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Depression

  • Depression

    Know The Signs – Teen Suicide

    Teen Suicide

    Know The Signs

    Teen Suicide Symptoms and Causes

    What causes suicide?

    Research shows that approximately 90% of people who have died by suicide were suffering from a mental illness at the time. The most common mental illness reported was depression. Impulsivity and substance use, including alcohol and drugs, also warning signs for elevated suicide risk. It is important to remember that suicidal thoughts and behaviors are not the natural consequence of serious life stresses. People who experience a stressful life event may feel intense sadness or loss, anxiety, anger, or hopelessness, and may occasionally have the thought that they would be better off dead. In most people, however, experiences of stressful life events do not trigger recurring thoughts of death, creation of a suicide plan, or intent to die. If any of these are present, it suggests that the person is suffering from depression or another psychiatric disorder and should seek professional treatment.

    Who is affected by suicide?

    Unfortunately, suicide crosses all age, racial, and socioeconomic groups in the US and around the world. In the US, suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among children and adolescents ages 10-24, and the 3rd leading cause of death among 12 year olds. Nearly one of every eight children between the ages 6 and 12 has suicidal thoughts. The suicide rate is approximately 4 times higher among males than among females, but females attempt suicide 3 times as often as males. When a suicide occurs, everyone is affected, including the people who are left behind.

    What are the symptoms of suicide?

    The primary symptom of suicide is talking about suicide or doing something to try to harm oneself. If your child expresses suicidal thoughts or exhibits self-harming behaviors, seek professional help.

    There are many warning signs and risk factors for suicide. The list below is not exhaustive, but is intended to provide insight into what factors might elevate a child or adolescent’s level of suicide risk. This does not mean that if your child or adolescent has some of these risk factors, then s/he will automatically take his/her own life. Suicide risk takes into account many factors and needs to be continuously monitored by a mental health professional. Remember that many factors combine to lead to a suicidal crisis and may include some of those that are listed below.

    Risk Factors:

    • Mental illness/psychiatric diagnosis
    • Family history of suicide and/or exposure to suicide Family history of mental illness
    • Physical/sexual abuse
    • Losses
    • Aggressive behavior/impulsivity
    • Lack of social support/social isolation
    • Poor coping skills
    • Access to ways of harming oneself, like guns, knives, etc.
    • Difficulties in dealing with sexual orientation
    • Physical illness
    • Family disruptions (divorce or problems with the law)
    • Traumatic event

    Warning Signs:

    • Preoccupation with death (e.g., recurring themes of death or self-destruction in artwork or written assignments
    • Intense sadness and/or hopelessness
    • Not caring about activities that used to matter
    • Social withdrawal from family, friends, sports, social activities
    • Substance abuse
    • Sleep disturbance (either not sleeping or staying awake all night)
    • Giving away possessions
    • Risky behavior
    • Lack of energy
    • Inability to think clearly/concentration problems
    • Declining school performance/increased absences from school
    • Increased irritability
    • Changes in appetite

    How common is suicide?

    Suicide is the second leading cause of death among teenagers in the United States. In 2012 (the most recent year for which data are available), over 40,000 suicide deaths were reported in the United States. During that year, someone living in the U.S. died by suicide every 12.9 minutes.

    How can I tell if my child is suicidal?

    You can start by asking your child if he or she is thinking about suicide. Be sure to ask them in clear, straight-forward language like, “I’m worried about you. Have you been having thoughts about wanting to die or killing yourself?” People who attempt or complete suicide often exhibit a number of warning signs, either through what they say or by what they do. The more warning signs a teenager exhibits, the higher the risk of completing suicide. If you think your child might be at risk for suicide, you should have him/her evaluated by a professional. You could call your primary care physician, your child’s therapist or psychiatrist, your local mobile crisis team, or visit the closest emergency department. In an emergency, you should call 911.

    What is the difference between suicide in children and suicide in adults?

    Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death in young people between the ages of 10 and 24, but it is the 10th leading cause of death for the overall population. Although firearms are the most frequently used method for death by suicide in the United States, the most frequent methods used by teenagers are hanging, jumping from high places, and overdosing on pills or other poisons.

    How can I prevent suicide?

    You can prevent suicide by being on the lookout for the warning signs mentioned above. You can also prevent suicide by asking about it. Studies show that people do not start thinking about suicide just because someone asks them about it. If you suspect your child or adolescent is suicidal, tell them that you are worried and want to help them. Remember, sometimes children or adolescents who are thinking about suicide won’t tell you because they are worried how you will react. Your direct, non-judgmental questions can encourage them to share their thoughts and feelings with you. Regardless of their response, if you suspect that the person may be suicidal, get them help immediately.

