Mental Health » Depression


What is Depression?

It's natural to feel sad, down, or discouraged at times. We all feel these human emotions, they're reactions to the hassles and hurdles of life. We may feel sad over an argument with a friend, a breakup, or a best friend moving out of town. We might be disappointed about doing poorly on a test or discouraged if our team can't break its losing streak. The death of someone close can lead to a specific kind of sadness — grief. Most of the time, people manage to deal with these feelings and get past them with a little time and care.
Depression is more than occasionally feeling blue, sad, or down in the dumps, though. Depression is a strong mood involving sadness, discouragement, despair, or hopelessness that lasts for weeks, months, or even longer.
Depression is one of the most common yet unidentified mental health problems of childhood and adolescence. Left unidentified and untreated, depression can have pervasive and long-term effects on social, personal, and academic performance. When school personnel know how to identify and intervene with children who have depression, they can provide them with opportunities for effective support.
Depression is not easily recognized or may be mistaken as another problem, such as lack of motivation. Although severe depression might be displayed in symptoms such as suicide attempts, severe withdrawal, or emotional swings, the vast majority of cases are much milder and do not attract attention from adults. Moreover, children and adolescents are not as likely as adults to refer themselves for mental health problems.