Among children and adolescents, the prevalence of depressive symptoms is about 15%. Clinically significant depression occurs in 5%. Depression in children overlaps with other childhood emotional and behavioural disorders. Depression in children is multifactorial and includes biological, psychological and social factors. Tricyclic antidepressants such as imipramine are ineffective in children and have limited effect in adolescents. SSRIs are also of limited value. For total health benefit in the treatment of depression, cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) is found to be more beneficial than SSRIs.
Key words: depression, antidepressants, comorbidity, children and adolescents, cognitive behaviour therapy
Ceylon Medical Journal Vol. 53, No. 2, June 2008 pp.65-67