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Teenage depression manifests differently than adult depression. 'Troubled teens' may appear sullen and act out. On the inside though, many depressed adolescents feel hopeless and need mental health help!
Transcript: Depression is a mental illness that's common during adolescence. Peer pressure, physical and emotional...
Depression is a mental illness that's common during adolescence. Peer pressure, physical and emotional changes, sexuality, academic stress, as well as conflicts with friends and family can often lead to the feelings of sadness, inadequacy, indifference and worthlessness that characterize depression. Studies show that about one in every eight teenagers suffers from depression, and an estimated 20 percent of teens will experience depression at some time before reaching adulthood. Teens who lack self-confidence, who tend to be overly critical of themselves, and those who are unable to cope well with stressful events, may be particularly at risk for depression. Teen girls are also twice as likely to experience depression as teen boys. While adolescent depression may be difficult to distinguish from the often up-and-down moods of teenagers, which can vary from day to day - and even hour to hour - there are several important warning signs of depression to be aware of. Obvious behavior changes are often one of the first symptoms of depression. Teens with depression often lose interest in activities that were previously enjoyed, and may also withdraw from family members and friends. Sleeping patterns may change as well. Teens with depression often have trouble falling asleep at night, or problems getting up in the morning. A change in eating habits, such as losing interest in food - or compulsive overeating - may also signal depression. Depressed teens may also complain frequently of various physical ailments, such as headaches, stomachaches, fatigue or back pain. Teens with depression may not always appear sad or withdrawn. Depression may often be expressed through anger, aggression or high-risk behavior such as substance abuse, shoplifting or unsafe sex. That's why it's important to seek help if depression symptoms persist for at least two weeks. Teens with depression may also begin hanging out with a different crowd, cutting class, missing curfews, become unusually defiant or get in trouble with the law. Depression is also a risk factor for teen suicide and the danger increases for teens that abuse drugs or alcohol. Any talk of suicide, "giving up" or reckless behavior must always be taken extremely seriously - and professional help should be obtained immediately! Adolescent depression can be treated effectively. If you suspect your teen is depressed, it's important to consult a mental health professional as soon as possible.More »
Last Modified: 2013-11-25 | Tags »
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What is depression? It's different from an occasional feeling of sadness. True depression is a clinical disorder. Learn the varying degrees of depression.
Transcript: Most people know what depression is - almost everyone suffers from occasional depression with symptoms...
Most people know what depression is - almost everyone suffers from occasional depression with symptoms like sadness, pessimism and low energy. It is only when depression lasts two weeks or more that it becomes a clinical disorder, at which point it is called Major Depression. People sometimes have a hard time understanding the difference between depression and normal sadness. It is important to understand that when someone has depression there are actually physical changes in the structure of the brain as well as reduced levels of important chemicals called neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that allow communication between nerves, but they are also important for mood regulation. People suffering from depression typically have reduced levels of neurotransmitters, especially serotonin. Lower levels of serotonin lead to mood destabilization and depression. People suffering from depression can also have related changes in their brain structure. For example, people with a history of depression have a smaller hippocampus than others. This is important because the hippocampus is an important serotonin receptor.Although people commonly think of depression as a single illness, there are actually many different types, with different causes and treatments. One common type of depression is Major Depression. Symptoms often include overwhelming feelings of sadness, loss of interest in enjoyable activities, low energy and feelings of worthlessness. It may also result in poor sleep, appetite changes, and negative thinking. Another kind of depression, Dysthymia, is characterized by a chronic lack of pleasure in life. Its symptoms are less severe than major depression, but Dysthymia tends to last for long periods of time. Adjustment depression disorder can occur in the aftermath of a sad or traumatic event. A period of unhappiness is normal, but if the depressed feelings continue for several months then it is called adjustment depression disorder. One other common kind of depression is Seasonal Affective Disorder, a pattern of depression related to a lack of exposure to sunlight. Typically, SAD sufferers notice symptoms during winter, when days are shortest, and can often be helped with a light box that replaces lost sunlight. Depression is really a catch-all term for many related illnesses. Excellent treatments exist for most kinds of depression, but self-diagnosis is tricky. If you think you are suffering from depression, the first step towards feeling better is to see a doctor. If you are interested in learning more about this topic, check out other videos and sources on this subject.More »
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Yes, kids can get depressed too. Symptoms of depression in children include irritability, anger and social withdrawal. Learn how to recognize the signs.
