Depression can be a confusing illness. We often think having an illness means you have a runny nose, a stomach ache, or some part of your body is in pain. Usually you take some medicine, rest, and hopefully in a few days or less you are back to feeling yourself. However, depression may take time to evolve, and takes more time to recover from. This is because depression involves brain changes and sometimes those can take longer to repair.
Having depression means you have 5 or more of these symptoms for at least 2 weeks straight (list from webMD):
- A depressed mood during most of the day, particularly in the morning
- Fatigue or loss of energy almost every day
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt almost every day
- Impaired concentration, indecisiveness
- Insomnia (an inability to sleep) or hypersomnia (excessive sleeping) almost every day
- Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in almost all activities nearly every day
- Recurring thoughts of death or suicide (not just fearing death)
- A sense of restlessness or being slowed down
- Significant weight loss or weight gain
Depression can also show up as physical pain as well. Muscle soreness, aches, and pains within your body can be side effects of your brain not functioning normally.
What about you or your adolescent? If either of you (or both) have experienced symptoms of depression, how has it affected your (or their) life? Are there any physical aspects to their depression? Tell us about it, or if you don’t know, are you going to talk with your adolescent about it?
If the conversation is hard to start, let us know about that!