Kids-Young Adults


Please Read!
Talking With Children
Families & Coping With HD
What Young People Think~HD
HD & Me: A Guide For Young People
Do You Have A Sibling With HD?
SECTION 2 - Knowledge!
What Is Abuse?
What Are Signs of Abuse?
What Is Attention Deficit? (AD-HD)
Emotional~Helping Your Child
Alcoholic Parent? What You Should Know
How Do I Handle Anger?
What Is Anxiety?
How Do I Handle Bad Moods?
What Is A Bipolar Disorder?
How Does My Brain Work?
What Are My Brain Parts?
Brain Foods & Actions
What Is A Chronic Illness?
Handout: 25 Tips To Help Someone
What Is Depression?
Are You Depressed?
What Happens On A Physical Exam?
What Will Happen At A Hospital?
What Is A Drug/Drinking Problem?
How Can Drugs Harm Me?
What Are Epilepsy~Seizures?
Do My Feelings Matter?
All About Genes
Explain Hyperactivity To Me
What's It Like Living With JHD?
~JHD HDSA Project
What Is A Learning Disability?
How DO Medicines Work?
How Does Our Memory Work?
What Is Obsessive Compulsive?
What Is An Occupational Therapist?
What Senses Pain?
What Is Physical Therapy?
What Is Speech Therapy?
What Is A Psychologist? Psychiatrist?
Thinking About Running Away?
Why Do I Feel Sad?
Why Is Sleep Important?
Special Needs Kids-What's It Like?
Feeling Stressed Out?
Suicide~Helping A Friend
Does Talking To Parents Help?
What About Teens & Suicide?
What Is Seeing A Therapist Like?
Tell Me About Wheelchair Use
Tell Me About Dying
~ Grief
SECTION 3 - Links
HD Support Groups
HD Information
Medical Stuff
Good Stuff!
Fun Learning!
Got Talent?
Fun Stuff
Live Chat Room
Message Forum
Add A Link
Kelly E. Miller
Fun Quotes
What Is Depression?

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                          Depression can be very serious....please ask for help!
Some people have just one episode of major depression, or they may
go on to have more than one after being better for a while. When a
person has had more that one bout with major depression, a doctor
will diagnose the person as having major depressive disorder.

What Are the Symptoms of Dysthymia?

Dysthymia (chronic depression) is a less severe form of depression that
lasts for an extended period of time.   A teen who has dysthymia
experiences two or more of the following symptoms most of the time for
at least 2 years:
  • lack of appetite or overeating
  • inability to sleep or sleeping too much
  • lack of energy or fatigue
  • low self-esteem
  • difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • feelings of hopelessness
People with dysthymia may also have bouts of major depression. Teens
who have either type of depression may also show other warning signs
or symptoms. They may have increased problems at school because of
skipped classes, lack of interest or motivation, or poor concentration and
low mental energy that depression can cause. Some teens drop out
altogether, expecting to fail because of their problems.

For depressed teens who are already feeling self-critical and experiencing
low self-esteem, a failure experience at school may simply be more than
they can bear. They may not realize that depression is causing concentration
problems, and their negative thoughts are probably causing them to
mistakenly conclude that they are stupid.

They also may express feelings of anger or indifference by drinking or
doing drugs.

Some teens with depression have other problems, too, that can intensify
their feelings of worthlessness or inner pain. Teens who cut themselves,
those who have extreme feelings of ugliness, and teens who have eating
disorders may have unrecognized depression that needs attention.

Getting Help

Depression is one of the most common of all mental health problems. The
good news is that it's also one of the most treatable conditions. There
are professionals who can help. In fact, about 80% of people who get help
for their depression have a better quality of life - they function better and
enjoy themselves in a way that they weren't able to before.

Treatment for depression can include counseling, medication, or a
combination of both.

Therapy or counseling involves talking with a psychologist, psychiatrist,
or other mental health professional. Psychologists and psychiatrists are
doctors who have years of training in diagnosing and treating depression
and other emotional problems.

Other types of counselors, such as a social worker or school counselor,
may also help a teen who is depressed. In many cases, these therapists
have special training in adolescent therapy, which means that they have
an understanding of what causes depression in teens in particular and
what works best to help them feel better.

