Changes in the field of childhood depression

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Changes in the field of childhood depression

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When I was in Medical School, we were actually taught that kids didn't get depressed. They weren't emotionally mature enough to experience depression. When I got out practicing -- It's interesting. You have to be an adult psychiatrist before you can even become a child psychiatrist. In treating adults with depression, many of them would tell me stories about how they were depressed as a child. How as a 7 year old, feeling like they were different and alone, hiding in their room, or as a 9 year old not wanting to go to school, or as an adolescent, thinking about hurting themselves. I started to think that this was pretty common. Actually now, the research tells us that over half of the adults who had depression, had their first episode before they were 20; but very often, it wasn't diagnosed or treated. I started to think that if we could get better at recognizing the signs and symptoms of depression earlier, we might actually be able to prevent a lot of these problems in adulthood.

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David Fassler, MD

Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist

David Fassler, MD, is a child and adolescent psychiatrist practicing in Burlington, Vermont. A graduate of Yale University School of Medicine, he completed his training in adult psychiatry at the University of Vermont, and in child psychiatry at Cambridge Hospital, Harvard Medical School. He currently serves as clinical director of Otter Creek Associates, a multidisciplinary practice providing comprehensive mental health and substance abuse treatment services. Dr. Fassler is also a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Vermont, and the Director of Advocacy and Public Policy at the Vermont Center for Children, Youth and Families.

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