Adult Depression Depression has no single cause. Both genetics and the environment play a role, and some people may be more likely to become depressed. Depression can be triggered by a medical illness, a stressful situation, or the loss of an important person. Adults may feel depressed during different life stages if they are feeling stagnant or unfulfilled. Men and women can get “into a rut” and it becomes more than just feeling “blue,” but actually feeling apathetic and hopeless. Many adults grow accustomed to feeling depressed. They may lose sight of the fact that life can be better. It is hard to be hopeful about treatment when you are feeling depressed, so often spouses and family members encourage the person to get help.
Childhood Depression Over the last 20 years, depression in children has been acknowledged with serious concern. However, because children manifest symptoms in such a unique way from child to child a critical symptom to look for is a change in mood and behavior. For some young children there will be physical complaints, irritable mood, sleep disturbance or anxiety. For older teens it can be moodiness. If you notice any changes in your child’s mood or behavior, decline in social and academic functioning or a general lack of interest; have them evaluated immediately.
Recognizing the “Red Flags” of depression:
- Ongoing feelings of sadness, worthlessness, guilt, hopelessness, tearfulness, and anger.
- Loss of interest in social activity
- Increased or decrease in sleep or appetite, low energy.
- Physical complaints , stomach aches, pain (with no medical cause)
- Poor school or work performance (poor concentration)
- Thoughts of dying or suicide ( get help immediately)
- Feeling like nothing matters
Support Services: What can you do?
Depression can be treated successfully with a combination of individual and family therapy and possibly medications. Therapy is an important part of treatment. Depression is most likely to get better and stay away if individuals receive therapy to develop better coping skills. Early intervention is key to preventing social and academic problems. Again, it is critical to distinguish if the child’s depression is triggered by an underlying learning/ co-occurring learning disability or ADHD (individuals with these conditions are at increased risk for depressed mood). Psychological testing is recommended to tease out the underlying reasons for depression. Contact us today to talk about how we can help.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation at our Northern Virginia office and find out about testing and treatment options to help with depression.