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Clinical Depression is a serious illness that can affect anybody, including teenagers. It can affect your thoughts, feelings, behavior, and overall health.

Imagine that you could plot your moods on a graph. A straight line would indicate the baseline or starting point for your moods, good or bad. In a healthy person, moods would dip slightly above and below the baseline (sometimes higher than normal for joyful occasions; lower than normal during grief). In a person with Unipolar Depression, the baseline starts much lower than for a normal person. High points aren’t as high, and low points (The Blood Pressure Solution Reviews) Depression (also called Major Depression or Uni-polar Depression) is a mood disorder that may occur only once in a person’s lifetime, or in clusters of “episodes” that typically last 9-16 months. The causes are complex and not yet fully understood.

Depression may cause life change

Sometimes a stressful event or life change, such as death, divorce, or job loss will trigger a depression. Regardless of the trigger, the organic cause is a chemical imbalance in the brain that involves the neurotransmitters dopamine, nor-epinephrine, and serotonin. Low levels of these brain chemicals prevent the nerve cells in the brain from transmitting signals normally. This creates chaos in the centers of the brain that control appetite, concentration, mood, sleep, and libido (sex drive). The result is that the depressed person may be unable to perform even the most ordinary tasks of life.

Do you sometimes have sudden attacks of anxiety and overwhelming fear that last for several minutes? Maybe your heart pounds, you sweat, and you feel like you can’t breathe or think. Do these attacks occur at unpredictable times with no obvious trigger, causing you to worry about the possibility of having another one at any time?


There are three types of depression

Major Depression

Major depression and dysthymia affect twice as many women as men.
Also known as uni polar or clinical depression, people have different symptoms, crying for no apparent reason, extreme tiredness, lack of enthusiasm, physical symptoms such as head aches, neck aches, back pain etc. for at least 2 weeks or as long as several months or even longer. Episodes of the illness can occur once, twice, or several times in a lifetime.
Major depression is the more common illness of the 3 types of depression, the symptoms of which are mainly those of ‘low’ mood.

1- Dysthymia depression

This is also called reactive depression. and in dysthymia, the same symptoms are present though milder, but it often lasts for about two years. People with dysthymia also can experience major depressive episodes, which is sometimes called a “double depression.” Sometimes people get seriously depressed after something like a divorce in the family, major financial problems, someone you love dying, a messed up home life, or breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend. Other times, it just happens. Often teenagers react to the pain of depression by getting into trouble: trouble with alcohol, drugs, or sex; trouble with school or bad grades; problems with family or friends. This is another reason why it’s important to get treatment before it leads to other trouble.

What is Dysthymia depression

2- Manic-depression

Bipolar disorder involves episodes of both serious mania and depression.

Bipolar Depression includes both high and low mood swings, as well as a variety of other significant symptoms not present in other depressions. Bipolar illness, which is not nearly as common as other forms of depressive illness, involves disruptive cycles of depressive symptoms that alternate with euphoria, irritable excitement or mania. It is a mood disorder, which means that the symptoms are disturbances or abnormalities of mood.

Every individual with bipolar disorder has a unique pattern of mood cycles, combining depression and manic episodes, that is specific to that individual, but predictable once the pattern is identified. Research studies suggest a strong genetic influence in bipolar disorder.

Bipolar Disorder symptoms

3- Panic Attacks:

Panic attacks are different to depression, but can be related or part of depressive symptoms, but this is not always so. Panic disorder is characterized by UN-expected and repeated episodes of intense fear accompanied by physical symptoms that may include chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness or abdominal distress. These sensations often mimic symptoms of a heart attack or other life-threatening medical conditions. As a result, the diagnosis of panic disorder is frequently not made until extensive and costly medical procedures fail to provide a correct diagnosis or relief.

Research shows that panic disorder can coexist with other disorders, most often depression and substance abuse. About 30% of people with panic disorder abuse alcohol and 17% abuse drugs, such as cocaine and marijuana, in unsuccessful attempts to alleviate the anguish and distress caused by their condition.

Symptoms of a Panic Attack


Approximately 4 out of 100 teenagers get seriously depressed each year. Sure, everybody feels sad or blue now and then. But …

If you’re sad most of the time and it’s giving you problems or if you feel sad or cry a lot and it doesn’t go away,

If you feel guilty for no real reason,

You feel like you’re no good, or lost your confidence,

 Life seems meaningless or like nothing good is ever going to happen again,

A negative attitude a lot of the time, or it seems like you have no feelings,

You don’t feel like doing a lot of the things you used to do– like music, sports, being with friends, going out– and you want to be left alone most of the time,

  • If it is hard to make up your mind, you forget lots of things, and it’s hard to concentrate,
  • If your sleep pattern changes; you start sleeping a lot more or you have trouble falling
    asleep at night, are you wake up really early most mornings and can’t get back to sleep,
  • If your eating habits change; you lose your appetite or you eat a lot more,
  • If you feel restless and tire most of the time,
  • If you think about death, or feel like you’re dying, or have thoughts about committing suicide,


If you have had several of these symptoms, and they’ve last several weeks, or cause a big change in your routine, you should talk to someone who can help, like a psychologist, or your school counselor!

There’s help out there and you CAN ask for help. And if you know someone who you think is depressed, YOU CAN HELP. Listen and encourage your friend to ask a parent or a responsible adult about treatment. If you friend doesn’t ask for help soon, talk to an adult you trust and respect– especially if your friend mentions suicide.

What about Suicide?

Most people who are depress do not commit suicide. But depression increases the risk for suicide or suicide attempts. It is NOT true that people who talk about suicide do not attempt it. Suicidal thoughts, remarks, or attempts are ALWAYS SERIOUS… if any of these happen to you or a friend, you must tell a responsible adult IMMEDIATELY ….it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Remember that your friend’s life is more important than keeping a secret!

