All About Depression logo
    Overview   Causes   Diagnosis   Treatment   Medication Dr.P's BlogNews and ResearchRelaxationBooks
What is It?
-Types of depression
-Statistics and info
-How it affects lives

Getting Help
-Helping yourself
-Helping someone else

Mental Health Professionals

-Risk factors
-How to help



News, Research

For Relatives, Friends
-How to help
-About your feelings
-Take care of yourself

Organizations and Support Groups

Depression in:
-Children, Teens

Custom Search

Depression in Children/Teens, Elderly, Women, and Men

Depression in Children and Teenagers

Only in the past two decades has depression in children been taken very seriously. The depressed child may pretend to be sick, refuse to go to school, cling to a parent, or worry that the parent may die. Older children may sulk, get into trouble at school, be negative, grouchy, and feel misunderstood. Because normal behaviors vary from one childhood stage to another, it can be difficult to tell whether a child is just going through a temporary "phase" or is suffering from depression. Sometimes the parents become worried about how the child's behavior has changed, or a teacher mentions that "your child doesn't seem to be himself." In such a case, if a visit to the child's pediatrician rules out physical symptoms, the doctor will probably suggest that the child be evaluated, preferably by a psychiatrist who specializes in the treatment of children. If treatment is needed, the doctor may suggest that another therapist, usually a social worker or a psychologist, provide therapy while the psychiatrist will oversee medication if it is needed. Parents should not be afraid to ask questions: What are the therapist's qualifications? What kind of therapy will the child have? Will the family as a whole participate in therapy? Will my child's therapy include an antidepressant? If so, what might the side effects be?

Related Features
icon Articles
Treatment of Children with Mental Disorders
Depression in Children and Adolescents: A Fact Sheet for Physicians
Child and Adolescent Bipolar Disorder
What to Do When a Friend is Depressed: A Guide for Students

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has identified the use of medications for depression in children as an important area for research. The NIMH-supported Research Units on Pediatric Psychopharmacology (RUPPs) form a network of seven research sites where clinical studies on the effects of medications for mental disorders can be conducted in children and adolescents. Among the medications being studied are antidepressants, some of which have been found to be effective in treating children with depression, if properly monitored by the child's physician (Vitiello & Jensen, 1997).

Vitiello B, Jensen P. Medication development and testing in children and adolescents. Archives of General Psychiatry, 1997; 54:871-6.

Source: National Institute of Mental Health, NIH Publication No. 00-3561, May 22, 2002

Depression in the Elderly

Some people have the mistaken idea that it is normal for the elderly to feel depressed. On the contrary, most older people feel satisfied with their lives. Sometimes, though, when depression develops, it may be dismissed as a normal part of aging. Depression in the elderly, undiagnosed and untreated, causes needless suffering for the family and for the individual who could otherwise live a fruitful life. When he or she does go to the doctor, the symptoms described are usually physical, for the older person is often reluctant to discuss feelings of hopelessness, sadness, loss of interest in normally pleasurable activities, or extremely prolonged grief after a loss.

Related Features
icon Articles
Older Adults: Depression and Suicide Facts
If You're Over 65 and Feeling Depressed: Treatment Brings New Hope

Recognizing how depressive symptoms in older people are often missed, many health care professionals are learning to identify and treat the underlying depression. They recognize that some symptoms may be side effects of medication the older person is taking for a physical problem, or they may be caused by a co-occurring illness. If a diagnosis of depression is made, treatment with medication and/or psychotherapy will help the depressed person return to a happier, more fulfilling life. Recent research suggests that brief psychotherapy (talk therapies that help a person in day-to-day relationships or in learning to counter the distorted negative thinking that commonly accompanies depression) is effective in reducing symptoms in short-term depression in older persons who are medically ill. Psychotherapy is also useful in older patients who cannot or will not take medication. Efficacy studies show that late-life depression can be treated with psychotherapy (Lebowitz, Pearson, Schneider, Reynolds, Alexopoulos, Bruce, conwell, Katz, Meyers, Morrison, Mossey, Niederehe, & Parmelee, 1997).

Improved recognition and treatment of depression in late life will make those years more enjoyable and fulfilling for the depressed elderly person, the family, and caretakers.

Lebowitz BD, Pearson JL, Schneider LS, Reynolds CF, Alexopoulos GS, Bruce MI, Conwell Y, Katz IR, Meyers BS, Morrison MF, Mossey J, Niederehe G, Parmelee P. Diagnosis and treatment of depression in late life: consensus statement update. Journal of the American Medical Association, 1997; 278:1186-90.

