The estimated rates of major depressive disorder jump from 2 to 4 percent in pre-adolescent children to 10 to 20 percent by late adolescence, an alarming rise.
The first sign of depression is change in “level of function.” For instance, if a girl used to perform well in school/college and suddenly flunks in class, he or she may need extra care and attention.
A 1996 study by the National Institute of Mental Health estimated that more than 6 percent of adolescents, between the ages of 9 and 18 years old, suffered from depression during the six-month period of the study, and almost five percent suffered from major depressive disorder.
A proper diagnosis is the foundation upon which a treatment program is built, so if you’re starting with the wrong one, your attempts at getting well are severely jeopardized.
Keeping in line, the Northwestern Medicine scientist Eva Redei has recently developed the first blood test to diagnose major depression in teens — a breakthrough that allows for scientific and objective diagnosis over current subjective methods. The blood test is the first to identify subtypes of depression, according to Northwestern. It can allegedly distinguish between teens with major depression and those with major depression combined withanxiety disorder. This is the first evidence that it’s possible to diagnose subtypes of depression from blood, raising the hope for tailoring care to the different types. It is believed that early diagnosis and specific classification of early major depression could lead to a larger repertoire of more effective treatments and enhanced individualized care. How far the results are fruitful still remains to be answered.
Teenager can go about managing stress, anxiety & depression through a series of basic changes in and around them, before things go really bad. Remember, You can Overcome any Hurdle.
- Love & Pamper Yourself: Shun away negative thoughts, like “I’m a failure.” “I should give up.” “He hates me.” These thoughts manipulate your feelings, so that what begins as a negative thought ultimately leads to real symptoms of depression and anxiety. You are special, unique and highly loved and appreciated. Remember, YOU are a unique creation of God and by staying connected to friends and family, making healthy lifestyle decisions, and keeping stress under control you can have a hugely positive impact on your mood. Consciously do something that can make you feel good. Get a new haircut, polish your nails, or get enough sleep.
- Make sure you have Omega-3 in diet : Your body needs vitamins andminerals such as iron and the B-vitamins. Make sure you’re feeding your mind with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Many studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids are mood lifting agents that can alleviate depression. Some foods that are rich in omega-3: oily fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines; ground flaxseeds, walnuts, and omega-3 fortified eggs. Vitamin B 12 and Folate are also important for mood. Some scientists believe that these vitamins create serotonin, which normalizes mood. Vitamin D also increases serotonin and can be especially helpful with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Milk and soy milk are full of Vitamin D as are egg yolks and fish with bones.
- Try your hand at Video Games: Recentlyresearchers in New Zealand created the SPARX videogame as a way to deliver cognitive behavioral therapy, packaged in a fun and appealing way. The acronym stands for “smart, positive, active, realistic and x-factor thoughts,” strategies designed to fight depression. The game is modeled as an interactive fantasy in which players create an avatar who restores balance in a virtual world by destroying “gloomy negative automatic thoughts,” or GNATs. Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, seeks to educate the depressed person that this kind of thinking is not accurate or true. The study included 168 teens who had sought help for depression from youth health clinics, school guidance counselors or primary care doctors. About 44% of those who played SPARX recovered completely from depression, compared with 26% of those in regular treatment, a significant difference. About 66% in the gaming group showed at least a 30% reduction in symptoms, compared with 58% in usual treatment, but this difference did not reach statistical significance. Remember, not to overdo (not more than 15 min).
- Sweat it Out: Findings published in the American Journal of Epidemiology in November 2011 showed that too much television and too little exercise are linked to depression. It suggested that older women who exercised for 90 minutes or more each day were 20% less likely to be depressed compared to those who exercised for 10 minutes or less a day. Running, swimming, walking, or kick-boxing for 20-30 min daily — is going to give you immediate relief. As we all know, exercise increases the activity of serotonin and/or norepinehrine and stimulates brain chemicals that foster growth of nerve cells. In fact, some recent studies have suggested that regular exercise can be just as effective as antidepressants to lift a mood. Dancing can also serve a smart option.
- Connect with people and animals. Find support from family, loved ones and friends. Local studies showed that even having pets can help overcome sadness and depression. Spend time with friends, especially those who are active, upbeat, and make you feel good about yourself. Avoid hanging out with those who abuse drugs or alcohol, get you into trouble, or who make you feel insecure.
- Avoid Junk: A Spanish study published in the United States in January 2011 showed that eating junk food raises the risk of depression. It said that higher consumption of fats present in industrially produced pastries and fast food presented up to 48% increase in the risk of depression compared to those who did not consume these fats. Meanwhile, products high in omega-3 fatty acids such as olive oil are said to fight the risk of mental illness.
- Pen down your emotions: Maintain a diary to pen down your feelings. As you know depression is grief and anxiety is fear ‘unexpressed’, by writing down your feelings, you can release negative feelings trapped inside. A very successful healing process will be initiated, if if you can give way to your grief and fears in a diary.
- Nurture your Hobbies: Gardening, playing instruments, painting etc. work as a catharsis, and with the result pouring in you will feel elated. Understand that whatever feelings you are having now will pass in time.
- Laugh it Off: Laughter is a fabulous healer and encourages social bonding. The act of laughing also increases the oxygen supply to the lungs, stimulates the production of endorphins and can produce a feeling of euphoria. Occasionally it may also open the gates to tears-another positive release.
- Quit the Booze: You may be tempted to drink or use drugs in an effort to escape from your feelings and get a “mood swing“, even if just for a short time. However, substance use can not only make depression worse, but can cause you to become depressed in the first place. Alcohol and drug use can also increase suicidal feelings. In short, drinking and taking drugs will make you feel worse—not better—in the long run.
The key to depression recovery is to start with a few small goals and slowly build from there. Feeling better takes time, but you can get there if you make positive choices for yourself each day and draw on the support of others.