Transcript: Young children, like adults, can suffer from depression, a medical illness that can result in a range...
Young children, like adults, can suffer from depression, a medical illness that can result in a range of emotional and physical problems. Because younger children may not be able to describe how they feel, it's important to be aware of the symptoms to look for in children that may be depressed. It's estimated that one out of every 33 children may be affected by depression. Symptoms of depression are unique from child to child, and may manifest differently at different times, but primarily involve persistent sadness, mood swings and a sense of hopelessness. Your child's sleeping habits may change as well. Children with depression often have trouble falling asleep at night, or problems getting up in the morning. A change in your child's eating patterns, such as eating significantly more OR less, may also be a sign of depression. Other signs that your child may be depressed are an obvious change in the ability to function normally at home or at school, a lack of interest in activities that were once enjoyed, worsening performance at school and a noticeable change in appearance or demeanor. Many children with depression may often complain of physical ailments as well, such as frequent headaches or stomachaches that don't respond to typical remedies. And, although it's not uncommon for young children to have temper tantrums, frequent outbursts of anger and crying may also be a sign of depression. Some children suffering from depression may often be sad and tearful. Yet others may become extremely aggressive and argumentative. Not long ago, it was believed young children didn't get depressed. We now know that depression in children is not uncommon. Parents who notice obvious changes in their child's behavior that last more than a few weeks should schedule a visit with their pediatrician. Untreated, depression can have lasting consequences for children that result in setbacks to a child's emotional growth, social life and ability to succeed at school. While there are no specific tests to show depression, a trained therapist can conduct a thorough clinical evaluation and suggest the best treatment options. Most childhood depression can be treated effectively. If you suspect your child is depressed, it's important to seek professional help as soon as possible.More »
Last Modified: 2013-11-22 | Tags »
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There are a number of causes of depression. Some can be attributed to abuse, genetics, death or loss, conflict and medications. Learn more about the causes of depression.
Transcript: Depression is a serious mental illness that affects people of all ages and walks of life. A person with...
Depression is a serious mental illness that affects people of all ages and walks of life. A person with depression may experience a range of often disabling emotional and physical symptoms that can interfere with the ability to function normally in everyday life. While the cause of depression is not fully understood, it is generally believed that a number of issues may influence the presence of depression, ranging from low self-esteem, life events and critical illness, as well as genetic, biological and environmental factors. Researchers believe that people suffering from depression may have imbalances in serotonin and norepinephrine, which are neurotransmitters that enable brain cells to communicate. Decreased levels of serotonin and norepinephrine are also believed to cause the irritability, sleep problems and fatigue associated with depression. Depression also appears to run in some families, suggesting that a family history of depression increases the risk for children and siblings in successive generations. People who lack self-confidence, who tend to be overly critical of themselves, who have a generally negative outlook on life, or are unable to cope well with stressful events are also believed to be at risk for depression. Traumatic life events such as a death, job loss or divorce may trigger depression. Even welcome events like graduating, getting married, having a baby or moving into a dream home may lead to depression, often because regular routines are disrupted and new demands emerge. Depression often occurs in conjunction with certain illnesses, such as cancer, Parkinson's disease, heart disease or Alzheimer's disease. Certain medications - like barbiturates, benzodiazepines, beta-blockers and codeine - are associated with depression as well. A history of physical, emotional or sexual abuse may often be a cause of depression later in life. Many famous people, past and present, have suffered from depression including Vincent Van Gogh, Ernest Hemingway, Michelangelo, Mark Twain and Mozart. More recently, celebrities like comedian Jim Carrey, actor Hugh Laurie and actress Brooke Shields, as well as Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, have talked openly about their bouts with depression, while actor Owen Wilson's depression was made public following his attempted suicide. While the exact cause of depression is not completely understood, depression can be successfully treated in more than 80 percent of people who seek help. If you - or someone you know - is affected by depression, it's important to consult a mental health professional as soon as possible.More »
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Depression is a treatable clinical disorder, but may not be preventable. While how to prevent depression is not truly known, there are ways to reduce your risk.
