Andrew Caffrey Dr. Jacobs B-Period Depression Everyday, High-School students cope with stressful situations, dealing with academics, sports, or even social life. How they chose to cope with this stress determines what feelings a student will have. These feelings define who you are, and how you feel. One of the main problems in adolescents is how they handle this extra stress, and whether or not it will turn into sadness or actual depression. In trying to understand this problem, and hopefully avoid future situations of stress, I have conducted web review on the following sites: A Guide to Understanding Depression vs. Sadness www.dartmouth.edu/community/chd/DepVSad.html You Asked About….. Adolescent Depression www.mentalhealth.com/mag1/pg51-dp01.html The Blues and Depression www.ksu.edu/ucs/blues.html "A Guide to Understanding Depression vs. Sadness" This is a relatively easy site to navigate, and comprehend. The concepts of depression are well laid out in a bullet form. These bullets show symptoms of those who may potentially be depressed. It allows for the understanding of key points to depression, and how it differs from sadness. In another section on the page, there are some frequently asked questions answered; such as: "WHAT IS CLINICAL DEPRESSION?", "IS CLINICAL DEPRESSION TREATABLE?", "WHO'S SUSCEPTIBLE TO CLINICAL DEPRESSION?", and "WHAT IF A FRIEND NEEDS HELP?". These questions allow help for the further understanding of depression, and how to deal with it. I learned how clinical depression differs from everyday sadness. This site gave me a better insight as to what the symptoms of depression are, and how to deal with them. I found it interesting that this site actually has a help center that you can call, however this service is for the Dartmouth students only. Even so, this is a helpful resource for the college students, and an interesting site for researching depression. "You Asked About….. Adolescent Depression" This site is a bit more complex, but still relatively easy to understand. It is a site made up of questions, and facts. It is written more towards those who wish to study this particular problem, rather than those who wish to seek help for it. However, the facts are helpful in that you leave this site with a better understanding of how this problem affects the world. Among these questions, there remain a few helpful ones. Such as "How should depression in adolescents be treated?". This was one of the most important questions, in my opinion, as it helped me to understand how serious this problem can be. The basic feeling of the answer they give, is one of which you can relate to the previous site. If you have sadness, you need to learn how to manage your stress better. However, if you have true depression it is a very serious problem, that usually requires medical attention. Overall, this site was helpful in allowing me to understand the specifics on this subject. "The Blues and Depression"
2 This is a wonderful, and extremely easy site to read. I believe this site to be the most helpful, even though it was the simplest page to read. This page explains, briefly, what depression is, and how to deal with it. It lists ideas as to how to cut down on your stress, and become less depressed. These are relatively simple thoughts, and are explained in detail. Not only does one leave this site with a better understanding on how to treat depression, they will leave with a better understanding of what it is; as the ideas listed are backed up with their effects on the mind, and depression. This is a wonderful site, and I believe I learned the most from it. It has outlines for you to make your own chart of how to beat depression. It also has a bibliography of sorts. This wonderful site even comes complete with links to other helpful sites in which you can explore. Overall, after reading all these sites, I have a better grasp on what depression is. I now know where it comes from, and how to treat it. I have defined depression and how it differs from sadness. To be truly satisfied, first one must help themselves. In the "The Blues and Depression" site, there are ideas as to how one can learn to help themselves. In all of the sites are ways to help yourself, and each other. Sam Hyde 9/26/01 Dr. Jacobs Coping with Depression: SUNY Buffalo http://ub-counseling.buffalo.edu/depress.shtml This article briefly delves into the clinical illness of depression. It gives a basic definition of the illness, and distinguishes the actual illness of depression from the normal human mood of depression. While most people have a few miserable moments every so often, a person with clinical depression is in a permanent haze that is characterized by feelings of worrying, self-doubt, and guilt. It is this more serious sort of depression that the article addresses. Some causes of depression given on the site are significant loss, no control over one’s environment, disappointment, and failure. The site then lists the symptoms of depression, in four categories – emotional, physical, behavioral, and thought. I was very surprised that a mental illness could have physical effects as powerful as sleep-deprivation, appetite loss, constipation, and an irregular menstrual cycle for women. It also causes many horrible emotions like hopelessness, sadness, anxiety and anger, and causes strange behavioral symptoms like crying for no reason, getting easily angered, or engaging in drug/alcohol abuse. I think I look at depression in a new way; these painful results have made me believe that depression is not an amusing problem, but something serious that causes real suffering. One section of the site bothered me, the section with information on how to overcome depression. Anyone who is suffering from true depression would not be able to cure himself by following a few directions on a website. Other than that, I could find nothing objectionable with the information on the site. It is very easily read, with clear bulleted statements, plain language and a good layout. The concepts explained are rudimentary; if one knows what depression is, then one will have no problem grasping the material. The content is not only suitable for high school students, but anyone who operates in a high-stress environment. Whenever a great deal is demanded of you and failure is not an option, it is easy for negative thoughts to slip inside your mind. Depression is an enemy to everyone.
