The clinical features depend on the age of the child, as illustrated below:
- In infants, there is panic behaviour and irritability initially looking for a parent/ care giver. This is followed by the child losing interest in every body. Child becomes inactive, apathetic with sad faces.
- Affected children have a sad face, are withdrawn, have poor feeding and poor sleeping, with poor school performance.
- In adolescence, there is fatigue for no apparent reason, lack of interest in normal activities, poor school performance, and suicidal tendencies.
- Address problem area: social skills, school performance, family issues, and any event that may have precipitated the depression.
- Mood stabilizers: Lithium, carbamazepine, valproate.
- Tricyclic antidepressants are less efficacious in children.