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Depression: The Dark Cloud

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 Depression: The Dark Cloud

 

 

Children like adults feel upset and sad at times. An examination that you failed at school or a break-up with a boyfriend or girlfriend can cause you temporary grief or sadness. But what if these feelings occur everyday (longer than approximately 2 weeks), where you lack energy, have negative thoughts and don’t enjoy things like you used too. You may be depressed and you should talk to your parents, a teacher, a councillor at your school or an adult you can trust about these symptoms.

 

Depression is a constant feeling of sadness that doesn’t go away. Unlike an event or situation like losing a loved one where you feel sad and upset for the loss for a period of time; feeling depressed can happen at anytime where you may have constant negative thoughts towards yourself and others, lose interest in daily activities and struggle to manage your everyday things. You may also have persistent feelings of hopelessness.

Research from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (2008) show that 160,000 young people in Australia live with depression with girls more likely to suffer from the illness than boys. Studies in the US and Australia support this estimating that 3% of children worldwide maybe suffering from depression (www.kidsmatter.edu.au).

What are the causes of Depression

 

Depression is a complex illness with many triggers and causes. A traumatic event in your life like a loss of a parent or loved one could trigger depression. A parent or family member who suffers from depression may increase your chances of getting depressed and problems in the home including domestic violence, abuse, neglect, divorce or drug abuse are all triggers that can also cause depression.

 

Depression may also be caused by a reduced level of chemicals in some areas of the brain. It is also thought that some children who suffer from medical conditions like ADHD, anxiety or cognitive or learning problems may be at a higher risk of developing depression.

 

It is important to understand that you are not destined to feel depressed just because you experience a traumatic event or have a family member that suffers from depression. Some people experience trauma and go through bad times and still have the coping processes to stay positive and do well and protect themselves against feeling of depression.

 

Symptoms and Signs of Depression

 

  • You have feelings of sadness and loneliness that last for more than approximately 2 weeks.
  • You lack energy and lose interest in activities which previously provided enjoyment.
  • You lose your appetite or you have excessive appetite.
  • You have problems sleeping.
  • Your thoughts are often confused and you have difficulty concentrating.
  • You withdrawal from social situations including friends and family.
  • You have thoughts of death or suicide.
  • You may cry unexpectedly and without reason or feel irritable and agitated all the time (Smith, 1995).

What Can I do If I am Feeling Depressed

 

It is important to understand that depression can be managed and you can feel happy again. The key is to reach out and ask for help. Speak to an adult who can assist you with the next steps and processes. When you feel depressed you often feel overwhelmed and don’t always see the light at the end of the tunnel. With someone else assisting you, they can talk to a doctor, or councillor who knows how to treat your symptoms.

 

Sometimes depression is treated with medication or supported therapies which include changes to your lifestyle or behaviour. Changes to your lifestyle, may include eating different types of foods or exercising for 30 minutes, three times per week. Foods like fish oil, cabbage and brown rice have nutrients that can assist with the symptoms of depression (Smith, 1995).

 

There are also some simple things that you can do which can have a positive affect on the way you feel. Hanging out with family and friends, exercising, spending time in the daylight and trying meditation can all have a positive effect on your mood and overall well-being.

 

Remember:

  

  • Seek adult assistance if you are sad and upset all of the time

  • You don’t have to go through this on your own

 

  • Participate in 30 minutes of physical activity 3 times per week

 

  • Eat a balance of fruit, vegetables, dairy and wheat products each day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

 

Australian Bureau of Statistics (2008). 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results (4326.0). Canberra: ABS

 

http://www.kidsmatter.edu.au/families/mental-health-difficulties/depression/depression-how-depression-affects-children

 

Smith, H. (1995). Unhappy Children: Reasons and Remedies. Free Association Books. London

Read 2166 times Last modified on Friday, 09 August 2013 06:50

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