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Depression Specialist

Orange County Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Alejandra Suzuki, MD, FAPA

Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist located in Irvine, CA

Depression is a mood disorder that affects people of all ages, including children and teens. Though it’s normal for young people to experience emotional highs and lows, depression is a serious psychiatric condition that may affect how your child interacts with friends and family. Alejandra Suzuki, MD, FAPA, at Orange County Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in Irvine, California, is a board-certified child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist. At her telehealth practice, she provides comprehensive care for children and teens struggling with depression. Call the office or book an appointment online today to get help for your child or teen.

Depression Q&A

What is depression?

Depression is a mental health condition and mood disorder that alters how you feel, think, and behave. It affects people of all ages, including children and teens. It’s estimated that about 3% of children and teens between the ages of 3 and 17 struggle with depression.

Many children and teens with depression also have anxiety, which is an overwhelming sense of fear and worry. Both depression and anxiety affect a child’s mental well-being and may impact their learning, friendships, and home life. 

Dr. Suzuki specializes in diagnosing and treating depression in children and teens, and can provide the care you and your family need. 

What are the symptoms of depression?

The symptoms of depression in children and adolescents vary in type and severity. Some of the signs and symptoms that may indicate your child is struggling with the mood disorder include:

  • Looking or feeling depressed or sad
  • Irritability
  • Tearfulness
  • Spending less time with friends
  • Disinterest in activities they enjoy
  • Change in appetite or weight
  • Change in sleep habits
  • Low energy
  • Complaints of always feeling tired
  • Feeling as though they can’t do anything right
  • Feeling like everything is their fault
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Caring less about school

Young children with depression may also complain of frequent headaches or stomach aches. 

How is depression diagnosed?

Dr. Suzuki conducts a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation to diagnose depression in children and adolescents. 

Before she performs your child’s evaluation, she may request you visit with your child’s primary care provider for a comprehensive physical exam to rule out a medical condition to explain your child’s symptoms.

In addition to evaluating your child, Dr. Suzuki may also spend time talking to you and other family members to get a better sense of your child’s mental and emotional well-being. 

How is depression treated?

Treatment for depression in children and teens includes psychotherapy and medication. Dr. Suzuki reviews your child’s diagnosis and her treatment recommendations with you.

She takes an integrated and personalized approach to psychiatric care and works closely with you to develop a plan that best meets your child’s needs.

Though antidepressants are an effective tool for helping children and teens manage their depression symptoms, Dr. Suzuki also offers transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) as an alternative to medication management when appropriate. 

To get help for your child or teen, call Orange County Child and Adolescent Psychiatry or schedule a consultation through the online booking tool today.