What Is Depression?
Depression described in the clinical manual (DSM - IV TR) is a series of symptoms that have been consistent for a certain period of time. Some of these symptoms are; changes in sleeping patterns, either sleeping all the time or not sleeping at all, irritability, sad or low mood, changes in eating patterns, loss of interest in activities, lack of motivation, body aches and pains, and fatigue to name a few.
There are several types of depression, the symptoms are similar but the length of time the symptoms have been interfering will determine the type of depression. Some depression may be considered a situational depression and not something that would be formally diagnosed. This type of depression may come from moving to a new area, losing a job, breaking up with a girl/boyfriend, or financial difficulties. If the depression persists it may then be diagnosed into one of the depression categories.
Severe depression has generally persisted over a period of at least 3 months, there may be time periods where the depression decreases but then comes back, which is called a recurring type of depression and also has its own diagnosed category.
The diagnostic manual has many types of depression that could be diagnosed. In each of these types of depressions there are modifiers which are like the "recurring" from the above paragraph. These modifiers help determine if there are other things happening. These are things like psychotic features, medical conditions, drug and/or alcohol use, and mild, moderate, or severe symptoms.
In our fast paced world there is no surprise that diagnosing depression has gone way up. Depression is one of those medical conditions that no one likes to admit to having because it could make you appear weak. Depression, however, is a medical condition and is very treatable. Your doctor can prescribe medication that can help to relieve some of the symptoms that become so heavy. There are other things that can really help depression, which is getting outside and going for a walk, doing yoga, going to the gym, reading a good book, talking to friends or family, seeing a therapist, writing or journaling, painting or drawing, or listening to uplifting music. These are just a few suggestions that can help decrease symptoms of depression.
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This post is for information only. Please see your doctor for possible medication help and if your symptoms of depression are severe or if you have thoughts of suicide call 911.
The biggest question for most teens that have these thoughts is, Is this normal?? The answer is for a lot of people it is. The key is to learn how to manage these thoughts and to work through them with the support of those around us. I my self went through a time where I was extremely suicidal, I soon found out what was the cause of these thoughts and learned how to ease them out of my life. Also when they return, if they do, I know what to and not to do. There are several different things that can be learned which will help.