Depression

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What Is Depression?

Sadness is a normal reaction to life stressors (e.g., losing a loved one, losing a job, going through family conflict or conflicts with others). However, individuals who become depressed experience sadness and others symptoms on a daily basis even if there is no apparent reason for their sadness. People with depression experience persistent, intense sadness and feel unmotivated, or uninterested in life in general. They may have reduced appetite and lose weight or may overeat and gain weight. They may have difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or may wake up far earlier than they intend in the morning. Conversely, individuals who become depressed may oversleep, and have difficulty getting out of bed. Fatigue or low energy are also common symptoms of depression. There are different types of depression: major depressive disorder, persistent depressive disorder, and bipolar disorder. Depression and anxiety disorders are not the same, however, they can coexist.

Depression is common with onset increasing markedly during puberty and peaking in the 20s. Females experience 1.5- to 3-fold higher rates than males, beginning in early adolescence. People of all ages, however, experience depression.Multiple factors likely cause depression, including biochemical, interpersonal, behavioral, and cognitive factors. Biochemical causes include genetic predisposition as well as current brain chemistry. Conflicts and losses in interpersonal relationships can also cause depression, as can increased stress and decreases in positive, enjoyable experiences. Maladaptive patterns of thought, such as repeatedly labeling oneself as a failure or fortune telling future rejection, are often related to depression.

Depression in Children and Adolescents

Most all children feel sad, disappointed, grouchy, or on edge at times, but children and adolescents who become depressed experience prolonged periods of low moods for days, weeks, months, or longer. The irritability and sadness becomes overwhelming and things do not seem fun anymore. Such children may show appetite changes or changes in their energy levels. The depressed child or adolescent often complains of boredom, which gets in the way of their lives. The youth may become withdrawn, pull away from parents, and become irritable when communicating with them.

Depression is common with onset increasing markedly during puberty and peaking in the 20s. Females experience 1.5- to 3-fold higher rates than males, beginning in early adolescence. People of all ages, however, experience depression.Multiple factors likely cause depression, including biochemical, interpersonal, behavioral, and cognitive factors. Biochemical causes include genetic predisposition as well as current brain chemistry. Conflicts and losses in interpersonal relationships can also cause depression, as can increased stress and decreases in positive, enjoyable experiences. Maladaptive patterns of thought, such as repeatedly labeling oneself as a failure or fortune telling future rejection, are often related to depression.

 

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