Jack is 10 years old and has been diagnosed with a major depressive disorder. How is that possible? Is depression not only experienced by adults and old people? Well, let’s get some answers.
THE MANIFESTATION OF DEPRESSION SYMPTOMS IN ALL AGES
Everyone one is prone to depression even though certain factors ( trauma, learning problems, medical conditions, history, low self esteem) make some people more liable than others.
Depression is a very common mental disorder that affects mood, behaviour and overall health. It comes with symptoms such as hopelessness, extreme sadness, loss of pleasure, sleep disturbances, tiredness, changes in appetite, guilt and the desire to harm one’s self. It may also present with psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions and sensory hyperactivity.
Children, teenagers, adults, old adults all experience depression but the symptoms vary across the various age groups.
Understanding these symptoms and how they manifest would help reduce the widespread of depression to a minimum. According to the World health Organization depression affects 300 million people of all ages worldwide.
- Depression in children is very uncommon, up to 3% of children in the US suffer from depression. The presentation of mental illness in children can be hard to determine. Children may present with headaches and stomach aches rather than sadness, according to studies. Other symptoms include irritability, loss of interest, lack of concentration, an overwhelming sense of fear and they often pretend to be sick.
- Most teenagers suffering from depression present with changes in appetite, negativity, irritability, persistent sadness, isolation, emotional outburst, substance abuse, fear, restlessness and suicidal thoughts.
- “1 out of every 8 women experience depression symptoms at some point in their life.”~ Helpguide.org. Depression in women is mostly linked to changes in hormonal levels, lifestyle and biological factors. Women may express symptoms such as unhappiness, guilt and hopelessness.
- The rate of depression in men is lower compared to women. However, it is shown that men are more likely to commit suicide. Depression in men may come with symptoms such as fatigue, recklessness, sleep problems, sexual dysfunction, anger, frequent headaches and substance abuse.
- When it comes to older adults, we often think of depression as a normal part of aging which is wrong. Sometimes events such as retirement, chronic pain, abandonment or chronic medical conditions can be linked to depression in old adults. They usually present with sadness and grief.
Depression is a treatable disorder, however leaving it unattended for a longtime can impair one’s quality of life. Consult a physician for suitable treatment measures.