University of Kentucky College of Agriculture
KY Women's Health Registry

Children and Adolescents

In children and adolescents, depression can be difficult to detect because of the normal mood swings encountered as they developmentally progress. However, depression during childhood and adolescence is a growing concern across the nation. Depression is not the same thing as a passing blue mood. It is a common mental disorder that requires treatment and will likely persist or recur, especially if untreated.

Statistics show that one in three children and one in eight adolescents experience depression. Nearly five percent of adolescents will experience a major depressive episode. While it is equally likely that boys and girls will develop a depressive episode before puberty, after the age of 15, girls are twice as likely to experience a major depressive episode.

Current research suggests that symptoms of depression can be detected in children as young as five. There has also been research to indicate that children who have parents who suffer from depression are more likely to be diagnosed with the disorder.

Young people, especially adolescents, are often afraid to share feelings because they are embarrassed or worried that others will judge them. Parents are able to help young people by providing an outlet to talk about their feelings. It is important to listen, keep an open mind, be mindful of symptoms and seek help when needed.

Blue to You

Blue to You was developed through the Health Education through Extension Leadership program made possible by Senator Mitch McConnell with funds earmarked for the University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture, Lexington, KY and budgeted through the CSREES/USDA Federal Administration.