Source: National Institute of Mental Health, NIH Publication No. 00-3561, May 22, 2002

Depression in Women

Women experience depression about twice as often as men (Blehar & Oren, 1997). Many hormonal factors may contribute to the increased rate of depression in women-particularly such factors as menstrual cycle changes, pregnancy, miscarriage, postpartum period, pre-menopause, and menopause. Many women also face additional stresses such as responsibilities both at work and home, single parenthood, and caring for children and for aging parents.

Related Features
icon Articles
Women Hold Up Half the Sky: Women and Mental Health Research
Depression: What Every Woman Should Know
icon Books

The Feeling Good Handbook,
by David Burns

Chicken Soup for the Woman's Soul: 101 Stories to Open the Hearts and Rekindle the Spirits of Women,
by Jack Canfield and Associates

More Books...

A recent NIMH study showed that in the case of severe premenstrual syndrome (PMS), women with a preexisting vulnerability to PMS experienced relief from mood and physical symptoms when their sex hormones were suppressed. Shortly after the hormones were re-introduced, they again developed symptoms of PMS. Women without a history of PMS reported no effects of the hormonal manipulation (Rubinow, Schmidt & Roca, 1998; Schmidt & Roca, 1998).

Many women are also particularly vulnerable after the birth of a baby. The hormonal and physical changes, as well as the added responsibility of a new life, can be factors that lead to postpartum depression in some women. While transient "blues" are common in new mothers, a full-blown depressive episode is not a normal occurrence and requires active intervention. Treatment by a sympathetic physician and the family's emotional support for the new mother are prime considerations in aiding her to recover her physical and mental well-being and her ability to care for and enjoy the infant.

Blehar MD, Oren DA. Gender differences in depression. Medscape Women's Health, 1997;2:3. Revised from: Women's increased vulnerability to mood disorders: Integrating psychobiology and epidemiology. Depression, 1995;3:3-12.

Rubinow DR, Schmidt PJ, Roca CA. Estrogen-serotonin interactions: Implications for affective regulation. Biological Psychiatry, 1998; 44(9):839-50.

Schmidt PJ, Neiman LK, Danaceau MA, Adams LF, Rubinow DR. Differential behavioral effects of gonadal steroids in women with and in those without premenstrual syndrome. Journal of the American Medical Association, 1998; 338:209-16.

Source: National Institute of Mental Health, NIH Publication No. 00-3561, May 22, 2002

Depression in Men

Although men are less likely to suffer from depression than women, three to four million men in the United States are affected by the illness. Men are less likely to admit to depression, and doctors are less likely to suspect it. The rate of suicide in men is four times that of women, though more women attempt it. In fact, after age 70, the rate of men's suicide rises, reaching a peak after age 85.

Related Features
icon Articles
Getting Help
The Invisible Disease
icon Books

Seasons of a Man's Life,
by Daniel J. Levinson

Control Your Depression,
by Peter Lewinsohn and Associates

More Books...

Depression can also affect the physical health in men differently from women. A new study shows that, although depression is associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease in both men and women, only men suffer a high death rate (Ferketick, Schwartzbaum, Frid & Moeschberger, 2000).

Men's depression is often masked by alcohol or drugs, or by the socially acceptable habit of working excessively long hours. Depression typically shows up in men not as feeling hopeless and helpless, but as being irritable, angry, and discouraged; hence, depression may be difficult to recognize as such in men. Even if a man realizes that he is depressed, he may be less willing than a woman to seek help. Encouragement and support from concerned family members can make a difference. In the workplace, employee assistance professionals or worksite mental health programs can be of assistance in helping men understand and accept depression as a real illness that needs treatment.

Ferketick AK, Schwartzbaum JA, Frid DJ, Moeschberger ML. Depression as an antecedent to heart disease among women and men in the NHANES I study. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Archives of Internal Medicine, 2000; 160(9): 1261-8.

Source: National Institute of Mental Health, NIH Publication No. 00-3561, May 22, 2002



This web site is for information and support only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional treatment or advice.

Home   Overview   Causes   Diagnosis   Treatment   Medication
About Us    Contact Us    Privacy Policy    Terms of Use

Copyright © 2013 All About Self Help, LLC. All rights reserved.