to Harry B. Rauch, MD. Dr. Rauch offers comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of depression symptoms at his Irvine, California, psychiatry practice. He can recommend a variety of therapies, including behavioral counseling and medications, to alleviate negative thoughts and restore your child’s self-confidence. To find out more about treating childhood depression, schedule an appointment online or by calling the Irvine office.

Moodiness and Depression

What is depression?

Depression is a mood disorder that causes children to become irritable, feel sad, and experience a variety of uncontrollable, negative thoughts. This disorder can cause difficulties focusing at school and participating in activities.

Depression can even impact a child’s relationship with their friends and family, causing your child to withdraw and become distant from the ones they love.

What’s the difference between normal sadness and depression?

Children can experience a wide range of emotions, sometimes several in one day. Depression is different than the regular sadness or irritability kids feel. Clinical depression can interfere with your child’s thinking, making them feel like nothing is worth their effort.

Depression can make your child want to give up favorite activities, and your child may chronically feel worthless or unlovable. Everyday problems can seem much more difficult than usual and lead to thoughts of harming themselves or considering suicide.

Young children may not be able to express how they feel and how negative feelings are affecting them. They may act out, become disobedient, or seem uninterested in things they typically enjoy doing. As a parent, you may notice unusual behaviors in your child that need further evaluation.

How is depression diagnosed?

Dr. Rauch reviews your child’s medical history and their existing symptoms. He discusses how severe your child’s depression is and how long moodiness and other depressive symptoms have been affecting them.

Dr. Rauch can determine what type of depression your child has, such as:

  • Major depression: intense episodes of depressive feelings and thoughts
  • Chronic depression: milder depressive symptoms lasting two years or more
  • Seasonal affective disorder: depression relating to sunlight exposure, typically developing during shorter months of the year
  • Bipolar disorder: episodes of mania and depression that  involve periods of emotional highs and lows
  • Adjustment mood disorder: depressive symptoms that start after a traumatic event, such as a family death or natural disaster

Based on the type of depression and the severity of symptoms, Dr. Rauch can recommend a variety of treatments.

What treatment options are available for depression?

To alleviate your child’s symptoms and help them manage their depression, Dr. Rauch can create a custom treatment plan that may involve one or more therapies, like:

  • Cognitive therapy
  • Family counseling
  • Antidepressant medications

Dr. Rauch also offers suicide and self-harm risk assessments to protect your child’s overall physical and mental well-being.

Learn more about treatments available for childhood depression by calling the Irvine office or using the convenient online booking feature.