Psychiatric News Alert: Irritable Youngsters May Be Depressed

What’s interesting in this study of over 2500 children in the U.K. is the identification of irritability as a predecessor or early sign/symptom of depression in a child or teenager, and the finding that its origin is probably genetic. Please note, irritability is not currently on the list of 9 symptoms in the DSM-4 for adult depression. (I’ve listed those 9 for your reference below. ) So, this suggests that depression looks and starts differently in children and teens compared to adults. The study also identifies oppositional acting out, meaning  habitual hurtful and aggressive behaviors, as more of an indicator of later “juvenile delinquency,”  a term I don’t see used that often but I think we all know what it means.

Psychiatric News Alert: Irritable Youngsters May Be Depressed.


1.  Depressed mood for most of the day
2.  Disturbed appetite or change in weight
3.  Disturbed sleep
4. Psychomotor retardation or agitation
5. Loss of interest in previously pleasurable activities; inability to enjoy usual hobbies or activities
6. Fatigue or loss of energy
7. Feelings of worthlessness; excessive and/or inappropriate guilt
8. Difficulty concentrating or thinking clearly
9. Morbid or suicidal thoughts or actions

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