3 I think the site could be improved if it went into the actual physical causes of depression, such as chemicals affecting thought, and if there were links to more in-depth information. Other than that, it serves it purpose: to satisfy anyone who is looking for a brief overview of the topic. Sarah Fieber December 11, 2001 Dr. Jacobs Coping with Depression http://ub-counseling.buffalo.edu/depress.shtml One constantly hears people saying, "this is so depressing", "I’m depressed", "stop acting so depressed", and numerous other phrases containing some form of that same word: depression. As the website clearly states, "Everyone has experienced feelings of depression at one time or another." However, the site also informs the reader that "normal" phases of depression last only from a few minutes to a few days. When someone crosses that line between "being ‘down’ or ‘sad’" and becoming mentally ill as a result of these feelings, help should be sought. How does one know when that line has been crossed? There are a myriad of symptoms that are characteristic of this illness: emotional symptoms, physical symptoms, behavioral symptoms, and thoughts/perceptions which may become self-defeating. Emotional symptoms include sadness, guilt, feelings of helplessness, frustration, anger, etc. Abnormal sleep patterns, weight loss or gain, and loss of sexual desire are some examples of physical symptoms. Behavioral symptoms range from withdrawal from others, to crying for no apparent reason, to the use of drugs. Lastly, pessimistic thoughts, feelings of helplessness, and excessive criticism of oneself, are included in demoralizing perceptions resulting from depression. These feelings can result from:
o o o o o o
Significant loss Loss of control over the environment. (The person feels that nothing can be done to change unfortunate events in life) Unrealistic expectations. Disappointment. Perceived failure. Negative thinking which gradually becomes self-defeating.
Depression can be treated. There is not one specific formula that works for every person, yet there are numerous ways to overcome this illness. Breathwork therapy, which relieves tension and relaxes one’s mind, is successful for some people. Others could experience more improvement as a result of professional help and counseling. Although there are many techniques used to achieve wellness, the person must try to boost his/her self-esteem by focusing on his/her strengths, becoming more socially active, and developing an optimistic outlook on life. I found this site extremely informative and easy to read. The concepts are presented clearly, and interesting information that I was unaware of, prior to reading this site, is included. For example, I found it surprising and interesting that one should "not tell a depressed person that you know what he/she is feeling. This may make the person become angry with you." This site is suitable for a high school student. High school students should be informed of this illness, and the site makes it easy to do so. It includes links to a site which answers students’ "frequently asked questions" (i.e. "Is a tendency to depression inherited?") and it provides the address and phone number of a counseling center. Students at a high school age can be unsure of themselves, and this site can help clarify one’s doubts. The site seems to include all of the main
4 points regarding depression and presents the information effectively. I do not have any suggestions for the improvement of this site. Tracey Williams 10/27/00 Dr. Jacobs – B period Depression Depression is not the most uplifting topic to discuss, but this article offers a lot of valid information about it. This article begins by running off some statistics on adolescent depression and then goes on in the form of asking a question and responding with an answer averaging about a paragraph. The way this article is set up, it is easy reference for someone who is looking for the answer to a specific question. You can easily read certain sections or the entire thing. The first piece of information that this article offered really shocked me, it said that the suicide rate for adolescents has increased more than 200% over the last decade. Also, 20% of adolescents in the general population experience emotional problems, and 1/3 of patients in psychiatric clinics are suffering from depression. In fact, depression has been considered to be the major psychiatric disease of the 20th century, affecting about 8 million people in North America alone. One question that caught my attention was "why is depression in this age group often missed?" It is true that adolescence is a time of emotional turmoil, mood lability, gloomy introspection, great drama, and heightened sensitivity. It is also a time of rebellion and behavioral experimentation. It is hard for teens to admit what is going on inside of them and it’s even harder to trust a stranger, meaning a psychologist. For an outsider it is very difficult to tell whether the teen is simply going through the expected adolescent crap or if it is really an issue to be concerned with, and that’s why it goes uncovered all too often. Another reason