Transcript: Just as there is no single cause of depression, there is not one particular way to prevent it. There...
Just as there is no single cause of depression, there is not one particular way to prevent it. There are, however, steps you can take to manage anxiety, boost self-esteem and increase resilience to stress that may help you overcome many symptoms of depression. Mental health experts have long advocated exercise as a way to combat, and help prevent, depression. Recent studies show that exercising three to five times a week, for at least 30 minutes, can help reduce depression symptoms. While high-intensity, cardiovascular workouts showed the best results, any type of exercise - like walking, biking, swimming, kickboxing or even gardening - may help to reduce stress and boost self-esteem. Certain foods may also help fight depression, as evidenced by low rates of depression in Scandinavian and Asian counties, which both have diets high in fish. Clinical studies confirm foods rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, including salmon, sardines and tuna, can effectively reduce depression symptoms. Studies also suggest that high levels of B vitamins - folic acid, B2, B6 and B12 - can help battle depression. So a diet high in fruits and vegetables, as well as legumes, nuts and whole grains may be beneficial as well. Keep an eye on carbohydrates, too. They break down into sugar, which can worsen depression symptoms. If you choose to eat carb-rich foods, stick with the good ones, like green vegetables, fruit and nuts - and skip the chips, bagels and cupcakes. In addition to exercise and a healthy diet, it can also be beneficial to make time for activities YOU enjoy, whether you're writing in a journal, playing the piano, seeing a movie with friends, practicing free throws or spending quality time on the putting green. Many people find mind-body techniques valuable in helping conquer depression. Practicing meditation, yoga, Tai Chi or guided imagery has a positive impact on physiological processes, which may help improve relaxation, emotions, energy and concentration. Research suggests acupuncture may be another viable way to reduce or prevent symptoms of depression. By stimulating the body's central nervous system, acupuncture increases production of mood-enhancing endorphins. And don't forget to stay connected with the people you care about - and who make you feel good about yourself. There are many ways you can take charge of depression and help reduce or prevent its symptoms. If you - or someone you know - suffers from depression, please consult a mental health professional.More »
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Are you at risk for depression? Genetics and medical conditions can play a role, but they are not the only factors. Watch this for more on risks of depression.
Transcript: A number of factors can increase the risk for depression, a serious mental illness that can affect anyone,...
A number of factors can increase the risk for depression, a serious mental illness that can affect anyone, at any time of life. Risks include gender, a person's ability to cope with stress, the presence of certain medical conditions or loss of a loved one. Evidence suggests that genetics play a role in depression. While there is not a specific gene that causes depression, a family history of depression suggests that other family members may be at risk for experiencing depression during their lifetime. Gender is a risk factor as well. Women are twice as likely to suffer from depression than men, which many experts attribute - in part - to hormonal influences on the brain chemistry that regulates mood and emotions, as well as balancing work and family responsibilities. Depression is not uncommon in men, especially in a culture where male self-worth is often dependent upon physical prowess and career achievements. However, men tend to be less comfortable talking about their feelings or seeking help than women, suggesting that male depression may be underreported. Adolescents are also at risk for depression, particularly those who lack self-confidence, tend to be overly critical of themselves, or those who are unable to cope well with stress in everyday life. While risk factors may increase the probability of depression, there's no certainty that depression will occur. That's because depression risks are also closely associated with individual personalities, temperament and styles of coping, along with how each person construes and reacts to past and current life experiences. For example, a family history of physical, emotional or sexual abuse puts a person at risk for depression later in life. Depression risks may also occur in the context of relationships, as with the loss of a family member, infidelity, divorce, or betrayal by a friend or coworker. Serious illness, especially chronic conditions such as heart disease, Alzheimer's or Parkinson's, pose a risk for depression as well. In addition, depression among caregivers of family members with these chronic conditions is approximately 10 times more frequent than in the general population. Not everyone with risk factors becomes depressed. And many risk factors can be managed with the help of a mental health professional. If you - or someone you know - is at risk for depression, please consult a mental health professional.More »
Last Modified: 2013-11-22 | Tags »
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The causes of major depression are unknown, but factors such as genetics and life events can contribute to depression risk. This video explains possible causes and significance of major depression.
