Is Depression a Mental Illness?
The question of “Is depression a mental illness?” is a valid one, and the answer is a resounding yes. Authoritative sources such as the mental health problem.
It is important to understand that depression is more than just feeling sad, lazy or upset at life. Symptoms vary from individual to individual and some people have a more serious problem with depression than others. However, common symptoms of depression include sleeping problems, difficulty concentrating, overwhelming feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, uncontrolled negative thinking, irritability, overly aggressive behavior and/or thoughts of suicide.
In many cases, a person gets these feelings in “waves”. It is entirely possible for an individual to be doing well for months or even years, only to fall back into depression after a difficulty or heartbreak. Some individuals are able to attend school and/or hold down a job despite having problems with depression; others lose the ability to work and/or study. In some cases, a person can overcome depression on his or her own, but in many cases counseling and/or medical assistance is recommended.
What to do if You Suspect You Have Clinical Depression
If you feel you may have clinical depression, then get help from parents and/or a trusted friend or family member. A person who is not depressed can see life much more clearly than you can; such an individual will be able to provide you with the moral support, friendship and practical care you need to get over your problem.
As was noted above, professional counseling is also in order, as is seeing a medical professional. This especially holds true for those who are feeling suicidal and/or overly aggressive. If your feelings of depression are leading you to drink too much and/or engage in another type of addictive behavior (i.e. taking illegal drugs, smoking, playing computer games all day, viewing pornography, etc.) then you should seek dual-diagnosis therapy.
Is Depression a Mental Illness? What Should Parents Do?
Parents who suspect that their child battles with depression should seek out professional help, especially if the child is displaying extreme symptoms that make it impossible for him or her to lead a normal life. However, it is important to note that there is more to helping a depressed child or teen than seeking medical treatment. Anyone who is depressed needs a great deal of support from friends and family members.
It is important to never get angry at a child or young person who is feeling depressed. Name calling is also out of the question. Instead, a person battling depression should be given a great deal of support. If your child has difficulty sleeping at night, find ways to help him or her relax before going to bed. If your child feels apathetic, try to engage him/her in various activities that you feel he or she may enjoy. Children who are overly aggressive should not be put in positions that would bring out their anger.
Is Depression a Mental Illness? Are Anti-Depressants a Good Option?
Anti-depressants can be effective in helping a person overcome depression. However, they often have negative side effects and teens and adults up to the age of 24.
While anti-depressant drugs can in some cases alleviate depression, they should only be taken with caution. Pregnant women and individuals with a heart and/or liver condition will need to avoid these drugs in their entirety.
Is depression a mental illness? Depression is a term that is often used in a light manner, but genuine depression is not something that should be taken lightly. It is more than just feeling sad, upset or angry; it affects a person’s ability to function and even his or her physical health. Experts agree that it is without a doubt a mental illness.
Young people or adults who have regular sleeping problems and/or feel overly apathetic, negative, hopeless, suicidal or angry should get help as soon as possible. Depression is a common problem and nothing to be ashamed of; it can be treated and those who have experienced this mental health condition can go on to lead normal, productive lives.
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