Agenda…! Global Health Blog! Depression 101! Criteria! Causes! Signs & Symptoms! Treatment Options! Resources
A great start!! http://globalhealthattasis.blogspot.com/ 2012/01/effects-of-teen-depression.html
What is depression?! Depression is a strong mood involving sadness, discouragement, despair, or hopelessness that lasts for weeks, months, or even longer.
Criteria for diagnosis…A medical doctor (psychiatrist) or a clinical psychologist are licensed diagnosticians. He/ she will ask focused questions regarding the following categories:! Duration! Intensity! Frequency
What causes depression?Many researchers believe it is caused by chemical changes in the brain. This may be due to a genetic predisposition, or triggered by certain stressful events. More likely, its a combination of both.Some types of depression may run in families, but it can also occur if you have no family history of the illness.The following may play a role in depression: !Alcohol or drug abuse !Certain medical conditions, including underactive thyroid, cancer, or long-term pain !Certain medications such as steroids !Sleeping problems !Stressful life events, such as: • Breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend • Failing a class • Death or illness of someone close to you • Divorce • Childhood abuse or neglect • Job loss • Social isolation
Signs & SymptomsWide - ranging & unique to each individual * Feelings of sadness, irritability, and/or anger/rage * Loss of interest in activities and seeking out fun; low energy; withdrawn * Feelings of worthlessness, guilt, hopelessness/helplessness, powerlessness * Change in sleep patterns (too much or too little sleep) * Physical symptoms: headaches, body aches, fatigue, etc. * Frequently tearful and crying over seemingly insignificant issues * Changes in weight (gain or loss) * Change in ability to concentrate & academic performance - usually for the worse * Overreaction to criticism; problems with authority * Substance use / abuse * Thinking about death or suicide. (If this is true, talk to someone right away!)
Is depression preventable?! There is evidence to suggest that people who live a healthy lifestyle experience far less incidence of depression; this is difficult to quantify because people who don t experience depression, don t report it! However…! A healthy lifestyle includes:" A proper & well-balanced diet;" Exercise;" Limited / no use of alcohol;" Taking time out for fun and relaxation;" Maintaining a healthy sleep pattern;" Maintaining a social network of peers;" Enjoying one s academics / career.
Helping a loved one…! Being a compassionate listener is much more important than giving advice!! Encourage the depressed person to talk about his or her feelings, and be willing to listen without judgment.! Ways to start the conversation: * I have been feeling concerned about you lately. * Recently, I have noticed some differences in you and wondered how you are doing. * I wanted to check in with you because you have seemed pretty down lately.! Questions you can ask: * When did you begin feeling like this? * Did something happen that made you start feeling this way? Tell me about it… * How can I best support you right now? What usually helps you feel better? * Have you thought about getting help / talking to someone like a counselor? (Offer to help find a resources and/or accompany to the counselor.)! Supportive statements: * You are not alone in this. I m here for you. * You may not believe it now, but the way you re feeling will change. * I may not be able to understand exactly how you feel, but I care about you and want to help. * You are important to me. Your life is important to me. * Tell me what I can do now to help you.
Treatment OptionsMuch to be hopeful for…! New research about the brain! (Neuroplasticity)! Many, many therapeutic approaches! CBT, REBT, exercise, meditation practices, etc. (Search for the right one!)! Newer and more effective medications!
Resources…Caution: websites can mislead and cannot diagnose!! http://kidshealth.org/teen/your_mind/mental_health/ depression.html#cat20123! http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/ PMH0001941/! http://helpguide.org/mental/ depression_teen_teenagers.htm! http://www.refocuser.com/2009/05/neuroplasticity- your-brains-amazing-ability-to-form-new-habits/! Ms. Siegel :) email@example.com
Questions, Comments….! Feedback, suggestions, comments,, questions are encouraged, welcomed and appreciated. :)! firstname.lastname@example.org