Transcript: Major Depression is the leading cause of disability in the United States, for people ranging from 15...
Major Depression is the leading cause of disability in the United States, for people ranging from 15 to 44 years old, affecting more than 14.8 million people a year! But what causes this debilitating condition? The precise cause of Major Depression is not known, but research suggests a family history of depression. Having a family member who has committed suicide may also increase one's risk. Major Depression is also associated with serious medical illnesses, like cancer or AIDS, and with long-term use of some medications. Certain personality traits, such as lacking self-confidence or having a negative outlook on life may also increase the risk of depression. Imaging studies suggest that actual physical changes take place in the brain when a person suffers from Major Depression. In addition, people with depression typically have reduced levels of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters, particularly serotonin, which plays an important role in regulating mood. What distinguishes Major Depression is the number and severity of symptoms. Diagnosis involves the presence of five or more depression symptoms that persist for at least two weeks. However, it's important to see a health care provider first to rule out any underlying medical condition. Treatment for depression typically involves medication and psychotherapy. However, rather than either therapy on its own, studies suggest the best results are achieved when antidepressant drugs and/or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are used in combination with therapy. About two-thirds of people who suffer from Major Depression recover completely. Those, however, who don't experience a complete recovery, may be at higher risk for experiencing additional depressive episodes. Untreated, the frequency and severity of depression symptoms may increase. Other complications may include severe problems at home, at school, in the workplace, and with one's finances. Suicidal thoughts are common among people suffering from Major Depression, and up to 15 percent ultimately take their own lives. If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, it's imperative to call 911 or a suicide hotline immediately! Major Depression can be overwhelming for everyone concerned, but there are treatments that can help. If you, or someone you know, is suffering from depression, please consult a mental health professional.More »
Last Modified: 2013-07-23 | Tags »
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Suicide is always a risk in people who suffer from chronic depression. If you are trying to help a loved one, learn how to spot the signs a depressed person may be a suicide risk.
Transcript: Depression, which affects nearly 19 million Americans annually, is also the leading cause of suicide....
Depression, which affects nearly 19 million Americans annually, is also the leading cause of suicide. While not everyone with depression becomes suicidal, more than 60 percent of suicidal people suffer from depression. Depression is a serious medical illness characterized by feelings of persistent sadness, hopelessness and loss of interest in normal activities. These feelings may result in depression going untreated because sufferers may be unable to realize they need help, or think they can't be helped. Depression is associated with reduced levels of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters, particularly serotonin, and to a lesser degree, norepinephrine, which play an important role in regulating mood. This chemical imbalance contributes to the emotional and physical pain often experienced by depression sufferers. Studies show that most people who suffer from depression and attempt suicide don't WANT to die. Instead, they may see suicide as the only way to end their pain. If you think you may be depressed, or know someone who is, it's important to know depression can be treated effectively, typically through a combination of medication and psychotherapy. People DO get better! It's also important to know the risk factors for suicide. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, up to 50 percent of people who complete suicide made a prior attempt to take their own life. People suffering from depression often "self-medicate" with alcohol or drugs, which can impair judgment, heighten impulsiveness and increase suicide risk. Other risk factors include previous suicide threats, recent death of a loved one, a separation or divorce, or possession of a firearm. Family history also figures prominently in suicide risk, especially if there's a history of a depressive disorder, suicide, or physical or sexual abuse. Teens who suffer from depression are also at increased risk for suicide when alcohol and drug use is involved. Other risk factors in youth are reckless, aggressive or disruptive behaviors. There also are a number of warning signs that may indicate a person is planning suicide: preoccupation with death or dying; talking or joking about suicide; giving away prized possessions; and visiting or calling people in a manner that appears to be saying goodbye. In some cases, depression sufferers may unexpectedly switch from being very sad to suddenly appearing to be happy and calm. However, this sudden lift in spirits may actually be a precursor to suicide, signaling they've made the decision to end their life. ANY TALK OF SUICIDE should be taken seriously. It would be a mistake to leave a suicidal person alone, or construe a suicide threat as a bid for attention. Studies show 70 percent of people who complete suicide tell someone on advance. If you find yourself with a person who's contemplating suicide, listen and let them know you care. Don't try to argue them out of their decision, but do offer to go with them to get help. If you are considering suicide, PLEASE let someone help you, and KNOW that there's treatment available that will help you feel good about life again. If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please get professional immediately.More »
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Family history, severe stress and environmental conditions are some of the many surprising risk factors for depression. Watch this video to find out more.
