INTRODUCTION Young people may feel depressed for all sorts of reasons and moods may vary, from feeling a bit blue to feeling overwhelming sadness and hopelessness. Some may even feel suicidal. Depression may be triggered by a stressful event, such as death or broken relationship. Sometimes; however, it may have no obvious cause. DIFFERENT TYPES OFDEPRESSIVE DISORDERS The three main types of depressive disorders are: • DEPRESSED MOOD - Feeling sad or blue is an emotion common to people of all ages. The feeling generally results from problems or loss. People usually feel better after talking about the problem or doing something they enjoy. A depressed mood doesn’t usually interfere with daily activities. This is a part of human experience and is not an illness. • DYSTHYMIA – THIS is a mild type of a depression in which a young person’s mood is regularly low. The main symptom of dysthymia is a low, dark or sad mood on most days or for at least two years. The young person may lose interest in things they have enjoyed doing and appear down most of the time. They have less energy, find it difficult to concentrate and have trouble eating and sleeping. The most common factor is feeling bad about themselves and having less confidence and enjoyment in their lives. Dysthymia is much more serious than a depressed mood. • MAJOR DEPRESSIVE EPISODE - This illness is a change in the person from their usual self. Some people describe depression as LIVING IN BLACK HOLE and some other depressed people don’t feel sad at all- instead they feel lifeless, empty and apathetic. Whatever the symptoms, depression interferes with the young person’s ability to work, study, eat, sleep and have fun. SYMPTOMS OF MAJOR DEPRESSION IN TEENAGER: Severe sleeping problems • Loss of enjoyment in usual activities • Feeling of hopeless or worthless • Increasing drug and alcohol use • Neglect of personal appearance • Excessive worry about health • Complains about constant physical pains like headaches • Carelessness about physical safety • Behavior problems • Preoccupation with death and suicide.
YOUNG PEOPLE AT RISK OF DEPRESSION Depression can affect anyone, but some teenagers are more likely to become depressed if: • They have a close relative who has suffered from depression • They have had a major life stress or several stresses.
EXAMPLES of major life stresses include family break-up, school failure, bullying, experience of prejudice and social isolation, child abuse, loss of a parent,accident,broken relationship or moving to another area.
HOW TO HELP A DEPRESSED TEEN? When young people are suffering from depression, they aren’t always able to ask for help and may even refuse for your help at times. It is important for you to take the initiative and make efforts regarding that like you should : • Take their depression seriously • Offer unconditional love and concern • Take time to listen when they want to talk about their feelings • Show them that you are available without being PUSHY • Support and encourage them to get help without nagging • Involve them in activities they enjoy.
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