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Depression Powered By Docstoc

Not your normal “ups and downs” of
      Famous people living with
•   Buzz Aldrin
•   Jim Carey
•   Drew Carey
•   Elton John
•   Joan Rivers
•   Roseanne
•   Harrison Ford
So, What is it?
• Medical illness
• More than just the occasional bad mood
• NOT the natural mourning that takes place
  after a loss
• Not the ordinary cycle of ups and downs
• Difficult to diagnose or recognize in oneself
  and especially in children ( case studies)
• Persistent sad or “empty” mood (14 days or
• Loss of pleasure in ordinary activities
• Decreased energy, fatigue, being “slowed
• Significant weight loss or gain - loss of
• Sleep disturbance - insomnia, early-morning
  waking or oversleeping
• Thoughts of death or suicide, suicide
  attempts (30% of fatal one car accidents are
  actually suicides)
• Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
• Irritability
• Excessive crying
• Chronic aches and pains that don’t respond
  to treatment
• Inability to concentrate
    Depression in Children and
• Symptoms are similar to adults, but often go
  unrecognized and untreated
• Signs often appear around ages 14-18 (but
  may be earlier)
• Highest age group affected - 25-44
• Girls and women are 2-3 times more likely to
  report it than boys and men
• Teenaged girls are believed to have highest
  reported incidence of any age group
• Youth depression is often a reaction to loss
  or other stressful life events with out the
  skills or support to deal with them
• Biochemical imbalance in the brain may
  play a factor (many believe this is true for
  all major depressions)
• Heredity may also be a factor
•   A close friend or family member dying
•   Changing schools
•   Loss of ideal body image
•   Low self esteem
•   Loss of friendship
•   Others:
•   Family and personal conflicts
•   Concern over physical appearance
•   Grades
•   Athletics
•   Job
•   Others:
Student Assistance Programs
  What should I be looking for?
• One of the most overlooked and untreated
  disorders of children and adolescence
• Difficult to recognize because it is often
  masked by behavior not usually identified
  with depression
• Feelings of sadness, helplessness
• Negative feeling of self-worth
• Inattentiveness and listlessness
• Abuse of alcohol and other drugs
• Decreased academic performance or drop in
• Running away
• Accident-proneness
• Academic failure
        Other things to look for
•   Aggression
•   Sexual promiscuity
•   Frequent absences from school
•   Daydreaming
•   Withdrawn or sullen behavior
• Quick reaction with tears to any kind of
• Inability to maintain energy level or
  complete ordinary tasks
• Complaints of tiredness
• Decreased appetite
• Disruptive behavior inside and outside the
• Low frustration tolerance
• Frequent complaints of physical symptoms
  of illness
Teachers Can Make a Difference

    The story of Teddy Stoddard and
            Mrs. Thompson
          Tips for the teacher
• Help the student get appropriate diagnosis
  and treatment
• Take seriously any discussions of death,
  suicide or any suicide attempts and report
  them to the appropriate person ( know
  school policy)
• The student is experiencing a decreased
  ability to make decisions, and less ability to
  take action.
• Offer hope and support, but be careful not
  to do absolutely everything for the person,
  as it may increase their feelings of
  inadequacy. Try to encourage the student
  to take walks, outings or other recreational
  activities that once gave them pleasure.
• Be gently insistent - the depressed student
  needs diversions, but too many demands
  can increase feelings of failure
• Offer emotional support; understanding,
  patience and encouragement. Engage the
  student in conversation and listen carefully.
• Do not accuse the depressed person of
  faking illness, laziness, or expect him to
  shape up or snap out of it.
• Eventually, with treatment, most depressed
  people do get better. Keep reassuring the
  student that with time and help he will feel
    Helping a depressed person
• We are not therapists - use these tips when
  awaiting onset of services or with the advice
  of a professional
• When serious depression is suspected, it is
  appropriate to seek professional help
  without delay!
 Possible reactions to depression
           in the family
• Child may:
  – allow his/her own needs to be ignored
  – fear their own negative moods may be the
    beginning of depression
  – have to make some unfair compromises
  – become hostile, angry or withdrawn
  – develop behavior problems at home or at school
  – become lonely or isolated from others their age
    Helping Children cope with
     Depression in the Family
• Help child understand the disease
  – explain symptoms of the illness and how each
    is caused by depression - not the child
  – convey that you can’t “catch” depression
  – depression can go away for awhile and then
    come back
– depression is nobody’s fault and children are
  not responsible for the person’s behavior
– it is normal and OK to feel angry or resentful
  about the person’s behavior., You can feel
  angry and still love someone.
– People with depression sometimes have to take
  medicine or go to the hospital to get better
 Treatment Options

• Psychotherapy
• Drug therapy -Paxil, Prozac,
• Drug and Psychotherapy combined
• Alternative Medicine - (St. John’s Wort)
    How can I help myself feel
• Try to focus on the positives about yourself
  rather than the negatives
• Accept the fact that others aren’t perfect
• Accept that you aren’t perfect
• Enjoy the present
• Take care of yourself physically
• Do something nice for yourself

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