What is Depression?
Everyone at one time or another has felt depressed, sad or blue. Being depressed is a normal reaction to loss, life's stuggles, or an injured self-esteem. But sometimes the feeling of sadness becomes intense, lasting for long periods of time and preventing aperson from leading a normal life. Depression that has these characteristics is a treatable medical condition called Major Depressive Disorder, one of a number of depressive illnesses. According to a report from the National Institutes of Mental Health, nearly 18.8 million Americans over the age of 18 suffer from major depression Suicide, closely linked to depression, is the third leading cause of death in 10-24 year olds. Unfortunately, most people never seek treatment. Left undiagnosed and untreated, depression can worsen, lasting for years and causing untold suffering and possibly even resulting in suicide. Serious depression does effect all ages, even children. Watch for syptoms of depression. If you observe someone close to you with symptoms of depression, contact someone that can get them the proper medical intervention. With proper medical intervention, depression is very treatable, especially in children.
What are the symptoms of depression (in children as well as adults)?
The following are some of the signs and symptoms of depression that you should be aware of:
- Loss of energy
- Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness
- Loss of enjoyment from things that were once pleasurable
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty making decisions
- Increased need for sleep
- Insomnia or excessive sleep
- Unexplained aches and pains
- Stomache and digestive problems
- Decreased s*x drive
- S*xual problems
- A change in appetite causing weight loss or gain
- Thoughts of death or suicide
- Attempting suicide
If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of depression, seek your health care provider's advice for treatment or referral to a mental health professional. All mentions of suicide or violence must be taken seriously. If you or someone you know has a plan to commit suicide, go to the emergency room for immediate treatment.