Treating the Symptoms of Depression
St. Louis Behavioral Medicine Institute understands that it can be difficult to reach out for help, especially when you are depressed. Depression is a serious medical illness that’s more than just a feeling of being “down in the dumps” or “blue” for a few days; the feelings are not temporary, and do not just go away. There are a variety of causes of depression, including genetic, environmental, psychological and biochemical factors.
Symptoms may include:
- Loss of interest in activities
- Change in weight
- Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping
- Energy loss
- Feelings of worthlessness
- Thoughts of death or suicide
While the symptoms of depression overlap across age groups, the developmental stage in life does affect how depression will look at different ages. Younger children may be more irritable and or exhibit large swings in emotions, and adolescents are especially more likely to experience suicidal thoughts. Depressed boys, especially during adolescence, can become aggressive during episodes of depression.
Major life events like depression, death of a family member or major health problems can trigger depressive episodes at any age, but recent research suggests that frequently occurring, relatively minor difficulties that may seem small to adults can seriously undermine a child’s sense of well-being. This is why early detection and treatment are so important in fighting depression.