    What is the long-term outlook for a child who is suicidal?

    With the right help, a child who is suicidal can make a full recovery and live a fully productive life.

    Where can I go to learn more?
  • Depression

    Understanding Depression and How to Overcome

    Understanding Depression and How To Overcome

    Understanding Depression and How to Overcome

    Today’s society often overlooks mental health, the main component of everyday life. Being mentally healthy is often taken for granted. There are many mental illnesses affecting millions of people, and depression is a major type. Depression acts as a prison, holding one’s mind hostage with its chains. Although depression has various causes and harmful effects, many effective coping mechanisms exist.

    Depression stems from many causes. First, genetics and hereditary factors often play a role in the causes of depression. People with immediate family members suffering from major depression are three times more likely to have the disorder themselves. Also, major life changes can cause depression, such as the death of a loved one, divorce, or a miscarriage. Chronic medical problems or loss of a job can also result in a form of depression.

    In the article “Causes of Major Depression,” Stubbeman states that “Childhood trauma can cause an individual to be depressed for a prolonged period of time. Examples of such traumas are severe illness; isolation; physical, sexual, or mental abuse; witnessing a traumatic event; and neglect. The exact causes of depression remain uncertain, but the effects are clear.”

    The effects of depression range from mild to severe.

    For example, many physical symptoms accompany depression. Headaches, back pain, and muscle aches are all fairly common. Chest pain and digestive problems can also occur. Other physical symptoms of depression include exhaustion, fatigue, and sleeping difficulties. Furthermore, depression affects people mentally and emotionally. Persistent, sad or anxious feelings of hopelessness exist as part of depression. Pessimism and irritability remain common.

    Those affected by depression lose interest in activities they once found enjoyable. Thoughts of death and/or suicide plague them. However, not all people with depression have every symptom. In “Depression: A Family Matter”, Hana Marano writes that “Depression is not just a medical matter. It’s a family one, too.” The behaviors and mood of a depressed person affect the whole family. Constant irritability causes conflicts and derails family dynamics. Negative thought patterns become a prism of pessimism for everyone. This withdrawal literally disrupts relationships and breeds wholesale feelings of rejection. These damaging effects can have lasting impacts on a person’s life.

    Fortunately, there are numerous coping mechanisms available for those affected by depression.

    First, learning about depression and its condition can be motivating and empowering. Also, paying attention to trigger symptoms helps. Avoid recreational drugs and alcohol, as they will generally worsen symptoms. Lastly, taking care of one’s physical and mental well-being by eating healthy, staying physically active, and getting plenty of sleep. By following numerous guidelines and suggestions, those harmed by depression can eventually overcome it. Additionally, if affected with depression, one can use medication to relieve the symptoms.

    Numerous types of medicine and antidepressants exist that can be prescribed by a psychiatrist or primary care doctor. Patients may need to try several different types or combinations of medications in order to find one that is effective. In the article “Depression”, Belinda Rowland affirms that “Patient education in the form of therapy or self-help groups is crucial for training patients with depressive disorders to recognize early symptoms of depression and to take an active part in their treatment program.”

    For those afflicted with depression, therapy and other similar coping mechanisms are highly beneficial.

    Although depression can have detrimental effects, using coping mechanisms assists with the return to stable mental health. Because of depression’s recurrent nature, various solutions exist that have the ability to repair one’s mind, body, and family. Eventually, with effective treatment, one can break free from the chains of depression.

  • Depression

    My Story On Living With Anxiety and Depression

    My Story On Living With Anxiety and Depression

    Living with anxiety and depression is exhausting. You swerve between being unable to sleep because you fear everyone you love is going to die, to feeling absolutely nothing when someone actually ends up in the hospital. You spend hours fighting the thoughts in your head that tell you that people would be better off without you. You can’t stop clenching your fist to stop your hand from shaking, as your heartbeat paces uncontrollably. Depression and anxiety can take up so much of your headspace, that you can no longer keep up with day-to-day activities, like eating nutritious meals, maintaining a work schedule, or sometimes even being able to get out of bed. The worst part is, you may dismiss your feelings as unimportant: but this dismissal is as much a symptom of needing to consult with a mental health professional.

