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Last Updated: 02/23/2018

Disability Information - Depression


General Information

Education & Classroom Accommodations

Michigan Resources, Support Groups, Listservs & Websites

National Resources & Websites

Articles Related to this Disability

Medical Information

Books & Videos

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 General Information

When Your Child is Depressed
Kids Health for Parents
If your child is depressed, you're probably frightened and frustrated because depression can be scary for your child and discouraging if you're a parent who's at a loss to help.

Depression and Children
All children “feel blue,” from time to time, have a bad day, or are sad. However, when these feelings persist and begin to interfere with a child’s ability to function in daily life, clinical depression could be the cause. Depression is not a personal weakness, a character flaw, or a mood that one can “snap out of.” It is a serious mental health problem that affects people of all ages, including children. In fact, depression affects as many as one in every 33 children and one in eight adolescents according to the federal Center for Mental Health Services.

Let's Talk About Depression
National Institute of Mental Health
Most people with depression can be helped with treatment. But a majority of depressed people never get the help they need. And, when depression isn't treated, it can get worse, last longer, and prevent you from getting the most out of this important time in your life.

What to do When a Friend is Depressed: Guide for Students
National Institute of Mental Health
You know that these school years can be complicated and demanding. Deep down, you are not quite sure of who you are, what you want to be, or whether the choices you make from day to day are the best decisions. Sometimes the many changes and pressures you are facing threaten to overwhelm you. So, it isn't surprising that from time to time you or one of your friends feels "down" or discouraged. But what about those times when a friend's activity and outlook on life stay "down" for weeks and begin to affect your relationship? If you know someone like this, your friend might be suffering from depression. As a friend, you can help.

Portraits of Depression
People suffer deeply from depression. For many, the anguish continues night and day, appearing to have no end.

The A to Z of Children's Ailments, Depression
by Dr Trisha Macnair, BBC HEALTH
Depression is an overwhelming feeling of hopelessness, sadness and lack of self worth. Most of us feel sad now and then - but when someone is depressed, the sadness or feeling down are so extreme or persistent that they get in the way of normal activities.

Depression in young people: what causes it and can we prevent it?
Jane M Burns, Gavin Andrews and Marianna Szabo
Cumulative adverse experiences, including negative life events and early childhood adversity, together with parental depression and/or non-supportive school or familial environments, place young people at risk for developing depression.

Depression and Disability in Children and Adolescents
The ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education (ERIC EC)
The Council for Exceptional Children
For many years, depression and other disorders of mood were thought to be afflictions of only adults. Within the past three decades, however, it has become evident that mood disorders are common among children and adolescents. Population studies reveal that between 10% and 15% of the child and adolescent population exhibit some symptoms of depression (U. S. Department of Health and Human Services [USDHHS], 2000).

Depression: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
by Joseph M. Carver, PhD
Depression is perhaps the most common of all mental health problems, currently felt to affect one in every four adults to some degree. Depression is a problem with mood/feeling in which the mood is described as sad, feeling down in the dumps, being blue, or feeling low. While the depressed mood is present, evidence is also present which reflects the neurochemical or "brain chemistry" aspects of depression with the depressed individual experiencing poor concentration/attention, loss of energy, accelerated thought/worry, sleep/appetite disturbance, and other physical manifestations.

Young People (includes: Some causes of depression in children)
James Tighe, Clinical Nurse Research Fellow
If you feel that someone close to you is experiencing more than just passing emotional problems, encourage them to talk about their feelings and, if necessary, get advice from their GP.

Early Warning Signals You May Overlook
by Debra Moore, Ph.D.
There are many early warning signals of depression that are usually overlooked or attributed to other causes.

Depression: An Overview
In any given one year period, 9.5% of the population, or about 19 million American adults, suffer from a depressive illness. The economic cost is estimated at $30.4 billion a year, but the cost in human suffering cannot be estimated. Depressive illnesses often interfere with normal functioning and cause pain and suffering not only to those who have a disorder, but also to those who care about them. Serious depression can destroy family life as well as the life of the ill person. But much of this suffering is unnecessary.

All About Depression
This booklet is for anyone who wants to know more about depression. You may be experiencing depression yourself and wondering where to find help. You may be supporting a friend or relative who seems to be depressed, or you may work with people who have symptoms of depression - for example in a healthcare setting or a workplace. This booklet will give you information about depression and the kinds of help, which are available. At the end of the booklet you will find details of useful organizations, as well as examples of further reading. We have included some extra information on depression in older people, since depression in this age group is often overlooked.

