Depression FAQs; a[euro]It Is a Melancholy of Mine Own, Compounded of Many Simples, Extracted from Many Objects.a[euro] - William Shakespeare (1564-1616), English Playwright. Jaques, in as You like It,Act 4, Sc. 1, L. 15-7 (1599)
Byline: Dr. Brix Pujalte Jr.
IT just about de rigueur that any known medical institution must have an Internet presence with the same trustworthiness that built its reputation to begin with. Near the top of my list of reliable medical websites is the Cleveland Clinic Health System (http://www.cchs.net). An Internet saunter yielded an article on FAQs or Frequently Asked Questions about Depression. Let me echo some of the interesting parts.
Definition. In major depression, the person is affected to an extent that his work and private life are all but impaired. Duration is critical because normal dejection lasts for a few days before the person somehow snaps out of it. In real depression, the condition carries on for more than two weeks. A man or woman suffering from clinical depression must exhibit five out of the following nine symptoms, including one of the first two listed:
* depressed mood
* loss of interest and pleasure in usual daily activities
* loss of appetite and weight changes (loss or gain)
* insomnia or hypersomnia (too little or too much sleep)
* restlessness or sluggishness
* profound fatigue
* feelings of worthlessness or guilt
* inability to think clearly, make decisions, or complete tasks
* thoughts of death or suicide.
An interesting question in the article is "Do children get depression?" The answer is Yes. This is absurd in our culture because we have imagined kids as happy and only occasionally sad. Describing children as "depressed" seems to be a stretch. But apparently, factors that cause depression in adults can be applied to children. These are: Changes in physical health, heredity, environmental toxins, chemical disturbances in the brain, and life events. In the US, it is estimated that 2.5 percent of children suffer from depression. Parents and teachers should be on the lookout for children who appear withdrawn. On the other hand, disruptive behavior and inability to get along with peers and authority figures can also be clues.
What are common triggers for depression? The article enumerates the following:
1. family history of depression
2. grief over the loss of loved one in death or separation
3. interpersonal disputes
4. physical, sexual, or emotional abuse
5. major events in life such as retirement, graduation, emigration, etc.
6. serious illness - major, chronic, terminal