The tragic death of Robin Williams in 2014 unnerved many Americans.
Sure, we are sad to lose a talented man but on a deeper level, those who have loved ones struggling with sadness, irritability or who are just “not themselves” have wondered if those loved ones have depression. We are frightened because we don’t want to miss any cry for help from one who is struggling because depression is a very serious illness
A recent NPR article explored the alarming rising suicide rates, particularly among young adolescent girls who are entering puberty and experiencing depression at increasingly earlier ages.
One researcher observed, “it’s usually been referred to as the storm-and-stress period of life because there’s just a lot of change happening all at one time.”
Parents of teenagers can have difficulty differentiating normal teen separation behavior from depression. Here’s how you can do this. Below are two lists of behaviors: one shows symptoms of depression (in teens and younger children) and the other shows “normal” teen behavior.
If your child had more than 5 of the symptoms in the depression column for longer than two weeks, he may be depressed and need help.
1. Irritable or depressed mood
2. Decreased interest or pleasure in normal every day activities
3. Weight loss when not dieting or sudden weight gain
4. Insomnia or hypersomnia (sleeping too much)
5. Psychomotor agitation or retardation (the body is hyperactive or very slow compared to normal)
6. Fatigue, feelings of worthlessness, or a sense of inappropriate guilt
7. Decreased ability to think, concentrate or increased indecisiveness
8. Recurrent thoughts of suicide or death
Kids who have a family history of depression or who have prior bouts of depression are at increased risk of getting depression.