Recognizing Possible Suicidal Behavior Out of the Classroom
The Cherry Hill Connection
These signs are likely to be observed in a student's general behavior and do not necessarily mean that someone is considering suicide. They are warning signs and should generate attention.

The Importance of Recognizing Depression and Seeking Help
by Allan N. Schwartz, CSW, Ph.D.
Depression is at epidemic proportions in the United States and around the world. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that twenty percent of the population of the United States experiences symptoms of depression at any one time.

Stories of depression
National Institute of Mental Health
Does this sound like you?

How Can I Stop Being Depressed?
by Dr. Bill Gaultiere
Question: I can't seem to pull myself out of the doldrums. All I want to do is sleep and eat. I just don't seem to have any energy for living. And I have so much to do. We just moved to a new house and we're not settled in yet. My son, who just started college, says that I haven't been myself lately. I guess I'm depressed. I've always been a happy, energetic, positive person - even in some tough times. What's wrong with me now?

Depression in Children and Adolescents: A Fact Sheet for Physicians
National Institute of Mental Health
Depressive disorders, which include major depressive disorder (unipolar depression), dysthymic disorder (chronic, mild depression), and bipolar disorder (manic-depression), can have far reaching effects on the functioning and adjustment of young people.

Clinical Depression: What you need to know
National Mental Health Association
Life is full of good times and bad, of happiness and sorrow. But when you are feeling "down" for more than a few weeks or you have difficulty functioning in daily life, you may be suffering from a common, yet serious medical illness - called clinical depression.

Myths About Depression
by Debra Moore, Ph.D.
A list of depression myths.

JAMA Patient Page: Depression
A person who feels sad all the time, has unexplained crying spells, or loses interest in usual activities may have major depression, a serious medical illness that should be distinguished from normal temporary feelings of sadness after a loss, such as the death of a relative or friend. Major depression affects 14 million persons in the United States each year.

The Lowdown on Depression
By Carol Lewis
Thirty-three-year-old Saritza Velilla of Frisco, Tex., was just 7 years old when she first started feeling worthless. As the years went by, these feelings intensified and she became more withdrawn from social activities. But it wasn't until 1996 that Velilla was diagnosed with clinical depression, and only recently that she found relief from her ongoing symptoms.

Depression and the Family
Having a family member with depression affects the whole family. Each family member is likely to react in his or her own way, and the response may, in turn, affect other family members. It is important to recognize the ways in which the illness affects your family and to take steps to reduce any negative impact. The depressed child or
adolescent will find an easier path to recovery from the illness if the family can continue to be a strong, well functioning unit.

Problems With Sadness
by Tony Schirtzinger, ACSW
Unfortunately, when we are confronted with a huge amount of sadness we are likely to fear that "it will last forever."

Learning to Recognize Clinical Depression
National Mental Health Association
Not everyone experiences clinical depression in the same way. Different people have different symptoms. See your doctor or a qualified mental health professional if you experience FIVE or more of these symptoms for longer than two weeks or if the symptoms are severe enough to interfere with your daily routine. A thorough physical examination to rule out other illnesses may be recommended.

The Blues, the Blahs, and Depression
by Debra Moore, Ph.D.
We all feel blue or down at times. Perhaps we've been under the weather, or experienced a rejection or are having financial difficulties. During these periods we may accomplish less than usual and may suffer multiple minor aches and pains. We may be more accident prone. But within hours, days, or at most a week or two, these feelings change and we're back to "normal".

Critical Issues for Parents with Mental Illness and their Families

Adolescent Depression, Helping Depressed Teens
It’s not unusual for young people to experience "the blues" or feel "down in the dumps" occasionally. Adolescence is always an unsettling time, with the many physical, emotional, psychological and social changes that accompany this stage of life.

Childhood Depression Awareness Day
To help you plan for Childhood Depression Awareness Day, NMHA has highlighted a number of local programs that have proven to be successful in communities nationwide. Feel free to replicate the model activities described below to complement your children’s education, prevention and advocacy programs during May and all year long.

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 Education & Classroom Accommodations

What do These Students Have in Common?
National Institute of Mental Health
College offers new experiences and challenges. This can be exciting - it can also be stressful and make you, or someone you know, feel sad. But when "the blues" last for weeks, or interfere with academic or social functioning, it may be clinical depression. Clinical depression is a common, frequently unrecognized illness that can be effectively treated.

