Major Depressive Disorder

Major depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It is defined as a mental health illness when the feelings persist and interfere with a child's or adolescent’s ability to function. Depression that occurs in children and teens can affect their ability to function and develop in many areas. Without proper intervention, depression can become debilitating, dangerous, and life threatening. Learn more about the condition, the steps you can take to seek a diagnosis, professional treatment, and measures that can be taken at home and school.



General information about major depressive disorder, such as what it is, the signs and symptoms, and prevalence


Why it is important to address major depression

The likelihood of improving


Who to contact if you think a child is suffering from major depression

Tools or tests that can be used to confirm the diagnosis


Available interventions for major depressive disorder, including important aspects of comprehensive condition management, such as medications, nutrition, creative arts therapy, mindfulness techniques, and mental health counseling

Education & Advocacy

What can be done at home and school to help and support a child with major depression

If you are in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a free, 24-hour hotline, at 1.800.273.8255.
If this is an emergency, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room. RethinkMyHealthcare does not offer crisis counseling or emergency services.