is that teens just want to fit in and be "normal" and therefore would generally not be willing to admit they are going through something so different from everyone else, but the truth is that everyone is really going through it too. It’s just unspoken. I like the organization of this article, but I found the content somewhat difficult to understand because a lot of medical terms and concepts are used which I am not very familiar with. So, some parts did not make very much sense, and I would not recommend this site to other teens who are looking for clear and concise information on depression. Danielle Correale October 2000 Quarter #1 Dr. Jacobs Chemistry Depression In conclusion to reading the article " Depression" written by the Counseling Center for Human Development, I was in awe by the surprising amount of information that was addressed in one article. The authors of this article at the University of South Florida were able to in corporate many interesting facts. Some of the things that I learned from this article about depression consisted of the bullet list that was presented half way through the article. Some of the bullets consisted of the following People with depression often suffer from the following: -Noticeable change of appetite; significant weight loss or weight gain
Loss of energy; fatigue Feelings of inappropriate guilt
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Recurring thoughts of death or suicide Loss of sexual interest Physical symptom, such as headaches or stomachaches
Some of these bullets were something that I assumed, but others were purely new knowledge that I just became aware of. I’ve heard people say " Oh... I’m so depressed." But, I think the difference between having a bad day, and being clinically depressed is a large difference. Although not all people that are depressed experience those symptoms listed above, many depend upon the person. The author says, " although the exact mechanism that triggers depression is not known, a serious loss, chronic illness, difficult relationship, or any other unwanted change in life patterns can trigger depressive episodes." Often individuals are in a depressive stage and do not even know about it. The highest rate of depressive disorders in found among those ages 22 -24. This makes sense to me, because during that period in a large percent of lives is when leaving college and going through the process of jobs and other very stressful life changes. I found this article to be very informative and highly interesting. Ana Tipton Chemistry, Web Review 1-4-01 Dr. Jacobs, E Period A Guide to Understanding Depression vs. Sadness A Study by Dartmouth An informative web page on the differences has been made by students at Dartmouth University. This web page distinguishes what is just a "bad day" or short term sadness from clinical depression. Despite what I had originally thought about depression, it is a medical illness. They compared clinical depression to pneumonia in the sense that neither can be overcome without professional treatment. No one is exempt from acquiring depression because it is an illness we are all susceptible to. Clinical depression can even be hereditary. Having someone in your family that has suffered from it, makes your chances of suffering from it, higher. Most individuals who have clinical depression are between the ages of 18-22. The reason for this age range is that stress becomes very prominent. During these years, individuals experience separation anxiety, increase in freedom, academic success and disappointments, finding and losing love, and in some cases individuals suffer they’re first loss of a loved one. Research has show that 3-5% of America is dealing with this disease. Every single person runs a 20% chances of suffering from clinical depression at some point in their life. Some signs of clinical depression are: impaired concentration, trouble sleeping, the inability to experience pleasure, constant negative critiquing of one’s self, fatigue, loss of appetite, alcohol drug abuse, change in personality, increased isolation and thoughts of suicide to name of few. The web page states that of anyone harbors such behaviors for more than 2 weeks, than they run a good chance of having clinical depression. This illness can indeed be treated, in more than one way. Both medication and counseling are available to those who suffer from clinical depression. Medication used to treat the illness evens out a chemical imbalance in the brain. "Unfortunately, fifty percent of people who have clinical depression never get help and suffer silently.", states the web page. With treatment depression can be relieved in 4-6 weeks. Without treatment the illness can last a staggering 9-12 months. If you have a friend or relative that you think might have clinical depression, you are encouraged to tell them you’ve noticed irregular behaviors from them. It is all right to ask about suicide directly as it may help the situation and often times, bring relief to the person who may be suffering. Usually centers, hotlines and web pages designed to help those with depression can be inquired at school from a counselor.
