The word ‘depression’ is used in many different ways. Everyone can feel sad or blue when bad things happen. However, everyday blues or sadness is not depression. People with ‘the blues’ may have a short-term depressed mood, but they can manage to cope and soon recover without treatment.
A clinical depression is one that lasts for at least two weeks, affects a young person’s behaviour, and has physical, emotional and cognitive effects. A young person will also experience a loss of interest and enjoyment in ordinary things.
According to MHFA England, nearly 80,000 children and young people suffer from severe depression and the number of young people aged 15-16 with depression has doubled between the 1980’s and the 2000’s.
At home a depressed young person may:
- Complain of tiredness even if they are sleeping more than usual
- Have difficulty doing chores, either forgetting to do them or not doing them thoroughly
- Withdraw from family, spending a lot of time in their bedroom
- Display anger, anti-social or bad behaviour
- Avoid discussing important future events, such as discussions about further education
- Insomnia or hypersomnia
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