Therapy sessions usually involve talking about where the depression
comes from, and just as importantly, focusing on how to feel better.
Different types of therapy may be used, depending on the teen and the
type and severity of the depression.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is particularly effective in treating
depression. The understanding of how thoughts can influence feelings
is the basis for cognitive therapy. Psychologists have termed specific
thinking styles optimism and pessimism. Just as a person can be at risk
genetically for depression, a person's thinking patterns can also have
a profound influence on whether depression develops.

Research psychologists are studying whether kids and teens who are
genetically at risk for depression can protect against it by learning and
practicing certain thinking styles that go along with optimistic beliefs
and attitudes.

In some cases, a teen's depression might be helped by one or more
medications that may be prescribed by a psychiatrist, a medical doctor
who specializes in diagnosing and treating mental health problems. A
psychiatrist may change either the type of medicine or the dosage until
the medication and the dosage that works best for that person is found.
Because every person's brain is different, what works well for one person
 might not be good for another.

Many teens find that the two types of treatment together - therapy and
medication - are the winning combination. Between working with a caring
professional and taking medication, teens find they are able to feel like
their old selves again.

People who are depressed shouldn't wait and hope it will go away on
its own. Friends or others need to step in if someone seems severely
depressed and isn't getting help. Many teens find that opening up to
parents or to other adults they trust can help. An adult can point a teen
in the right direction so the teen can begin to get appropriate help.

People who are extremely depressed and who may be thinking about
hurting themselves or about suicide need help as soon as possible. When
depression is this severe, it is a very real medical emergency, and an
adult must be notified.

Although it's important to be supportive, trying to cheer up a friend or
reasoning with him probably won't work to help depression or suicidal
feelings go away. Depression can be so strong that it outweighs a
person's ability to respond to reason. Even if your friend has asked you
to promise not to tell, this is a situation where telling can save a life.
The most important thing a depressed person can do is to get the
right treatment.

Depression - and the suffering that goes with depression - is real.
Depression doesn't make a person "crazy."  Just as things can go
wrong in all other organs of the body, things can go wrong in the
most important organ of all: the brain. Luckily, most teens who get
help for their depression go on to have fulfilling, happy teen and adult
years - and most importantly, to enjoy life and feel better about


Depression is a common disorder that affects all different types of
people. It doesn't matter how old you are, where you live, or what
color you are.

Although depression affects different people in many of the same
ways and for many of the same reasons, there is no single factor
that makes people become depressed. It is often a combination of
possible causes (like genetics, family problems, or drug abuse, for
example) that leads to depression.

So how can you tell the difference between depression and unhappy
moods or the "blues"? And what warning signs can you look for in
yourself or someone you care about?

Everyone experiences ups and downs. These are a natural part of
being human, and especially a part of being a teen in a world that
may often seem difficult or confusing. It's perfectly normal to feel
sad or down from time to time depending on what's going on in
your life.

Everyone experiences ups and downs. These are a natural part of
being human, and especially a part of being a teen in a world that
may often seem difficult or confusing. It's perfectly normal to feel
sad or down from time to time depending on what's going on in
your life.

But your low feelings should not last for more than a few days, make
you feel so badly that you lose interest in stuff you used to enjoy,
or make you feel like you are unable to do things the way you could
before. Drastic changes in behaviors or feelings, like eating or sleeping
a lot or experiencing continual mood swings, can be warning signs
of depression.

Doctors have agreed on the basic symptoms of the most common forms
of depression that affect teens. It's not the name of the disorder that's
important, but the symptoms you are experiencing and how depression
is changing your life.

If you think you may be depressed, it's important to get professional
help right away. A trusted adult can help you begin the process. If you
are so depressed that you have thought about suicide, it can't wait
another minute. The sooner you get help, the sooner you will feel better.
The good news is that most of the people who get help for their
depression are able to feel better and improve their lives.

This goes for a friend, too. If you have a friend who you think is depressed,
make sure you or your friend talks to an adult who can find the right
 treatment. Let your friend know that you are there for support during
this difficult time.

The important thing to remember is that depression is very common and
doesn't mean that someone is weak or a bad person. And remember that
asking for help is the most important first step toward feeling better!


KidsHealth is a project of The Nemours Foundation which is
dedicated to improving the health and spirit of children. Today, as part of its
continuing mission, the Foundation supports the operation of a number of renowned
children's health facilities throughout the nation, including the Alfred I. duPont
Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware, and the Nemours Children's Clinics
throughout Florida. Visit The Nemours Foundation to find out more about them and
its health facilities for children