The Anxiety and Agoraphobia Treatment Center
There is Hope. There is Help.
Call: 610-667-6490
112 Bala Avenue
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004

Depression/Mood Disorders


Many individuals who experience anxiety also experience depression. Depression is not just feeling down or sad. These feelings are normal in kids, especially during the teen years. Even when major disappointments and setbacks make people feel sad and angry, the negative feelings usually ease with time. When a depressive state or mood lingers for a long time (more than a few weeks) and interferes with a person’s ability to function normally, that person may have depression.   In children and adolescents, depression can appear as "bad moods" or irritability that lasts for a long time, even if a child doesn't acknowledge being sad.

To meet criteria for a diagnosis, five or more of these symptoms must be present for longer than 2 weeks:

  • a feeling of being down in the dumps or really sad for no reason
  • a lack of energy, feeling unable to do the simplest task
  • an inability to enjoy the things that used to bring pleasure
  • a lack of desire to be with friends or family members
  • feelings of irritability (especially common in kids and teens), anger, or anxiety
  • an inability to concentrate
  • a marked weight gain or loss (or failure to gain weight as expected), and too little or too much interest in eating
  • a significant change in sleep habits, such as trouble falling asleep or getting up
  • feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • aches and pains even though nothing is physically wrong
  • a lack of caring about what happens in the future
  • frequent thoughts about death or suicide

Treatment for Depression/Mood Disorders:

At AATC, treatment for clients with depression/mood disorders is individualized to meet the child’s specific symptoms and unique needs.  Cognitive therapy and cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) are often the treatments of choice for mild to moderate depression. These treatment approaches help the child learn to recognize and modify negative and counterproductive thoughts, beliefs and thinking styles. Children also learn a wide variety of behavioral strategies that help them to increase enjoyable and constructive activities. 

There is also a supportive component to therapy that allows the child to discuss life stressors and concerns.  Parents are educated on the tools their child is learning so they can support a child’s progress outside of treatment.  With parent permission, our therapists will work with your child’s school, pediatrician, psychiatrist and other community providers as needed.  

Our focus is on treating the “whole child,” so issues other than anxiety or depression may also be addressed in treatment. 

For more information regarding treatment for children and adolescents, or to schedule an initial evaluation for your child, please contact Dr. Lori Kasmen at (610) 667-6490 ext 21 or lkasmen@aatcphila.com