Depression in Children and Adolescents

This morning in my mailbox I found a new edition of a book I had co-edited in 1993.  It’s called DEPRESSION IN CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS , published by Routledge Library Editions. My first thought was “How did I do this when my son was born in 1992?” I’ve either gotten lazier, older (no chance) or possibly more mindful.

It’s called “Depression in Children and Adolescents” and it is co-edited with Harold Koplewicz who, by the way, has NOT gotten older or lazier!  (see his C.V.).  The contributors to the volume, which was written with pediatric colleagues in mind, are among the most esteemed in the field and some are even good friends and some have left a wonderful legacy in the next generation of child-centered mental health professionals.

It was fortuitous because my first patient of the morning is a boy with diagnosed depression.  I am aware that I want him to be happier and I turned first to the treatment chapter which I co-  (I think I see a pattern here) wrote with the extremely busy Richard Gallagher, (see HIS C.V.).

The chapter outlines how children with depression often look, theories about why it comes to be and treatment suggestions. It’s based on the research of the time and I only saw one typo. (in MY chapter!).

I wish that treatment studies had made for tremendous strides in this field and that it was crystal clear how to set about treatment, through both the body and mind.

There are new, well-researched forms of psychotherapeutic interventions:

ACT – an acronym for Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is the “third-wave” of cognitive-behavioral therapy along with DBT – Dialectical Behavior Therapy.

A basic assumption of ACT is that sadness and pain are a normal and unavoidable part of human experience. Some of our attempts at handling these feelings are more workable than others. Avoidance or short-term means of coping might actually end up causing even more suffering in the long term.

There are differences with techniques in ACT and our group of psychologists at The Psychological Health Collaborative  is studying hard and it seems like a natural fit to us.  Check in with us for readings and to discuss.

Looking forward to the next 20 years of developing the understanding of children’s health.

Emily Klass

 

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