6 Annika Bickford E/f period Dr. Jacobs "The Blues and Depression" (http://www.ksu.edu/ucs/blues.html) Many teenagers suffer from depression, a mental state that leaves life seeming filled with nothing but darkness. One of the most important things this site says is to wake up at around the same time each morning. This way your body wont be too tired and will feel more normal if on a normal schedule. Light also helps your body function better, so try to keep curtains open and small lights on when you wake up. You should also try to be active right at the beginning of your day. Often, depressed people lie around and don’t feel like doing anything; this is why it is important to keep breathing fresh air and moving about rather than just sitting around. This site also interestingly says that one of the most effective and quickest ways to avoid the blues is to talk with someone you like about a topic you enjoy. Another surprising fact is that the long-term effects of caffeine is depression. Therefore heavy coffee drinkers should try to limit to one cup each morning. By changing the way and order you do things in each day will help beat and avoid being depressed. If you live a life of the same routine it may become boring, which is why you should change your outfits, or walk instead of drive, etc. A problem that people with depression frequently face is what to do when they feel the blues coming down upon them. Many try to deny it or feel guilty. Instead, they should take charge and begin a day by doing things they really enjoy. Another surprising fact this site offers is that posture has to do with how you feel and how you present yourself. Research has shown that the expressions you have on your face can change how you feel inside. By at least pretending that you are happy and doing things such as wearing colorful clothes can actually help truly make you feel happy. This is an excellent site with a great deal of valuable information for those who suffer depression and to prevent people from becoming sufferers. I would not change this site in any way, as it has detailed information on the different ways to live your life to avoid or help heal depression. Dana Smiles Dr. Jacobs F period April 11th Web Review: A Guide to Understanding Depression vs. Sadness I didn’t really learn many new things from this website that I did not know before, but to those who have no prior knowledge of depression this site gives a simple and understandable explanation of clinical depression. I did learn that it could come at any age, mostly ages 18 -22 and there is a 20% chance that you will go through an episode of depression at some point during your life. This site is very readable. It shows the signs of depression in clear bullet form and the site is very well organized. The concepts are very easy to understand as the website answers questions pertaining to depression such as "What is clinical depression?" and "Who’s susceptible to clinical depression?" This website is very informative, although it does not really address the topic of understanding depression vs. sadness. It clearly describes depression but does not link it to sadness or explain the difference between them. This would greatly improve the site because it would allow the reader to differentiate between having a bad day and being sad, from actually suffering clinical depression. This is a very good site for students in high school because it is clear cut and easy to read, as well as the fact that depression does affect people this age. There is a lot of stress in high school from sports to academics etc. and it is important for people to be able to differentiate being sad or upset to actually being depressed so they can get help as soon as possible. Overall I believe this is a good
7 site that explains depression clearly, although it could use a few improvements to make it even better and more affective. Tracey Williams Dr. Jacobs – B period "Coping With Failure" http://ess.caff.cwru.edu/las/GRUNT/failureX.html This is a topic that the majority of high school students can relate to at one time or another during those four years. It begins telling the visitor that they must understand two things; 1) there is nothing wrong with making a mistake, and 2) there is nothing wrong with failure. In fact, it is important to make mistakes because if you are not willing to take a risk, then you will never achieve anything worthwhile. If you are feeling down about failing something, definitely come to this site because the words of wisdom it shares will turn that frown upside down. As the site goes on it states that every worthwhile success is built on failures because failure is an essential part of success. The only real failure is the failure to make an attempt. Next, it explains how success takes effort. For example, Olympians just don’t stand around on the pedestal, waiting to receive their medals simply because they have outstanding ability. Instead, they have worked hard and sacrificed to achieve their goals, and for some ultimately great success. Something else that is emphasized is that selfimage and confidence are most important in coping with failure. You have to know that in some areas others will out do you, but there are plenty of areas where you will do better. For anyone who would like to feel better and more confident about their mistakes and shortcomings, visit this site. "The greatest mistake a person can make is to be afraid of making one." -Elbert Hubbard Krystin Saglimbene F Period University of South Florida Depression: http://usfweb.usf.edu/counsel/self-hlp/depress.htm 1.) I found this site to be very interesting because it gave some useful facts about depression. I learned that it is very common for people to feel " sad" or "blue" but sometimes people who are depressed can not snap out of it. There are many types of depression, such as, major depression, dysthymia (persistant mild depression), bipolar disorder, and seasonal affective disorder. A person who suffers from depression may experience sudden weight gain or loss, loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy, feelings of worthlessness, recurring thoughts of death and suicide, and loss of energy or fatigue. To help cope with depression it is important that you build pleasure and fun into each day, get plenty of rest and sleep, eat healthy meals daily, keep a journal, or talk to someone you can trust. 2.) This site is very user-friendly site. The facts are all very basic and layed out right in front of you. This site may be very useful to a high school student because it can provide good information to them. High school is a time when teenagers might feel depressed due to the feelings they are experiencing. As high school students they are put under a lot of pressure to succeed and do well. Sometimes kids cannot handle everything that is thrown at them and they begin to suffer from depression. This site gave good facts but it is missing positive reinforcements. It could use ideas that will help a person suffering from depression to cope with them.
