Depression is an overwhelming feeling of sadness and despair. It does not discriminate across race, ethnicity, gender, or socioeconomic status. Even celebrities such as Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, Angelina Jolie, and Robin Williams have openly discussed their experiences with depression.
Depression often can present itself in various ways:
- Depressed mood
- Decreased interest or involvement in most activities
- Significant changes in sleep
- Significant weight or appetite changes
- Difficulty concentrating
- Loss of energy
- Suicidal thinking
How do I determine 'depression' from a case of 'the blues'?
Depression is different from 'the blues' because it typically is intense feelings of sadness, despair, and/or irritability for 2 or more weeks. During this time, the feelings of sadness occur most of the everyday, nearly everyday. Depression can be a serious issue that can prevent a student from being successful in the different areas of their life (relationships, school, work, etc.). Sometimes getting out of bed in the morning can be the most difficult part of the day. In some cases, medication may be appropriate, in addition to counseling support.
Statistics related to depression
- An estimated 2 million American adolescents will experience depression each year.
- 1 in 5 adolescents will experience depression before the age of 18
- Of those that experience depression, approximately 60% do not receive treatment
- Before puberty boys and girls are equally likely to experience depression. After age 15, girls and women are twice as likely as boys and men to experience depression.
Similar to anxiety, there are many treatment options for people with depression. Be sure to speak with an adult of CHS Wellness Team about treatment options if you have concerns that you or someone you know may be suffering from depression. Some common therapy options include the following...
The most common classes of medications used to combat depression and anxiety disorders are antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs, and beta-blockers (visit Mental Health Medications). Be aware that some medications are effective only if they are taken regularly and that symptoms may recur if the medication is stopped.
Antidepressants may take several weeks to start working and may cause side effects such as headache, nausea, or difficulty sleeping. The side effects are usually not a problem for most people, especially if the dose starts off low and is increased slowly over time.
Please Note: Although antidepressants are safe and effective for many people, they may be risky for children, teens, and young adults. A “black box” warning—the most serious type of warning that a prescription can carry—has been added to the labels of antidepressants. The labels now warn that antidepressants may cause some people to have suicidal thoughts or make suicide attempts. For this reason, anyone taking an antidepressant should be monitored closely, especially when they first start taking the medication.
Stop by and talk to a counselor or member of the CHS Wellness Team if you have a concern for yourself or for your friends.