Transcript: In a given year, nearly seven percent of the u.s population battles depression. What makes a person more...
In a given year, nearly seven percent of the u.s population battles depression. What makes a person more susceptible to this mental illness? It's important to understand that clinical depression is a condition that can affect anyone at any age. Research has uncovered several factors that seem to increase a person's risk of developing depression. Being female is one of the biggest risk factors. Women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression as men. This may be due to a number of factors ranging from severe premenstrual syndrome, to being pregnant and giving birth, to going through the hormonal changes of menopause. Additionally, depression most often manifests in a person's late 20s or early 30s. No matter their age, though, depression occurs more frequently in people with the condition in their immediate families. A family history of other mental illnesses, including alcoholism and eating disorders, may also contribute to risk. External, environmental factors have been shown to increase an individual's risk of major depression, as well. Some examples include early childhood trauma, like losing a parent, or being physically or sexually abused. Severe adulthood stress affects risk, too. For example, people unemployed for six months or more are three times as likely to develop depression. Those who are divorced, separated, and cohabiting are also more likely to be depressed than their single and married peers. And adults with chronic illnesses, like hiv, cancer, and heart disease, are more likely to become depressed, too. One surprising risk factor for depression is living in an urban area. City dwellers may have twice the rates of the condition as those living in the country. Unsurprisingly, people who live in poverty also have higher rates of this mental illness. Foreign substances in the body are yet another risk factor for depression. People who smoke have higher rates of the illness, as do people who abuse alcohol. And some prescription drugs-like sedatives and pain medications, may also cause depression, like symptoms. Remember, no matter what causes depression, the condition is highly treatable. If you have concerns about depression, make an appointment with a health care provider.More »
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Treating depression in children and teens is a very individual process, as depression affects everyone differently. Learn about the most effective methods.
Transcript: Typically, once your child or adolescent has been diagnosed with depression, your mental health practitioner...
Typically, once your child or adolescent has been diagnosed with depression, your mental health practitioner will discuss the treatment options available. Remember, just as depression affects no two children in exactly the same way, there is no single ideal treatment that works for all children. Its essential to begin treatment as soon as possible, but its equally important to become as informed as possible about the options for treatment. It may also be beneficial to involve your child in treatment decisions, depending on his or her age and level of maturity. Similar to adult depression treatment methods, treating depression in children and adolescents typically includes psychotherapy and medication, or a combination of the two. Many mental health professionals prefer starting treatment in children and adolescents with psychotherapy. Depending upon the therapys progress and the childs state of mind, medication may be considered as an additional option. Your mental health professional may recommend antidepressant medication as part of your childs treatment. However, its important for parents to become informed about any warnings or known risks associated with the drug prescribed before your child begins taking any medication. Psychotherapy focuses on the causes of the depression and typically involves interactive conversations between the therapist and child, and may also include family members. There are also a number of behavioral therapies that also can be beneficial in treating depression. Cognitive behavior therapy, or CBT, helps young people replace distorted or harmful thought patterns with more positive feelings and behaviors, and is often effective in treating depression, as is interpersonal therapy, which focuses on the impact of interpersonal events on a childs emotional state. Younger children may benefit from play therapy, which utilizes toys, games and drawings to help children express their feelings - while the therapist gains insight to the childs problems by observing the way in which the child engages with the playthings. Parents can help, too! Remind your child that you love and support them no matter what - and keep an eye out for any warning signs that call for immediate professional attention. Depression can be treated successfully in more than 80 percent of children and adolescents. But its key to seek professional help and begin treatment as soon as possible. If you suspect your child is suffering from depression, please consult a mental health professional.More »
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Normal depression and chronic depression are not the same. If you're experiencing prolonged lethargy and despair, you might be at risk for chronic depression. Watch this for more.
