Promising new treatment for young children with depression

Anxiety and depression is something millions of Americans deal with, but some of those who suffer haven't even gone to kindergarten yet.

Now doctors say there's a new treatment for the youngest of victims.

Between ten and fifteen percent of children and teens show depression symptoms at any one time, according to the Surgeon General's report. Up to 70 percent do not receive treatment. And some of them are preschoolers.

A new study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry has a promising new treatment: a new emotional development module, added to standard treatment for parents and children.

It helps parents coach their children through tough emotions so they can manage their feelings better. Children in the study, who were all aged 3 to 6, either got this new combined treatment or were put onto a wait list.

When they were evaluated for coping styles, stress levels, and how they dealt with negative emotions, the children with the treatment had improved, with better emotional regulation and fewer of the disorders that accompany depression. It helped parents as well.

So what are some of the signs that indicate you child may be depressed?

The National Mental Health Association says chronic fatigue, refusing to eat, drastic changes in sleeping and play that revolves around morbid themes like death or destruction.

Parents should talk to their pediatrician if the symptoms last more than seven to nine months.
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