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      Depression Specialist (Chicago & Westmont, IL)

      Signs of Depression

      Depression Treatment Westmont and Chicago IL

      Depression is more than just feeling unhappy about a situation. It's not the same as just feeling sad or disappointed.

      People who are truly depressed have trouble shifting out of that state and it interferes with their ability to function in daily life. Nearly 15 million American adults experience depression, with the majority being women.

      Recent statistics state that the prevalence of depression in children is 2%, in adolescents is 4%-8%, with a lifetime prevalence of approximately 20% by the age of 18.

      More than 70% of children and adolescents with depressive disorders do not get diagnosed or treated!

      Another alarming statistic is that 20%, 1 in 5 teens seriously contemplate suicide, and 8% attempt suicide which is why it is so important to recognize the signs and symptoms of depression so you can get the help you and your child need right away.

      Major Depression is both a mood and an inability to do things commonly experienced in these ways:

      • feeling unmotivated to start or finish anything
      • having no energy or fatigue
      • or not having restful sleep for days on end, difficulty falling and staying asleep
      • not eating or getting dressed is too much work, not taking care of yourself
      • alternatively, overeating to try to feel better
      • thinking nothing and no one matters, feeling hopeless
      • isolating from friends and family, not going to work, wanting to be left alone
      • consumed by guilt or feeling worthless
      • feeling helpless to change anything
      • loss of enjoyment or interest in things you previously enjoyed or had an interest in
      • irritability, short-tempered, low frustration tolerance
      • forgetfulness or poor concentration
      • overwhelmed by simple decisions, indecisiveness
      • thoughts of ending it all, not wanting to be around anymore, suicidal thoughts
      • having more aches and pains (headaches, body aches), cramps and digestive problems- especially in children which can lead to school refusal and many absences from school

      While periods of normal sadness typically end on their own, with the passage of time or as something new catches your attention, major or severe depression doesn't heal itself.


      Bipolar Disorder

      The American Psychiatric Association distinguishes between types and severity of depression. One type is Bipolar Disorder - which used to be called manic depression. With this condition, sufferers switch from feeling severely depressed to invulnerable and euphoric. Patients go from feeling profoundly incapable to feeling supremely clever or skilled.

      For some, there can be periods of feeling neither depressed nor manic for a while until some neurochemical switch is flipped and a plunge into depression or rocket into mania takes them over. For others, depression is a more constant state, punctuated with periods of high energy, increased activity, and feeling able to tackle anything and everything.

      A small number of patients dealing with bipolar disorder can cycle rapidly between the poles of mania and depression as frequently as weekly, or even daily, with unpredictable timing.

      If any of these descriptions of bipolar disorder sound familiar, you can get your life back in control with the help of Midwest Wellness Center Associates.


      Other Types of Depression

      Dysthymia and Minor Depression

      People who can function well enough day-to-day but have low energy, low self-esteem, and don't enjoy much about their life for more than 2 years may be diagnosed with Dysthymia. Those who have a similar experience for shorter periods may be treated for Minor Depression.

      Seasonal Affective Disorder

      A reduction in sunlight in the winter months may result in Seasonal Affective Disorder for some people, resulting in more depressive symptoms during those times of the year with an improvement in their mood in the spring and summer months.

      Postpartum Depression

      A particular concern for some women after giving birth is Postpartum Depression which usually occurs within four weeks after delivery. Women experience similar symptoms of depression with at least one of the symptoms being depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure. During pregnancy, about 20% of women experience perinatal depression and of that 20%, at least 10% suffer from a Major Depressive Episode.

      Psychosis

      A small number of people with severe depression experience what's called a break with reality, or psychosis. In a Psychotic Depression, they may have delusional beliefs or disturbing hallucinations of things, people, or noises that other people can't see or hear. This kind of depression requires more intensive treatment and once recognized should be treated right away by going to the nearest emergency room for evaluation.


      Signs of Depression to Look for in Your Child or Teen

      Children and teenagers can have depression or bipolar disorder too, but the way these mood states are expressed is often quite different from adults.

      Signs of depression in children include:

      • excessive worry about a parent dying or leaving
      • refusing to go to school
      • multiple absences from school
      • clinging to a caring adult
      • saying that they have a stomach ache or migraine
      • temper tantrums
      • "acting out"
      • Social withdrawal
      • Failure to meet expected weight gain

      Signs of depression in teens that parents can watch for include:

      • risky behaviors like using drugs or alcohol
      • negative attitudes
      • sulking or pouting, social withdrawal
      • irritability
      • academic difficulties
      • mood swings
      • Impulsivity
      • delinquent behaviors
      • feeling misunderstood
      • talking about or attempting suicide
      • self-harm behaviors

      According to the National Institute for Mental Health, 11% of teens have some kind of depression, with girls being more likely than boys to suffer from it. Among youth 15 years and older, depression is a major cause of disability. Depression can be successfully treated with a combination of psychotherapy and medication.

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