Transcript: Most people feel gloomy, worn out or disconnected from life at one time or another. But when these feelings...
Most people feel gloomy, worn out or disconnected from life at one time or another. But when these feelings continue nearly every day for two years or more, you may be suffering from Chronic Depression. What differentiates Chronic Depression, also called Dysthymia or Dysthymic Disorder, from Major Depression is that symptoms are less severe and often persist for several years. People with Chronic Depression typically function adequately in everyday activities, yet feel continually unhappy and unable to live life to its fullest. It's estimated that Chronic Depression affects more than 10 million Americans annually. Many celebrities including Jim Carrey, Drew Barrymore, Harrison Ford, Hugh Laurie and Sheryl Crow have spoken openly about coping with ongoing depression. The exact cause of Chronic Depression is not known. However, as in Major Depression, it's believed to involve changes in the brain that result in reduced levels of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters, especially serotonin, which helps regulate mood and emotions. Chronic Depression may develop in response to significant life stressors, such as the loss of a loved one, a violent or otherwise traumatic event, severe financial or relationship problems, or difficulties at work. It may also be caused by certain chronic illnesses such as AIDS, cancer, Parkinson's disease, as well as by long-term use of some medications. Studies suggest that a family history of any depressive, anxiety or bipolar disorder can also increase the likelihood of developing Chronic Depression. Chronic Depression often begins with vague feelings of sadness and emptiness that gradually multiply. And it can start in childhood or adulthood, and occurs more often in women than men. The primary hallmark of Chronic Depression is a persistently low, dark or sad mood accompanied by chronic lack of pleasure in daily life. It also is not uncommon for sufferers to experience a major depressive episode, called "double depression", especially if Chronic Depression goes untreated. These symptoms may include feelings of hopelessness, fatigue, insomnia or excessive sleeping, poor concentration, appetite changes and low self-esteem. No two people experience Chronic Depression exactly the same way, but most struggle with the same symptoms, that characterize Major Depression, but with less severity. Several of these symptoms must be present for at least two years in adults to meet the criteria for a diagnosis of Chronic Depression. Actor/film maker Woody Allen often portrays characters in his movies that seem to be Dysthymia Sufferers. However, it's not uncommon for sufferers to experience occasional periods of feeling relatively normal amid low moods. Unfortunately, Dysthymic disorder is less responsive to treatment than major depressive disorder. For many sufferers, the first step is visiting a family physician to rule out any other causes of the depression symptoms, such as a medical condition or substance abuse issues. Treating Chronic Depression typically includes psychotherapy, in which a mental health professional may provide counseling, cognitive and/or behavioral therapy to aid in developing coping skills. Treatment may also include medication, such as antidepressants, which should be mutually determined by patient and physician, according to effectiveness versus side effects. In any case, medication for Chronic Depression may take several weeks to provide optimal benefits. Chronic Depression sufferers can also benefit from positive lifestyle habits such as healthy eating, regular exercise, avoiding alcohol and nurturing a strong support system. Rarely do people with Chronic Depression recover completely. Some require ongoing therapy or medication. But seeking an accurate diagnosis and treatment is an important first step in enjoying life again. If you think you, or someone you know, may be suffering from Chronic Depression, please consult your family physician or a mental health professional.More »
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What is major depression? It's a clinical disorder leading to feelings of sadness and hopelessness. Learn the basics of this chronic condition.
Transcript: Everyone experiences periods of sadness, grief and discouragement. But when these feelings persist more...