Women and Depression:

A variety of factors unique to women’s lives are suspected of playing a role in the developing of this illness. Research has focused on understanding these, including: reproductive, hormonal, genetic or other biological factors; abuse and oppression; interpersonal factors; and certain psychological and personality characteristics.

And yet, the specific causes of depression in women remain unclear; many women exposed to these factors do not develop depression. What is clear is that regardless of the contributing factors, it is a highly treatable illness. Studies show that the higher incidence of depression in females begins in adolescence, when roles and expectations change dramatically. It is known that stress in general can contribute to depression in persons biologically vulnerable to the illness.

These stresses can include major responsibilities at home and work, single parenthood, and caring for children and aging parents. Many women experience certain behavioral and physical changes associated with phases of their menstrual cycles. In some women, these changes are severe, occur regularly, and include depressed feelings, irritability, and other emotional and physical changes.

Studies suggest that women who experience depression after childbirth very often have had prior depressive episodes. However, for most women, postpartum depressions are transient, with no adverse consequences.

Older People:

As people grow old, it is normal for them to slow down and feel aches and pains. But when “bad” feelings become overwhelming and start to interfere with a person’s life, that’s depression.

Depression is Not a Normal Part of Growing Older

As with younger age groups, more elderly women than men suffer from this illness. It’s an illness, just as diabetes or arthritis are illnesses. The numbers are even higher for people living in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes. People suffering from physical illnesses seem most likely of all to be affected. It is estimated that as many as 20 per cent to 35 per cent of older people with one or more medical problems are depressed. Fortunately, it is an illness that responds well to a number of treatments. Many people are surprised at how soon they start feeling better after beginning a treatment programme. But some older people do not get the treatment they need. One big problem is that it is often difficult to tell when on older person is depressed.

It can take many forms, including a variety of physical symptoms. Some older people with this illness do not feel sad at all, but are bothered by constant feelings of tiredness or pains that just don’t seem to go away. It can be difficult for a doctor to tell whether symptoms are caused by physical illness or depression. It will often show itself in changes in behavior – such changes in behavior during depression are reflective of the negative emotions being experienced. You might act more apathetic, because that’s how you feel.

Some people do not feel comfortable with other people, so social withdrawal is common.
You may experience a dramatic change in appetite, either eating more or less. Because of the chronic sadness, excessive crying is common. Some people complain about everything, and act out their anger with temper outbursts. In the extreme, people may neglect their personal appearance, even neglecting basic hygiene. Needless to say, someone who is this ill does not do very much, so work productivity and household responsibilities suffer. Some people even have trouble getting out of bed.

Alcohol, Drugs and Depression:

A lot of depressed people, especially teenagers, also have problems with alcohol or other drugs. (Alcohol is a drug, too.) Sometimes the depression comes first and people try drugs as a way to escape it. (In the long run, drugs or alcohol just make things worse.) Other times, the alcohol or other drug use comes first, and depression cause by the drug itself, withdrawal from it, or the problems that substance abuse cause.

And sometimes you can’t tell which came first. The important point is that when you have both of these problems, the sooner you get treatment, the better. Either problems can make the other worse and lead to bigger trouble, like addiction or flunking school. You have to be honest about both problems– first with yourself and then with someone who can help you get into treatment… it’s the only way to really get better and stay better.

You can get better:

 Depression is the “whole-body” illness, involving your body, mood, and thoughts. It affects the way you eat and sleep, the way you feel about yourself, and the way you think about things. This illness is not the same as a passing blue mood. It is not a sign of personal weakness or a condition that can be will or wish away. People with a depressive illness cannot merely “pull themselves together” and get better. Without treatment, symptoms can last for weeks, months, or years.

Appropriate treatment, however, can help most people who suffer from depression.

Treatment is effective in about 80% of identified cases, when treatment is provide. Psychotherapy and medication are the two primary treatment approaches. Antidepressant medications can make psychotherapy more effective, for some people. Someone who is too depressed to talk, for instance, can’t get much benefit from psychotherapy or counseling; but often, the right medication will improve symptoms so that the person can respond better.

Recurrent Brief Depression is no different to any other illness. If you’re going to beat it, you need to understand what it is. When you do, you can then move to get rid of it. Not just temporarily, as anti-depressants do, but permanently.

Treatment is a partnership between the patient and the health care provider. An informed consumer knows her treatment options, and discusses concerns with her provider as they arise.

Vitamin Supplements:

B vitamins are important to emotional and neurological health. If you take supplemental B complex with your regular multi-vitamin/mineral, you should take a combination with extra C; this helps your body to metabolize the B vitamins better.

A great deal of medical research has shown the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids (found in certain types of fish oil) for brain health and women’s vitamins target. If you don’t like fish, or don’t have time to prepare it, you can just take the oil in capsule form. It’s completely odorless and tasteless.

However Self-medication can be dangerous Interpretation of both the signs and symptoms of depression, Early Identification and Treatment , are jobs for the professional. The prescription and management of medication, in all cases, must be done by a responsible physician working closely with the patient, his/her psychologist, and sometimes the patient’s family.

This is the only way to ensure that the most effective use of medication is achieved with minimum risk of side effects e.g. Allergies or complications. Sometimes medicine is used to treat depression that is severe or disabling.

Antidepressant medications are not “uppers” and are not addictive. When the illness is so bad that you can’t focus on anything else, when it interferes with your life in an overwhelming way, medication might be necessary, in addition to counseling. Sometimes counseling alone is sufficient.

Recurrent Brief Depression & Depression Worksheet

Dr. Ozair

Written by Dr. Ozair (CEO of as physician writers are physicians who write creatively in fields outside their practice of medicine.