Types and causes
Causes of clinical depression and depression
Clinical depression and depression can affect your child’s body, mood and thoughts.
Depression interferes with how your child eats, enjoys life, sleeps and works. Clinical depression is a more severe type of depression. Symptoms of all depression can last for weeks or months.
Biochemical changes in the brain cause depression. Depression can be related to:
Certain life events
In some people, depression occurs even when life is going well.
Symptoms and diagnosis
What depression feels like
We help manage your child’s depression by making an accurate and early diagnosis.
Signs that your child might be depressed include:
Alcohol or drug use (children 12 or older)
Changes in appetite
Changes in sleep
Feeling sad or hopeless
Inability to function at school
Loss of interest in friends or usual activities
Thoughts of death or suicide
How we diagnose depression
If your child shows signs of depression, our experts perform a comprehensive exam. Depression can occur with other conditions, such as anxiety. We want to understand everything that impacts your child.
Family dynamics and environmental stressors
Family psychiatric and medical history
Input from teachers and other care providers
Your child’s age, health and medical history
Your child’s current behaviors, functioning and symptoms
Personalized care for your child
We provide treatments to improve function and reduce distress.
Our specialists create a care plan to address your child’s specific symptoms. We believe in early treatment, which shortens depressive episodes. Treatment improves your child’s function with friends and family, at home and school.
Treatment options include:
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
Community support programs
Inpatient and partial hospitalization psychiatric care
Interpersonal therapy (IPT)
Medical and psychiatric follow-up and support
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)
We help your child avoid depression in the future and teach them how to manage episodes as they occur. Children with more severe depression or clinical depression might need ongoing treatment.
Meet our team
Specialized care from pediatric experts
The UW Health Kids depression care team includes pediatric experts in behavioral health, psychiatry and psychology.
Ongoing and crisis care
We offer specialized care for children with clinical depression and depression in Wisconsin and northern Illinois.
Mental and Behavioral Health
Promoting well-being, healing and recovery.