Symptoms of Depression in Children
The symptoms of depression in children, teenagers, and the elderly are often similar. Signs of depression in younger children include sadness, irritability, and neediness. Depression in older children often manifests as worry and hostility. Your healthcare provider can diagnose depression by administering the PHQ-9, a nine-item questionnaire. It helps define the symptoms of depression and guides treatment. Identifying the symptoms of depression in children is important for early intervention.
Although symptoms of depression vary, early diagnosis is critical for patients to avoid the development of more serious health problems. Untreated depression can worsen existing heart disease or increase the risk of a heart attack. The good news is that there are safe, effective treatment options available for people struggling with depression. Additionally, family involvement and therapy can help them cope with the effects of depression and improve their quality of life. Living with someone with depression is stressful for everyone involved. If your family is experiencing these symptoms, they should discuss your options with a doctor.
Lifestyle risk factors for depression and anxiety are linked to increased risk of coronary artery disease and high blood pressure. Other studies have found that lifestyle risks like smoking, poor sleep quality, and physical inactivity are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events in depressed patients. Further studies are needed to determine the exact relationship between these risk factors and depressive symptoms. Once you determine whether depression or anxiety is the cause of your symptoms, treatment will be more effective. If you feel overwhelmed by negative thoughts or have suicidal thoughts, seek help immediately.
Depression can make it difficult to take care of yourself physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Depression can cause people to feel guilty about self-care and avoid pursuing hobbies or physical activities. This can lead to further complications and may even make depression worse. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent depression before it starts to cause damage. However, it is important to seek treatment at the first sign of symptoms. You may be able to prevent the disease by identifying the triggers and early detection.
Once a diagnosis has been made, treatment for depression may involve the use of antidepressants. A doctor may start you on a new antidepressant while gradually reducing the dose of your previous medication. While changing antidepressants is not uncommon, your mental health care team will always be available to discuss the risks and benefits of each new drug. If the depression is caused by another mental or physical condition, your health care provider may suggest an alternative medication.
When you feel like you are on your own and cannot talk to your loved ones, a support group can help. Asking for help with household tasks, grocery shopping, and doctor’s appointments can make the process a little easier. You may also want to stay connected with others. Although you may feel disconnected from your friends and family, it’s vital to maintain relationships. Even if it’s a virtual support group, it is important to be surrounded by those who love you and are there for you.