What Is Depression?
Symptoms of Depression continued...
While these are common symptoms of depression, they may also occur in patterns. For example, a person may experience depression with mania or hypomania -- a condition called manic depression or bipolar disorder. Or the syndrome of major depression may occur in a seasonal pattern (a condition formerly called seasonal affective disorder).
There are several types of manic depression. People with bipolar II disorder have at least one episode of major depression and at least one hypomanic -- mild elation or high -- episode. People with bipolar I disorder have a history of at least one manic -- extreme elation or high -- episode, with or without past major depressive episodes. A patient with unipolar depression has major depression only and has never had a full hypomanic or manic episode. A new category, though, in the DSM-5 allows for the presence of some symptoms of mania or hypomania during a full depressive episode in someone who technically hasn't met the full criteria for bipolar disorder (called major depressive disorder with mixed features). That suggests the line between unipolar and bipolar disorder can sometimes be blurry.
Is Childhood Depression Common?
Childhood depression is different from the normal "blues" and everyday emotions that occur as a child develops. If your child is sad, this does not necessarily mean he or she has significant depression. It's when the sadness becomes persistent -- day after day -- that depression may be an issue. Or, if your child has disruptive behavior that interferes with normal social activities, interests, schoolwork, or family life, it may indicate that he or she has a depressive illness.
Depression in Teens
It is common for teens to occasionally feel unhappy. However, when the unhappiness lasts for more than two weeks and the teen experiences other symptoms of depression, then he or she may be suffering from adolescent depression. Because as many as one in every 33 children and one in eight adolescents suffer with depression, talk to your doctor and find out if your teen may be depressed. There is effective treatment available to help teens move beyond depression as they grow older.