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Diagnosis

For accurate diagnosis, a child must display some of the aforementioned symptoms for at least 2 weeks. These symptoms must be a distinct shift from previous behavior.  A clinician will also need to rule out other causes for these symptoms, including substance abuse, medical conditions like diabetes and hypothyroidism, and other psychiatric disorders. The condition must significantly interfere with day-to-day activities.

The symptoms of depression in children vary, making it more difficult to properly diagnose. It is often undiagnosed and untreated because they are passed off as normal emotional and psychological changes that occur during growth. According to the National Institute for Mental Health, early medical studies focused on “masked” depression, where a child’s depressed mood was evidenced by acting out or angry behavior. While this does occur, particularly in younger children, many children display sadness or low mood similar to adults who are depressed.

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Join UACF!

Become a member today and join our statewide network of parents, families, caregivers, and professionals dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth!

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Have questions?

Visit our Resources section for more information on how to understand your child’s IEP, how to contact local legislators, or for help with locating a treatment facility in your neighborhood.

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The transition of AB 3632 to AB114

AB 3632 is now AB 144. What does this mean for your child’s IEP? 

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Need Immediate Help?

If you or a loved one is in immediate crisis, please call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room.

The UACF Hope Line is a message system for parents and caregivers that provides resources and connections to individuals in your community that may be able to assist you in finding appropriate support services for your child’s mental health needs. Feel free to leave a message on the UACF Hope Line and your call will be returned as promptly as possible.

Hope Line: 1-877-ASK-UACF (275-8223)