8 Mary Elizabeth Clune Dr. Jacobs Web Review 4 Adolescent Depression After reviewing this web site about mental health and specifically adolescent depression, it opened my eyes to ideas and statistics which I never knew existed. This web site made me realize that school, family and other events in people’s lives can affect each individual differently in life and we need to take the time to notice other people and how they are acting at various times in order to take notice of signs of depression which are sometimes different for every individual. For example, this site explained how the suicide rate of adolescents has increased by more than 200% over the last ten years which is an incredible rate which I never realized before now. Depression is apparently considered the major psychiatric disease of the 20 th century affecting about eight million people within North America. Also, adolescent suicide is responsible for more deaths in youths aged 15 to 19 than heart disease or cancer. To me, this is an incredible statistic and is not to be ignored. This site also discussed when medicine should be used, how doctors can manage patients and other important topics. Although, from this site I thought the most useful advice is that as a person involved in a school or work community we need to look out for other people around us and look for signs of depression and if we notice them, get help from a trusted person as soon as possible and talk with the person whom we are concerned about. Over all this site was excellent and is suitable for a high school student because I feel that this is an extremely important topic which needs to be addressed especially at the high school level because it affects so many people of that age. My only suggestion for this site is that it could be a little less wordy and more informative through shorter points, although overall this site was extremely helpful. Laurie Duggins May 9, 2002 Dr. Jacobs, D period Chemistry Eating disorders http://www.uml.edu/student-services/counseling/eat/eatmain.html I found a very informative sight about eating disorders from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. The site is easy to read, and is important for college students as well as high school students. The site first informs the reader about eating disorders. I learned that the two most common forms of eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, in which one starves oneself in an effort to be thin, and bulimia nervosa, in which one falls into a pattern of overeating and purging. The purging phase may consist of repeated vomiting, laxative use or compulsive exercising. Both disorders tend to be the most common among adolescent females. People pursuing activities that emphasize thinness - such as modeling, wrestling, gymnastics and long distance running - are at especially high risk of developing an eating disorder. Other common characteristics of people who develop an eating disorder include perfectionism, low self-esteem and sometimes depression. Then, the website tells the reader the symptoms of these disorders. Symptoms of anorexia include excessive weight loss and continued dieting despite being thin, continued belief that they are "fat", loss of menstrual periods, marked interest in food and food preparation and increased sensitivity to cold. Bulimic patients tend to be of normal or slightly above-normal weight and may struggle with alcohol or drug use. They often disappear into bathrooms after meals to purge.