     

    When I was dealing with anxiety and depression, I was scared that I would have to rely on medicines forever. My doctorwas quick to assure me that mental health recovery, like all disease management, was not that unmanageable. He told me that while counselling and (when needed) medication were primary to recovery, there were small lifestyle changes I could make to ease out, quicken and sustain the recovery process. Just hearing this reminded me that I had control over my life. It made me feel less anxious and more hopeful. If you are living with anxiety and depression; besides getting trained help, here are some small lifestyle changes I made that can be beneficial for you too:

     

    Food

    When I began experiencing the symptoms of depression, I was in college. Living away from the home for the first time gave me the independence to eat and drink what I want. I ended up drinking alcohol and eating junk food a lot, due to stress and the party culture in colleges. This took an instant toll on my mental health because I would feel guilty and hateful towards myself the whole week. So the first lifestyle change I made was in my diet.

     My doctor suggested to have healthy foodsand to incorporate vitamins in my diet, especially Vitamin C and Vitamin E into my food as studieshad found Vitamin C and E can help reverse the neurochemical imbalances that cause anxiety.

     I added fruits containing Vitamin Clike guavas, blackcurrants, and peppers, and Vitamin E-rich food like almonds and kiwis to my meals. Not only did I feel mentally and physically better, I even felt I had regained control over my diet and body.

     

    Fitness

    I was an ardent swimmer when I was younger, but I had stopped swimming as I grew up. During a depressive spell, I had beaten myself up this and felt as though could never return to being a good swimmer. My psychologist alleviate my fears and told me to simply plunge into the pool and keep at it for a week. At the end of the end of the week, not only was I feeling happier because I had conquered my irrational fears; the exercise also boosted my endorphins, which made me feel happier. While researching, I also found that another factor could have helped me feel better: the sun. I found out that Vitamin D deficiency can cause depressive feelings, and eating foods rich in Vitamin D and exercising in the open can be the best way to lap up this vitamin.

     

    Perspective

    Dealing with anxiety can be debilitating because your irrational thoughts often conquer you. If my parents wouldn’t pick up the phone, I would keep ringing them till they did, because I irrational thought the worst had happened. My friend (who was also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder) would lose sleep if her desk was not arranged in a certain way. We both found that a few perspective changes would actually help stop these thoughts. If I felt as though I couldn’t stop thinking about my loved ones dying, I would force myself to focus on my sensory abilities. Sometimes, I slowly chewed a raisin and tried to mentally describe its texture, taste and shape. Other times, I would walk on wet grass and focus on its sensations on my feet. This usually distracted me from my thoughts and curb their power over me. If this did not work, I would write down whatever I was fearing, and tear up the sheet. This helped me feel unburdened. 

     

    Supplements

    However, when my anxiety or depression really acted up, I resorted to a few supplements besides my standard medication. As these supplements were primarily plant-based, they had no side effects and did not cause any issues. I tried fish oil supplements, filled with healthy Omega-3 acids, which has been foundto help counter the effects of depression. I also took CBD Oil for anxiety, as it helped me de-stress and relax. I also added saffron to my tea. Not only did it add a wonderful flavour, but it helped in healing my depression.

     

    Now that I have recovered, and my mental health is much better, I find, that in fact, it is these small lifestyle changes that helped me get healthy quickly. It is by incorporating these changes that I can now sustain my mental health and live happily and healthily.

     

     

  • Articles, Depression

    Depression and Suicide. Know the Signs. Help A Friend.

    Have you ever been so frustrated or overwhelmed to the point where you sob uncontrollably or even lose consciousness of your physical movements? Maybe you became upset because the winged-tip of your eyeliner on your left eye doesn’t match the winged-tip on your right eye even though you spent 30 minutes carefully applying each stroke of the black liquid to your eyelids. Or maybe that cow lick refuses to cooperate no matter how much hair product you apply to that one spot. Because these things are such a big deal at that moment in time, you overreact and become so worked up you forget that these things really aren’t “that deep”. There are individuals in other places battling their inner selves on a daily basis and their battles involve much more than winged eyeliner and a cow lick. You may be wondering what things could be more serious than not having the perfectly “beat” face or the most “laid” hairstyle, so I’m here to tell you…suicide. We may know what this term means, but do we really understand the factors that lead up to this mental illness that overtakes both youth and adult people? Are we aware of the signs or even ways to prevent suicide? If not, we are here to learn together.

