Depression Specialist

Noelle Ruddock-Solomon, MD -  - Pediatrician

C.A.R.E. Pediatrics, LLC

Noelle Ruddock-Solomon, MD

Pediatrician located in Johns Creek, Duluth, GA

Depression can have serious consequences for adolescents, just as it has for adults. At C.A.R.E. Pediatrics LLC, located in Johns Creek and Duluth, GA, Dr. Ruddock-Solomon is skilled in the use of screening methods to identify depression in adolescents in Gwinnett County, Fulton County, and Atlanta, GA areas. We use state-of-the-art treatments to help them overcome symptoms and lead happier lives.

Depression Q & A

What causes depression?

Depression in children and teens (as well as adults) is caused by a mix of factors, including physiological factors like imbalances in brain chemistry, genetics, and family, social, school or lifestyle factors. Depression is not simply being sad or feeling “blue.” Depression may be associated with increased internet and social media use. It is a serious medical condition that requires professional intervention to help resolve it and to avoid serious consequences like eating disorders, self-harm or even suicide attempts.

What symptoms does depression cause?

Depression can cause a variety of symptoms in children and adolescents, and identifying symptoms is not always easy. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • social withdrawal
  • moodiness, including anger and irritability
  • bouts of sadness often accompanied by crying
  • feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness
  • increased sensitivity to reprimands or rejection
  • changes in sleep patterns
  • changes in appetite
  • fatigue and lethargy
  • physical ailments like a headache or stomachache
  • problems focusing or concentrating
  • loss of interest in social or “fun” activities
  • preoccupation with death or suicide

Not every adolescent will have all of these symptoms, and symptoms can change over time. Symptoms of depression in children are often misdiagnosed as “growing pains,” puberty-related issues or simply the normal course of childhood development. Parents who believe their adolescent suffers from depression should seek medical guidance right away so treatment can begin as soon as possible.

How is depression diagnosed in children?

There are no specific tests for depression, but there are several tools that can help determine if a child is suffering from the condition. Questionnaires, personal health histories and interviews with adolescents, parents and sometimes even school officials can help recognize some of the most common symptoms or traits associated with depression to aid in the diagnosis. Counseling sessions may also help in revealing depression, as well as other conditions that may be present, like ADHD, Asperger's syndrome or chronic anxiety disorders.

How is depression treated?

Treatment will depend on the symptoms and the underlying causes of depression. Most adolescents who suffer from depression benefit from a combination of medication to balance brain chemistry and counseling to deal with emotional issues. Recent research suggests diet, exercise and even use of Omega-3 supplements may produce a significant improvement in depression. 

Insurance and Billing

We accept most health insurance plans. Please check with your insurance plan to verify that we are a contracted provider. If we are a provider for your insurance plan, we can file the claim if you bring your plan’s membership card. Our Business Office will assist you with any necessary paperwork and other requirements relative to your insurance provider. Without the proper membership card, we will not be able to file your insurance. We are on panels of most health plans in this area. Please inquire with the Business Office for more information if you do not see your insurance plan listed below.

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
Blue Cross Blue Shield
Coventry Health Care
Peach State Health Plan
PeachCare for Kids