Pediatric doctors report increase in kids showing signs of depression

There is a staggering increase in the number of children experiencing depression.Children’s Hospital and Medical Center in Omaha reports depression among children is up 65% in the last six months. One of the top doctors there said the pandemic is just part of the problem.Doctors said living in a pandemic, dealing with other stress, remote learning, juggling relationships and being around family more, is adding up. “We’re seeing more kids that we’re identifying having symptoms of depression and more saying they’ve thought of self-harm,” said Director of Behavior Health Dr. Mike Vance. According to Children’s Hospital and Medical Center, one-third of the kids’ ages 11-and up that they have screened, have symptoms of depression. So far this year, out of 4844 in that age group screened, 1281 have reported “significant responses” in the depression screening. That is more than 26%. Here is what that means:“If they endorse enough items, that the severity level is high, or they endorse what we call a critical item, which would be I think often about, or I recently thought about harming myself,” Dr. Vance said.Children’s said the number of kids who have shared thoughts of suicide is up 150% in the past year. “We do a follow-up clinical interview with either one of our psychologists or social workers and determine what the needs for the child are,” said Dr. Vance. That could mean inpatient care or therapy.When it comes to what parents should look for, Dr. Vance said the signs are not changing. “Some kids become more aggressive, irritable and grumpy, others start to become less interested in things they we’re previously interested in,” Dr. Vance said.Dr. Vance said the best thing you can do is listen to your kids and if you are concerned about their immediate safety, take them to the emergency room for evaluation.And as pandemic restrictions continue to loosen, Dr. Vance said you should not assume your kids will jump right back into the things they used to do.

There is a staggering increase in the number of children experiencing depression.

Children’s Hospital and Medical Center in Omaha reports depression among children is up 65% in the last six months.

One of the top doctors there said the pandemic is just part of the problem.

Doctors said living in a pandemic, dealing with other stress, remote learning, juggling relationships and being around family more, is adding up.

“We’re seeing more kids that we’re identifying having symptoms of depression and more saying they’ve thought of self-harm,” said Director of Behavior Health Dr. Mike Vance.

According to Children’s Hospital and Medical Center, one-third of the kids’ ages 11-and up that they have screened, have symptoms of depression.

So far this year, out of 4844 in that age group screened, 1281 have reported “significant responses” in the depression screening. That is more than 26%.

Here is what that means:

“If they endorse enough items, that the severity level is high, or they endorse what we call a critical item, which would be I think often about, or I recently thought about harming myself,” Dr. Vance said.

Children’s said the number of kids who have shared thoughts of suicide is up 150% in the past year.

“We do a follow-up clinical interview with either one of our psychologists or social workers and determine what the needs for the child are,” said Dr. Vance.

That could mean inpatient care or therapy.

When it comes to what parents should look for, Dr. Vance said the signs are not changing.

“Some kids become more aggressive, irritable and grumpy, others start to become less interested in things they we’re previously interested in,” Dr. Vance said.

Dr. Vance said the best thing you can do is listen to your kids and if you are concerned about their immediate safety, take them to the emergency room for evaluation.

And as pandemic restrictions continue to loosen, Dr. Vance said you should not assume your kids will jump right back into the things they used to do.

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