8% of youth (12-17) experience depression
11% of adolescents have had some form of depression by the time they turn 18
Adolescents have a greater chance of experiencing depression due to increased factors in life.
Major depression- A form of depression that affects the normal functioning of the child to do things such as sleeping, eating, work, and more.
Dysthymia- child experiences symptoms of persistent depressive moods for at least 2 years, but they experience symptoms typically less severe than major depression. The individual may experience major depressive symptoms during periods of time, but they are not consistent enough to be considered major depression.
Inability to make friends
Change in family life or relationships (divorce, moving, fighting...)
These factors were provided to Julia Morneau by Dr. Emily Aron of Georgetown University on July 17th, 2017.
Signs and symptoms:
Feelings of hopelessness
Thoughts of death or suicide
Showing no (or little) motivation to do previously liked activities
A large decrease in energy
Many physical effects on the body, such as headaches, digestive problems, and more
Many doctors use the term "S.I.G.E. C.A.P.S." to summarize symptoms, and if a patient exhibits 5 of these symptoms over a 2 week time period, they can be diagnosed with major depression:
S Sleep (Abnormally too much or too little)
I Interest (A lack of interest in previously enjoyed activities)
G Guilt (Feelings of)
E Energy (Decreased)
C Concentration (Lack of)
A Appetite (A decrease or increase)
P Psychomotor (Any psychological symptoms)
S Suicide (thoughts of)
This acronym was provided to Julia Morneau by Dr. Emily Aron of Georgetown University on July 17th, 2017.
Antidepressants are medications that are used for patients with depression to improve mood, sleep, and more. These can be very effective for treating a depressive disorder.
Many different forms of therapy can be used to treat depression.
Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)
This form of therapy is directed towards patients with depression that have tried other treatments and it has been unsuccessful.
Use of electrical impulses into the patient can be used to relieve symptoms from the patient and can be useful typically if other forms of treatment have not worked, due to potential side effects (confusion, memory loss...) that can be associated with ECT.
How Can a Parent Help Their Kid with Depression?
A parent can help their kid by being there and being supportive. Depression can happen to anyone, they don't choose to have it. Therefore, being a supportive figure and constantly telling them positive things and qualities they have can be extremely effective.
Sources: NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health) Page on Depression
Dr. Emily Aron, MD, Georgetown University