Everyone experiences periods of sadness, grief and discouragement. But when these feelings persist more than a couple of weeks and impair your ability to get through the day, you may have Major Depression. Major Depression, also known as Clinical Depression or Major Depressive Disorder, is the most severe form of depression. People experiencing major depression typically feel such intense sadness and hopelessness that they are constantly depressed, and have no interest in normal activities. Major Depression is one of the most common mental health conditions and is the leading cause of disability in the U.S., affecting as many as 15 million Americans yearly. Symptoms of Major Depression vary because everyone experiences depression differently. Some people eat too much or too little. Some have trouble sleeping or can't get out of bed. Still others may be unusually irritable, or have difficulty concentrating. Other symptoms of depression include lack of energy, loss of pleasure in activities previously enjoyed, and thoughts of suicide. The typical onset for Major Depression is between the ages of 25 and 44, but can affect anyone at any age. Women are twice as likely to experience Major Depression and are particularly vulnerable to depression following childbirth, because of hormonal and physical changes. Men suffer from Major Depression, too. However, men are less likely to seek help when depressed, so it often goes unreported. Men may also be more likely to express their unhappiness through anger, substance abuse or violent behavior. Episodes of Major Depression may last for six to nine months. While some people experience a single occurrence, others may experience repeated episodes throughout their life. That's why most mental health professionals consider Major Depression a chronic illness requiring long-term treatment.More »
Last Modified: 2013-10-02 | Tags »
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Despite its name, atypical depression is pretty common. Some of the symptoms include bipolar-like modds swings. More symptoms are explained in this video.
Transcript: Do you feel happy in positive situations yet slip into a dark, depressed mood as soon as you feel alone...
Do you feel happy in positive situations yet slip into a dark, depressed mood as soon as you feel alone or rejected? You may be suffering from Atypical Depression. Although its name implies Atypical Depression is unusual, it is actually one of the most common types of depression. What distinguishes Atypical Depression from other types of depression is what's called "mood reactivity," meaning sufferers experience both high or lows depending upon a particular situation. In contrast to most types of depression where sufferers may experience persistent sadness and an inability to enjoy normal activities even when good things happen, people with Atypical Depression experience pleasure in positive interactions or events, along with brightening of their mood. People with Atypical Depression also tend to be extremely sensitive and react intensely to any situation they perceive as negative. As a result, they may experience severe depressive symptoms in response to rejection of a friend or lover, or even constructive criticism from a coworker. Other common symptoms of Atypical Depression include: overeating accompanied by cravings for carbohydrates and sweets, weight gain, oversleeping, and what is often described as a "leaden-like" quality that may make sufferers feel weighed down and unable to move. Atypical Depression often begins in adolescence and, untreated, may continue into adulthood. As a result, people with this form of depression are often unaware of their mood swings, and may also be at an increased risk for panic attacks or a major depressive episode. While the precise cause of Atypical Depression is unknown, experts have identified numerous factors that may play a role in its development including: a family history of depression; previous mental, physical or sexual abuse; and alcohol or drug abuse. Atypical depression also occurs significantly more frequently in women than in men, with more than 70 percent of sufferers being female. Atypical Depression has also been associated with changes in brain chemicals called neurotransmitters, especially serotonin, which helps regulate mood and emotions. Like other forms of depressive illness, Atypical Depression can interfere with daily life. For example, oversleeping and sluggishness may affect home and work responsibilities, while mood swings can cause difficulties in personal and professional relationships. Often, the first step in resolving Atypical Depression is seeing your family doctor, who can rule out medical causes like low levels of thyroid hormone, which can cause depression and weight gain. Based on the results, you may be referred to a mental health professional. Diagnosing Atypical Depression involves meeting criteria stated by the American Psychiatric Association in the DSM IV-TR manual. The criteria include the presence of a depressed mood that readily improves in positive situations, plus any two common symptoms of Atypical Depression: interpersonal rejection, sensitivity, oversleeping, overeating and leaden paralysis. Treatment typically begins with medication, such as Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, which are believed to be the most effective in treating Atypical Depression. Experts believe medication is most effective in combination with psychotherapy. If you or someone you know may have Atypical Depression, please see your doctor or a mental health professional.More »
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