    As celebrities are pushed to the forefront in everyday news, you may be aware of the recent suicide of fashion icon, Kate Spade. Reports have shared the possible reason Spade chose to take her own life in early June, which seems to have been confirmed in a suicide note she left her daughter, Frances. Sources have also shared that Spade’s last moments were spent joyfully, which made it seem as if everything was fine. Little did her family know, she’d finally made the decision to succumb to the worries of the world.

    Unfortunately, we fail to notice, or even to acknowledge, the signs of suicide until it is too late. Young people have become comfortable with sayings such as, “kill yourself” or “kill me now” in reference to an overwhelming situation. However, these phrases should never be used, not even jokingly. We never know what’s going on in someone’s life; especially not in their heads. As human beings, we neglect to pay attention to the actions and words of our friends and acquaintances and fail to take them seriously. It’s a negative characteristic we all carry that can be fixed with simply listening and becoming aware of the signs.

    Is My Age Group Affected by this Crisis?

    YES. People of all age groups struggle with this mental illness everywhere. However, statistics show youth struggle and give in to this illness each day. Risk factors that contribute to teen suicide include:

    • A recent or serious loss (family, friend, or pet)
    • Depression, trauma, stress
    • Alcohol and other substance use and/or abuse
    • Struggles with sexual orientation
    • A family history of suicide
    • Lack of social support
    • Bullying
    • Difficulties receiving mental help or restriction from receiving such help

    Some youth also send indirect cries for help through social media usernames as well as through the context of the messages they send through statuses, tweets, or snaps. We must become aware of the warning signs as well as prevent contributing to risk factors of this detrimental illness in order to prevent the rise in suicides.

    How Can I Help?

    • Remember that you never know what someone is going through; even if they seem to be the happiest person on the planet.
    • Pay attention to negative comments about oneself or the value of life itself
    • Brighten someone’s day by saying something nice! (You never know, they may have fought with their eyeliner that morning)
    • Pay attention to the words one uses on social media accounts.
    • BE AWARE OF WARNING SIGNS!!
  • Dating, Depression, School, Stress, TRENDING

    February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

    Girlspring is Supporting Dating Violence Awareness!

    February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month! Teen DV Month (sometimes called TDVAM) is a national effort to raise awareness about abuse in teen and 20-something relationships and promote programs that prevent it.

    Dating violence is more common than many people think.

    One in three teens in the U.S. will experience physical, sexual or emotional abuse by someone they are in a relationship with before they become adults.

    Help us spread awareness and stop dating abuse before it starts!

    In February 2017, loveisrespect will be celebrating its 10th anniversary! So, we thought we’d get back to basics. Our theme for Teen DV Month 2017 is Love is . . . Respect. We’ll be talking about what respect means and why it’s so important in a healthy relationship – online and off. We hope you’ll join the conversation!

  • Depression

    Your Guide to Dealing with Depression

    What does teen depression look and feel like?

    When you’re depressed, it can feel like no one understands. But depression is far more common in teens than you may think. You are not alone and your depression is not a hopeless case. Even though it can feel like depression will never lift, it eventually will—and with proper treatment and healthy choices, that day can come even sooner.

    Signs and symptoms of teen depression

    It’s hard to put into words how depression feels, and people experience it differently. There are, however, some common problems and symptoms that teens with depression experience.

    • You constantly feel irritable, sad, or angry.
    • Nothing seems fun anymore, and you just don’t see the point of trying.
    • You feel bad about yourself—worthless, guilty, or just “wrong” in some way.
    • You sleep too much or not enough.
    • You have frequent, unexplained headaches or other physical problems.
    • Anything and everything makes you cry.
    • You’ve gained or lost weight without consciously trying to.
    • You just can’t concentrate. Your grades may be plummeting because of it.
    • You feel helpless and hopeless.
    • You’re thinking about death or suicide. (If this is true, talk to someone right away!)

     

    Is your friend depressed?

    If you’re a teenager with a friend who seems down or troubled, you may suspect depression. But how do you know it’s not just a passing phase or a bad mood? Look for common warning signs of teen depression:

    • Your friend doesn’t want to do the things you guys used to love to do.
    • Your friend starts using alcohol or drugs or hanging with a bad crowd.
    • Your friend stops going to classes and afterschool activities.
    • Your friend talks about being bad, ugly, stupid, or worthless.
    • Your friend starts talking about death or suicide.

     

    If you’re suffering and don’t know where to turn…

    In the U.S., call the TeenLine at (800) 852-8336. It’s free, confidential, and available from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM, Pacific Time, seven days a week.