9 The site also tells the reader about the affects of anorexia and bulimia, and I was astonished to learn that death can result. The site truly informed me about how horrible eating disorders can be, and how the people dealing with them may not even realize they have a problem. The site also gives help lines to call for help about the issue. As a result, this is an excellent site for high school students because it informs the reader about the ill affects of eating disorders, and shows that they can be fatal. Justin Boehm Chemistry III – Dr. Jacobs B period Date of Review: May 23, 2003 Subject: Eating Disorders Understanding Eating Disturbances and Disorder: A Guide for Helping Family and Friends (UIUC) This site sums up all the things that any family member or friend could need when they know someone with an eating disorder. They put things into very specific sections under headings. They break down the information very well so that anyone could use this site to help with a friend or family member who has an eating disorder. Now that I look back it would have been very helpful for me if I had read a page like this a few years ago when my cousin was suffering from an eating disorder. It helps you understand what they are feeling and how you can help them and I identify their problem. This site is great for anyone who is in the years of puberty because eating disorders are a major part of most teenagers live now a day. I think that every teen can name at least one person that they know that has or has had an eating disorder. They seem to write this site with this age group in mind. The vocabulary is not at too high of a level for most teens, but it is not so low that a five year old could read it and understand. I would recommend this site to all teens so that they can maybe help a friend in need or help themselves deal with their friends disorder. As some of you may know it can be very hard being the friend or family member of a person with an eating disorder. The site first defines what an eating disorder is: "…sometime we find it difficult to eat in ways that we know are healthy. Emotions, stress and peer pressure can cause us to alter our eating habits in unhealthy ways. The result can be an eating disturbance or disorder." They then go one to tell who is most likely to become a victim of an eating disorder. They state that eating disorders affect more females than males, but it occurs in both sexes. Most eating disorders occur during the years during and after puberty. The site also tells of reasons why people develop eating disorder. For the most part it is because of a negative self-image, which causes depression. Depression is one of the real deeply rooted causes of eating disorders. They also give signs to tip you off about someone having an eating disorder. They break theses signs into two categories, physical and emotional. Physical: Marked weight loss or weight gain Fluctuations in weight of up to 10 pounds or more Amenorrhea; menstrual cycle irregularities Chronic sore throats or stomach problems Decay of tooth enamel Dizziness and/or fainting episode Growth of fine "lanugos" or baby-like hair on body Chronic fatigue Hair loss Dehydration
10 Swollen cheeks Bloodshot eyes Emotional: Preoccupation with food and calories Fear of eating foods that contain fat "Good" and "bad" food categories Restricted number of foods in diet Intense fear of weight gain or becoming "fat" Avoiding situations where food is served Frequent weighing of self Compulsive, excessive exercise habits Purging behaviors (vomiting, laxatives/diuretics, enemas) Depression and/or anxiety Isolation or withdrawal from family and friends Denial of eating problems or weight loss The site then describes the two main types of eating disorders: Anorexia Nervosa, Compulsive Overeating/Binge Eating Disorder and Bulimia. They then go on to define these three types of disorders. A final section gives suggestions on how to help someone who is suffering from one of these eating disorders. The best suggestion is just to be there for the person whenever they need you and to feel compassionate for their real problem. The biggest mistake most people make is to go around and ignore the problem. If you let the person know that you are their for them anytime, it gives them great hope and helps them deal with many of their problems. Sometimes letting your deep secrets and emotions out onto others shoulders relives more pain than you can imagine. Erika Militana Chemistry 3 Dr. Jacobs-D May 22, 2003 http://www.mckinley.uiuc.edu/health-info/nutrit/eatdisor/und-ed-d.html Coping with Eating Disorders "In contemporary American society, achieving the perfect body has become a major measure of self worth for most adolescent and adult women." Unfortunately, eating disorders such as Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa have become increasingly common especially in teenage females. However, one can prevent him or herself from being captured by these such mental illnesses by learning about the causes, effects, and general information regarding eating disorders. By referring to the site, Understanding Eating Disturbances and Disorders: A Guide for Helping Family and Friends, one can be familiarized with how and why eating disorders target so many victims. Thus, by understanding the problem, it is possible to resort to an appropriate solution. Regarding teenagers attending high school, it is essential to mentally fight eating disorders. Many students, especially girls, succumb to the obsessions of weight and appearances. In fact, when coping with stress, it is easy to want to make a certain part of one’s life better than another. For instance, if school is not going the way it’s supposed to, often, victims of eating disorders attempt to reach perfection in some other aspect of life, like appearances. On the other hand, the opposite may be true. It is a fact that many people who suffer through eating disorders are high achievers in school. Because work, grades, and friends (which are all part of the environment in high school) cause eating disorders, students should attempt to crush any signs of mental illnesses.
