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Conditions With Symptoms Similar to Depression in Children and Teens

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Conditions With Symptoms Similar to Depression in Children and Teens

Overview

Some other conditions can cause symptoms that look like depression. Before your child or teen can be diagnosed with depression, a doctor may need to rule out these other conditions. They include:

  • Bipolar disorder. This condition has symptoms that cycle from depression to mania.
  • Other mental conditions. These include anxiety disorders, conduct disorder, eating disorders, and schizophrenia.
  • Substance use disorder.
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Medical problems such as a low thyroid level and anemia.

A child may have one or more of these other conditions along with depression.

In some cases, a child who has depression is later diagnosed with bipolar disorder. A first episode of mania can happen on its own. But it can also be triggered by certain medicines, such as antidepressants. It is important to tell your child's doctor about any bipolar disorder in the family and to watch your child closely for signs of manic behavior.

Credits

Current as of: June 25, 2023

Author: Healthwise Staff
Clinical Review Board
All Healthwise education is reviewed by a team that includes physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners, registered dieticians, and other healthcare professionals.

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