    Article From: helpguide.org

  • Articles, Depression

    Ways to help with depression

    The first step to feeling better: Talk to an adult you trust

    Depression is not your fault, and you didn’t do anything to cause it. However, you do have some control over feeling better. The first step is asking for help.
    Talking to your parents about depression

    It may seem like there’s no way your parents will be able to help, especially if they are always nagging you or getting angry about your behavior. The truth is, parents hate to see their kids hurting. They may feel frustrated because they don’t understand what is going on with you or know how to help.

    If your parents are abusive in any way, or if they have problems of their own that makes it difficult for them to take care of you, find another adult you trust (such as a relative, teacher, counselor, or coach). This person can either help you approach your parents, or direct you toward the support you need. If you truly don’t have anyone you can talk to, refer to the resources below and at the end of this article. There are many hotlines, services, and support groups that can help.

    No matter what, talk to someone, especially if you are having any thoughts of harming yourself or others. Asking for help is the bravest thing you can do, and the first step on your way to feeling better.

    The importance of accepting and sharing your feelings

    It can be hard to open up about how you’re feeling—especially when you’re feeling depressed, hopeless, ashamed, or worthless. It’s important to remember that many people struggle with feelings like these at one time or another. They don’t mean you’re weak, fundamentally flawed, or no good. Accepting your feelings and opening up about them with someone you trust will help you feel less alone.

    No matter what it feels like, people love and care about you, and if you can muster the courage to talk about your depression, it can—and will—be resolved. Some people think that talking about sad feelings will make them worse, but the opposite is almost always true. It is very helpful to share your worries with someone who will listen and care. They don’t need to be able to “fix” you; they just need to be good listeners.

    Try not to isolate yourself—it makes depression worse

    When you’re depressed, you may not feel like seeing anybody or doing anything. Just getting out of bed in the morning can be difficult, but isolating yourself only makes depression worse. Make it a point to stay social, even if that’s the last thing you want to do. As you get out into the world, you may find yourself feeling better.

    Spend time with friends who make you feel good—especially those who are active, upbeat, and understanding. Avoid hanging out with those who abuse drugs or alcohol, get you into trouble, or who make you feel insecure.

    Cut back on online time. Think about how you feel after spending hours upon hours playing videos games or checking social media. Not too great, right? Spending too much time online is not good for your mental health. Even if you’re interacting with friends, it’s no replacement for in-person contact. So be smart about your online time. There’s a time and place for it–just don’t let it take over your life.

    Get involved in activities you enjoy (or used to). Getting involved in extracurricular activities may be the last thing you feel like doing when you’re depressed, but you’ll feel better if you do. Choose something you’ve enjoyed in the past, whether it be a sport, an art, dance or music class, or an after-school club. You might not feel motivated at first, but as you start to participate again, your mood and enthusiasm will begin to lift.

    Volunteer. Doing things for others is a powerful antidepressant and happiness booster. Volunteering for a cause you believe in can help you feel reconnected to others and the world, and give you the satisfaction of knowing you’re making a difference.

    To boost mood, keep your body healthy

    Making healthy lifestyle choices can do wonders for your mood. Things like eating right, getting regular exercise, and being smart about alcohol and drugs have been shown to make a huge difference when it comes to depression.

    Get moving! Ever heard of a “runners high”? You actually get a rush of endorphins from exercising, which makes you feel instantly happier. Physical activity can be as effective as medications or therapy for depression, so get involved in sports, ride your bike, or take a dance class. Any activity helps! If you’re not feeling up to much, start with a short daily walk, and build from there.

    Be smart about what you eat. An improper diet can make you feel sluggish and tired, which worsens depression symptoms. Junk food and sugary snacks are the worst culprits! They may give you a quick boost, but they’ll leave you feeling worse in the long run. Make sure you’re feeding your mind with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Talk to your parents, doctor or school nurse about how to ensure your diet is adequately nutritious.

    Avoid alcohol and drugs. You may be tempted to drink or use drugs in an effort to escape from your feelings and get a “mood boost,” 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. If you’re addicted to alcohol or drugs, seek help. You will need special treatment for your substance problem on top of whatever treatment you’re receiving for your depression.

    If you’re suffering and don’t know where to turn…

    In the U.S., call the TeenLine at (800) 852-8336. It’s free, confidential, and available from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM, Pacific Time, seven days a week.

    Article From: helpguide.org