Depression, What is

Another interesting article that is spread over several pages. Be sure to click on the links at the bottom of each page to learn more. Click here for the source of the article or read an excerpt below.


True depression is not the blues, sadness or even grief. It is a crushing despair so bad that people who have experienced it say that it is the worst pain they have ever gone through. Depression is not a weakness or a character flaw or a lack of how hard you work or how you think. It cannot be wished away.

Who gets Depression?

  • at any given time, almost three million Canadians have serious depression
  • depression is the fastest growing type of disability cost for Canadian employers
  • 10-15% of men and 15-25% of women have serious depression in their lifetime
  • major depression affects up to 10% of youth and often results in severe short-and long-term health problems

What causes Depression?

There is no single cause of depression. It is likely caused by a mixture of many things like:

  • family history and genetics
  • medical illnesses
  • certain medications
  • life events or stress
  • biological factors such as hormonal changes
  • psychological vulnerability – ways of thinking that make someone more likely to experience stress

How do I know if its Depression or a related disorder

A child or youth may be diagnosed with depression if they have at least five of the following symptoms for two weeks or more:

  • loses interest in things they used to enjoy
  • feels sad, empty, hopeless, irritable or numb and starts crying for no reason
  • feels restless or slows down
  • feels guilty or worthless
  • changes in appetite, or weight loss or gain, or digestive problems
  • feels tired or exhausted
  • has trouble making decisions or concentrating
  • has trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or sleeping too much
  • has thoughts about suicide

Depressive symptoms can also have a persistent, long-term nature. In such cases, a child or youth might have persistent depressive disorder.

Children and youth between the ages of 6 and 18 might be diagnosed with disruptive mood dysregulation disorder, if, for at least a year, they

  • have frequent, strong temper outbursts at home, school, or with peers
  • and are generally irritable


What can go along with depression?

Often a child or youth who is depressed will have other disorders that also require treatment, such as:



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