Depression in the Classroom-Finding and Helping Kids Who Need Help
By JoAnn Kirchner, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Psychiatric and behavioral problems, including major depression, occur commonly among young people between the ages of 10 and 18, and they too often lead to school failure, violence, and suicide. We know that childhood depression is treatable and that early identification and treatment lead to better treatment results, so we clearly need effective programs to help us recognize mental illnesses in children early and to refer them for medical care without delay.

Childhood Depression and Implications for the Classroom
There's another hidden disability in the classroom: depression. In fact depression can be so hidden that often parents don't know about it, says Stuart Copans, a child psychiatrist from Brattleboro, VT. Dr. Copans notes that suicide can occur even among pre-adolescents. Often, in those situations, parents were not even aware that their child was depressed. Because of the large amount of time teachers spend with students in their classroom, teachers can play an important role identifying and helping students struggling with the condition.

Important Information for the Teacher bout Depression
Your student has been diagnosed with a depression. The brochure that you have received along with this handout will explain details about this illness.

Depression in School, A Student's Trial
Indiana University - The Center for Adolescent Studies
Teachers are trained to handle students who lack discipline, the slow learners, the extremely bright, and even kids faced with ADHD. What I've discovered, though, is that they aren't prepared to teach the students suffering from depression. Just like anyone else, teachers are very perceptive when it comes to identifying disturbed, possibly depressed students in their class, yet they often seem incapable of and uninterested in helping that student.

Dealing with childhood depression in the classroom
Teacher Notes
Depression is difficult to diagnose in very young children due to their limited ability to verbalize the strong emotions credited to depression. Children also display vastly different symptoms ranging from classic symptoms like sadness, eating problems, sleep disturbances and anxiety, to hyperactivity and behavior problems often associated with attention deficit disorder. Normal developmental stages can also confuse the diagnostic process when behavior for a development stage mimics symptoms of depression. Once possible physical causes are ruled out, careful observation of the child for an extended time may be necessary before diagnosis is possible. While parents are primarily responsible for getting treatment for their depressed child, they often can't or don't recognize the signs. School personnel (especially the teacher and school nurse) are instrumental in reporting the first signs of depression. Teachers often notice a gradual decline in attentiveness, quality of school work and general social interaction of a student. Even very young children, if suffering from depression, are at risk for suicide. Some experts think suicides in young children are sometimes mistaken for accidents. Observation, recognition of risk signs, and timely referral are the most important steps for a teacher to take when a child is suspect for depression. You may want to become more familiar with your facility's policy about referral to the appropriate contact person.

Depression - Children’s Mental Health Fact Sheet for the Classroom
All children feel sad or blue at times, but feelings of sadness that persist for weeks or months may be a symptom of major depressive disorder or dysthymic
disorder (chronic depression). These depressive disorders are more than “the blues”; they affect a young person’s thoughts, feelings, behavior, and body, and can lead to school failure, alcohol or drug abuse, and even suicide. Depression is one of the most serious mental, emotional, and behavior disorders suffered by children and teens.

Classroom Guide
This eight-page Classroom Guide suggests ways you can use “Teens & Self-Image” to raise issues like these in the context of the courses you teach. The discussion questions, grouped under four themes, help students explore ways that schools, religion, families, newspapers and electronic media shape teens’ views of themselves and their world.

Children and adolescents with depression may appear sad or blue, but depression may also be manifest as anger or chronic irritability.

One of your students has been diagnosed with a depressive disorder and is being treated with medication. The student and his/her family are involved in a project to follow and document the effects of medication for this disorder.

Coping with Depression at Home and School
Working with your doctor to treat your depression is very important in helping you feel better. But along with that, there are some things you can do for yourself to cope with depression. These are tips to help you deal with the day to day frustrations and pressures of life.

A Special Education Curriculum Guide: Dealing with Death, Depression and Suicide Using Poetry
By Laura Batson, Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute
Over the past four years, I have taught approximately ninety children. Of these ninety children, seventy-five have lost a close member of their family in their short life span. When I started looking at children who had recently been placed in special education, I began seeing a pattern of recent death or suicide in these children’s lives.

