(Israel) 2-3% of elementary students suffer from depression

Sept 4, 2017, Jerusalem Post: One to Three Students in Every Classroom Suffer from Depression Depression in children who have not been diagnosed or treated properly may develop into a chronic disease that will recur in lifelong attacks, said Dr. Silvana Fenig, director of the division of psychological medicine at Petah Tikva’s Schneider Children’s Medical Center on the occasion of World Suicide Prevention Day to be held on September 10. ... About 2% to 3% of elementary-school children (one in each classroom) and about 8% of adolescents (two to three in each class) suffer from depression. Until the age of 13, the prevalence among boys and girls is the same, and then the prevalence among girls is three times higher than among boys.... Prof. Alan Apter, a world expert on depression and suicide among children and adolescents who runs the Schneider Children’s Research Center, noted: “The complications that can develop from depression that is not treated at an early age are deterioration in school and dropping out, drug and alcohol abuse, eating disorders, social problems and even the risk of suicide. In 80% of cases in which help was involved, there was improvement within a few weeks, but without proper treatment the signs of depression may continue to worsen to the point of suicidal risk.” At Schneider, psychiatrists and psychologists offer combined therapy – psychological, environmental and pharmacological. The treatment method is cognitive behavioral therapy. In this method, treatment does not go into the causes of depression, but rather gives the child tools to cope with it and the consequences, Apter explained.