Care we provide

Child Psychiatry

Depression and anxiety can be quite common in children and it’s important to get them the help they need. Psychiatry may be the alternative route to go if therapy just isn’t enough.

how & why

Our highly trained, compassionate clinicians are here to help.

Mental health disorders can have a big impact on someone’s life and it can turn it completely upside down. Depression and anxiety specifically can make someone feel worthless, hopeless, and even just feel like there is no way out, like you’re constantly digging yourself out of a hole with no end to it. These disorders can affect people of all ages, where it is most common in people ages 18 to 25, but it can even affect children too.

Depending on a child’s upbringing and any traumas that they have experienced, depression in children can be quite common. While it’s easy to want to look at children as care-free beings whose only responsibilities is playing with toys, and learning how life works, many other children have had their growth stunted due to environmental issues, peer pressures, school-related troubles, and more, which can lead to depression and anxiety. Luckily, psychiatry for children exists to help your child get through difficult times in their life.

Continue reading to learn about:

  • What is depression in children?
  • When should your child see a psychiatrist?
  • What does a psychiatry session look like?
  • Child psychiatry options to consider

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, please contact emergency services or reach out to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)’s free, confidential, 24/7 national helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) for immediate assistance.

What is Depression in Children?

Depression in children is actually quite common even though many people believe the opposite. Children are just as likely to suffer from depression as adolescents or adults and a lot of times, the sadness or other depression symptoms that they can show are sometimes written off as them catching the occasional “blues” or even just your typical temper tantrum.

Symptoms of depression in children can also oftentimes be seen as hormonal, emotional, or even psychological changes, and their mood can even become angrier, which can be seen as just a normal temper tantrum that kids have.

Some of the signs of depression in children include:

  • Changes in eating
  • Changes in sleeping patterns
  • Behavioral problems at home or at school
  • Feelings of sadness or hopelessness
  • Lack of interests in hobbies
  • Signs of tiredness
  • Sudden mood changes

There are also many causes as to why a child would have depression as well, so it’s important to see these signs ahead of time.

Causes of depression in children include:

  • Overall physical health - If a child is sick with a chronic or severe medical condition, it can affect their overall mental health too.
  • Stressful events - Changes within the home, friends, family, or even at school can cause severe issues to a child’s mental health.
  • Family history - Depression can run through blood lines in the family, and sometimes this can ultimately be handed down to the child as well.
  • Environment struggles - Having a poor home life that can be chaotic and stressful can overall affect a child and increase depressive moods.
  • Biochemical imbalances - An imbalance of hormones and chemicals in the brain can cause a child to be more likely to suffer from depression-like symptoms.

When Should Your Child See a Psychiatrist?

It is a common question to ask yourself when considering psychiatry for your children, and that is when should you be taking your child to see one? Of course, this is something that is ultimately up to the parent, but it is recommended to take a child to see a psychiatrist when you start to notice a significant change in their mood, behaviors, and overall attitude.

There are also a lot of other signs that a parent should be aware of when thinking about taking their child to psychiatry sessions. Some of these signs can include:

  • Decline in academic performance
  • Constant “bad” dreams
  • Unpredictable temper tantrums
  • Self-destructive behaviors
  • Sexualized behaviors
  • Hostility

What Does a Child Psychiatry Session Look Like?

Psychiatry sessions for children are extremely important if they’re suffering from a mental health disorder. Being able to find a therapist to comfortably leave your child with, or someone that is good with your kid where you can sit in on the therapy sessions and also be able to talk to them as well is essential.

When it comes to your first psychiatry session, the therapist may want to meet with you at first to be able to get some background information on your child, along with any current issues that you child may be currently facing. A lot of times, therapists may want to incorporate you into the sessions through structured play where the therapist can interact and play with the child and make them comfortable while discussing harder topics with them.
Another important part of psychiatry consists of medication management. Sometimes psychiatrists think that adding a type of medication called Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) could also help your child. This type of medication has little to no side effects, is taken once a day, and is generally given to kids and adolescents as well.

Child Psychiatry Options to Consider

There is a difference between therapy and psychiatry, which is that therapy focuses on behavioral changes and psychiatry instead uses therapy, medical treatments, and medication management to help treat mental health disorders. While therapy options are great to consider, depending on the severity of the child’s depression, sometimes psychiatry can help much better.

With so many child psychiatry options to consider, make sure that you look into one of these in order to help a child get back on their feet.


Psychotherapy is one of the most common forms of child psychiatry for a child. It includes “talk therapy” in the form of individual sessions, group sessions, and even family sessions. Therapists can also use a combination of approaches to help a child overcome their depression, such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), play therapy, psychodynamic psychotherapy, and much more.

Support Therapy

Something as simple and effective as support therapy could be exactly what a child needs so they know that they’re not alone. Support therapy teaches them how to relieve stress, improve their self-esteem, and show them helpful behaviors to practice, along with showing them unhelpful ones as well.

Mentalization Based Therapy

If you have never heard of mentalization based therapy, or MBT, it’s important to know that this is a great way to help a child understand many aspects of how they feel internally. Recognizing thoughts, feelings, wishes, emotions, desires, and other linked behaviors is an essential thing for a child to understand why they feel the way that they do.

Medication Management

Depending on the severity of the child’s depression and their past traumas, medication may be appropriate for children to handle their depression symptoms and any other symptoms of mental disorders that they may have. Use of antidepressants can have a significant impact on a child’s mental health and meet sessions to see if their prescription needs to be boosted or not.

Contact a Mental Health Specialist to Learn More About Child Psychiatry and Take Back Your Life

Depression should not be the end of the world and we know that you or a child in your life wants to take their life back, so make sure to contact Transformations Care Network where they are dedicated to helping you get your life back on track. Contact us today to learn what our mental health specialists can do for you and how they can get you back on your feet.