11 The site Understanding Eating Disturbances and Disorders: A Guide for Helping Family and Friends is useful in achieving the purpose of making students and adults knowledgeable of eating disorders. It provides several subdivisions that explain what an eating disorder is, who develops them, and how to recognize potential problems. The most effective way to deal with eating disorders is to know more about them. I recommend reading this article for this specific purpose. Alex Lewis 5/14/03 Dr. Jacobs "You asked about…Adolescent Depression" http://www.mentalhealth.com/mag1/p51-dp01.html First of all, this Website addresses issues that most teenagers deal with. From experience, I would say that every teenager either deals with depression itself, or has a friend who has dealt with it. Therefore, everybody is affected by this problem, this disorder. I liked how the entire site was basically frequently asked questions about depression, the symptoms, and the effects. For instance, the first couple of questions asked how common depression is in teens, and about the diagnosis of it. I completely agreed when the author said that "…depression in this age group is greatly under diagnosed, leading to serious difficulties in school, work…" The next question focuses on why the problem is so unseen in the age group. And I can see the problem even in my own social group. It is hard to tell if a person is suffering from normal adolescent mood swings, or mental changes, or whether what they are experiencing is a problem that needs to be treated by a professional. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked someone who is looking down in the dumps, "Are you ok?", and wondered whether their answer of, "I’m a teenager, I’ll be over it tomorrow.", was just lack of knowledge of a larger problem. I always try to see if my friends are enduring something that they need help with, and this site can give knowledge to someone who isn’t sure what they or a friend is suffering from. It first shows how prevalent adolescent depression can be, even in a normal teenager who doesn’t seem as though they should have it. I learned that to a suicidal teenager, problems that seem small to adults may be much more significant though the eyes of a teenager. I was also reminded that teens who go through larger incidents, such as abuse, death of a relative, or even a divorce, should be cared for specially, because these are large and traumatic events in a teenager’s life. Towards the end of the site, more questions are being asked about medications and therapies that should be used when treating an adolescent with depression. At my age, I must admit that I am not as interested in the medical standpoint of the disorder, but somebody of a higher learning, or even a parent that has a teenager that is dealing with it might be a bit more concerned about it. But for such a large problem, this Website sums up very well the concerns of the readers by answering questions commonly asked about adolescent depression. Stephanie Fagan April 15, 2003 Chemistry H- Jacobs Web Review: Depression in Children When I decided to read a web review on depression in children, I was looking for something that would inform me and show ways to overcome childhood depression and help kids to lead a happy lifestyle. Instead, I found this web site. Although this site offered some medical information on the reason for depression, I disagreed with and took offense to many of the things that it said, being a teenager. For example, one of the lines states, "Persistent sad mood. This can be observed in young
12 people by things such as wearing black clothes, writing sad stories or poetry, listening to music with morbid themes and words, frequently expressing feelings of worthlessness." I can see how expressing worthlessness is a sign of depression, but the comment about the clothing, poetry and music is just pathetic. The author of this article clearly has a stereotypical view of what teenagers should act and look like. Just because a person likes to wear black or finds sad poetry moving does not mean that they are depressed. I also disagree with what she said about the music. There aren’t many modern artists that have completely refrained from using morbid words and depressing themes, I am sorry to say. So, according to this author’s standards, almost everyone is depressed. I personally think this author needs become more open minded and realize that every teenager in not the preppy cheerleader/football player type, and that kids should have the freedom to express themselves. However, if her point was restated, I do think that I would agree with it. Having a child suddenly have a personality change over all accompanied by these things would be a possible sign of depression, I think. The way she says to recognize a persistent sad mood, though, is just stereotypical Did learn a lot from this article, despite the statement that I thought where false. I had no idea that young children can also be depressed. It had never occurred to me that a rough, separated or abusive family life makes children depressed. It is an obvious fact, but I had never really thought a bout it. I also learned how to recognize depression. This includes severe mood swings, things that were once important become unimportant, and others. This is important for met o learn because I want to be able to help any of my friends or brothers that might be depressed. The one statement that I disagreed with kind of ruined the article for me, but after re-reading it, I was able to see the good points made in it. Hopefully, one day, people with depression can be helped sooner, so no harm can come to them or people around them. Esther Lee 18 January 04 Dr. Jacobs Depression In this website, Christine B. Taylor explains how teens tend to become pessimistic when they suffer teenage depression. Their language will change negatively as well as their thoughts and opinions. Depression is caused for many reasons, but mostly because of social problems and stress. It may seem too common for teenagers to avoid, but this can become an illness and even lea d to suicides. Symptoms include: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Lack of energy Sleeping problems Crying Cranky mood (mood swings) Eating problems
As dangerous as depression can be, there are many ways that people could help. No matter how close or far you are from the one who is depressed, you must take this illness seriously and lend a hand. Ways to help: 1. Be a good listener 2. Encourage them to talk
13 3. Offer help early 4. Try to understand the source of their stress 5. Show them you care Make time for them