I am trying to recover from being so depressed. I only get depressed every other week when my moody ways start to kick in. I am 16 years old and I was diagnosed with mild depression in December 2010.
The onset of my depression occurred when I moved in with my uncle and aunt. The reason for being depressed is because my home life had changed drastically. I used have a lot more freedom, but that has changed.
Depression is more than just stress; it can seriously mess up your life. According to the Mayo Clinic, “depression is a medical illness that involves the mind and body. The symptoms in teenagers are irritability, poor school performance, a pessimistic attitude and lack of social skills”.
Medline Plus Medical Encyclopedia identifies other mild depression symptoms as, “low energy or fatigue, feelings of hopelessness, low self-esteem and poor appetite or overeating”.
My uncle and aunt was concerned with my behavior and had psychologist Jerry Bosse, Ph.D, talk with me for about an hour. Bosse did not do any physical tests, but he was able to make the diagnosis based on talking to me, observing my body language and drawing on his years of experience. My symptoms include poor concentration and difficulty making decisions, which affects my school performance. Bosse recommended that my aunt talk with my pediatrician, Dr. Seth Brownridge, on treatment.
According to Brownridge, the best way to treat depression depends on the severity of the depression, and treating depression without medication is best. However, he said medication can jump start the recovering process. Normally, depression may be treated with therapy and medication. Brownridge also stated, “He would prescribe an antidepressant medication for teenagers because of fewer side effects, which include nausea, diarrhea, sleepiness or insomnia. The type of antidepressant medicine would vary from each patient. He would consult with the therapist on the best medication”. Antidepressant medications have fewer side effects.
Depression can be a continuous illness and the best way for treating depression for teenagers is a combination of medication and therapy. Medications affect everyone differently, so if one medication does not work, people should be open to trying another. The National Institute of Mental Health states for mild to moderate depression, psychotherapy may be the best treatment option.
According to the website All About Depression, run by psychologist Dr. Prentiss Price-Evans, “Over the last several decades the suicide rates in young people have increased dramatically. Up to 15% of those who are clinically depressed die by suicide. For adolescents aged 15 to 19 there were 1,802 deaths among 19,068,000 adolescents. The gender ratio in this age group was 5:1 (males: females)”.
Brownridge says that he sees about 1-2 teen patients a week for depression.
My aunt says that she had undiagnosed teen depression when she was 14 years old and tried to commit suicide. My aunt did not get treated for depression as a teenager. She went through major depression as an adult and this time she did get treatment.
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According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “in some families, depressive disorders seem to occur generation after generation…” Depression seems to be hereditary in my aunt’s family; both my aunt’s mother and brother had mild forms of depression. Depression may not just be hereditary, but can also be triggered in people with no family history of depression. Depression can be triggered from trauma, such as a loss of a loved one or any other stressful life situation.
I plan on talking to a therapist about my depression. I hope I do not have to take medication because of the negative side effects that comes with it. Leandre Still
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