Differences in adult and childhood depression

Learn about: Differences in adult and childhood depression from Kenneth Duckworth, MD,...
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Differences in adult and childhood depression

Once you can get okay with the idea that children and adolescents can have clinical depression which requires support and intervention, you have to be able to step back and say what might that look like. The way the American Psychiatric Association has organized the diagnosis of depression there are no differences in how the category is applied to children and adolescence. But what us child psychologists notice are the following: Kids tend to express distress more symatically. Younger kids show you instead of telling you. They have a headache. They have a stomach ache. They are expressing distress but they can´t necessarily say I am persistently sad. Adolescents often engage in more risk taking behavior or aggressive behavior or substance behavior to try to change the way they feel. This is the concept of self medication. The idea that I wish I felt differently. I am going to try something that will change how I feel. So it seems to work in the short term but often contributes to difficulties over time including among the other problems difficulties with self esteem. How come I am the only kid that is doing something like this? I am not telling the other kids about it to change the way I feel.

Learn about: Differences in adult and childhood depression from Kenneth Duckworth, MD,...


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Kenneth Duckworth, MD

Psychiatrist, Harvard Professor & Medical Director for NAMI

Ken Duckworth, MD, serves as the medical director for NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. He is triple board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in Adult, Child and Adolescent, and Forensic Psychiatry and has extensive experience in the public health arena.

Dr. Duckworth is currently an Assistant Clinical Professor at Harvard University Medical School, and has served as a board member of the American Association of Community Psychiatrists. Dr. Duckworth has held clinical and leadership positions in community mental health, school psychiatry and now also works as Associate Medical Director for Behavioral Health at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts.

Prior to joining NAMI in 2003, Dr. Duckworth served as Acting Commissioner of Mental Health and the Medical Director for Department of Mental Health of Massachusetts, as a psychiatrist on a Program of Assertive Community Treatment (PACT) team, and Medical Director of the Massachusetts Mental Health Center.

Dr. Duckworth attended the University of Michigan where he graduated with honors and Temple University School of Medicine where he was named to the medical honor society, AOA. While at Temple, he won awards for his work in psychiatry and neurology. He also has a family member living with mental illness.

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