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 Michigan Resources, Support Groups, Listservs & Websites

Bridges4Kids Crisis Hotlines


University of Michigan Depression Center
The nations first comprehensive center devoted to treatment, research and education of depression at the University of Michigan.
To schedule an appointment call 734-936-4400

Billing Questions: 734-936-7368

Clinical Trials: 734-764-5349

Depression screenings FREE!: 734-763-7495 also visit our online screening program

Family Services: 734-764-0267
Family Education Workshops: Check Events Schedule

FRIENDS Depression Education & Resource Center (FDERC)

Michigan Center for Anxiety & Depression

Michigan Suicide & Crisis Hotlines

National Hopeline Network
1-800-SUICIDE or 1-800-784-2433 Toll-Free in the U.S. (24/7)

Mid-Michigan Physicians
We know there is a ton of information out there on the world wide web related to health education and self help guides to good health. We also know that you may not have the time to search through 50 sites to get a simple straightforward answer to a question you may have about a particular health condition.

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 National Resources & Websites

Featured Resource: Depression and Bi-Polar Support Alliance - The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) is the nation’s leading patient-directed organization focusing on the most prevalent mental illnesses – depression and bipolar disorder. The organization fosters an understanding about the impact and management of these life-threatening illnesses by providing up-to-date, scientifically-based tools and information written in language the general public can understand.


American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
This site is designed to serve both AACAP Members, and Parents and Families. Information is provided as a public service to aid in the understanding and treatment of the developmental, behavioral, and mental disorders which affect an estimated 7 to 12 million children and adolescents at any given time in the United States.

Center for Mental Health Services
The National Mental Health Information Center was developed for users of mental health services and their families, the general public, policy makers, providers, and the media.

Depression and Related Affective Disorders Association
DRADA is a community organization; we serve individuals affected by a depressive illness, family members, health care professionals and the general public. We are committed to our mission to alleviate the suffering arising from depression and manic depression by assisting self-help groups, providing education and information, and lending support to research programs. DRADA understands the need to eliminate the stigma that is attached to mood disorders, and we are constantly striving to promote public knowledge of signs, symptoms, and resources available to persons affected by these illnesses.

National Foundation for Depressive Illness
The National Foundation For Depressive Illness (NAFDI) was established in 1983 to provide public and professional information about Affective Disorders, the availability of treatment, and the urgent need for further research. The Foundation is committed to an extensive, ongoing public information campaign addressed to this pervasive, costly, and hidden national emergency.

National Mental Health Association
The National Mental Health Association is the country's oldest and largest nonprofit organization addressing all aspects of mental health and mental illness. With more than 340 affiliates nationwide, NMHA works to improve the mental health of all Americans, especially the 54 million people with mental disorders, through advocacy, education, research and service.

National Depressive and Manic-Depressive Association

Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health

Wing of Madness
Welcome to one of the oldest depression sites on the Web. Since 1995, Wing of Madness has been providing information and support to people trying to deal with their depression or that of someone they know.

National Alliance for the Mentally Ill
A nonprofit, grassroots, self-help, support and advocacy organization of consumers, families, and friends of people with severe mental illnesses.

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) 
NIMH conducts and supports research nationwide on mental illness and mental health, including studies of the brain, behavior, and mental health services.

National Mental Health Association (NMHA) 
NMHA is America's oldest and largest nonprofit organization addressing all aspects of mental health and mental illness.

Defeat Depression (UK) 
Well designed, impressive interactive site with regular updates of news and links, aimed at people with depressive illnesses.

Institute of Mental Health Act practitioners (UK)
An authoritative and comprehensive source of information on mental health law.

All Depression Chat Home Pages
We are all looking for a safe harbor in a sea of peril, here we have tried to provide that. We have created this site to have that safe harbor for you, our guest and provide information on many mental illnesses.

ICQ Interest Groups - Fighting Depression

Depression & Bipolar Awareness Yahoo Group
Support group for individuals [or family members] suffering with depression, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety or related disorders.

Depression / Anxiety Yahoo Group
This group has been set up for people to help each other through their experiences of Depression, Anxiety, Panic Attacks, suicidal feelings, Medication, Doctors, Hospitals etc... If you or some one you know is going or has gone through any of the above or even if you are just looking for any information, feel free to post a message. If you have any useful links let us know.

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 Articles Related to this Disability

Test Takes on Teens' Mental Health - Somewhere in junior high, Jennifer Rashti lost her smile. The once-genial Cherry Hill girl began to feel sad, angry, low. By last year, when she was a high school sophomore, Rashti was making excuses not to go out with friends.


How Many Did I Overlook? The Transformation of a School Psychologist - During my first ten years as a school psychologist, I was not aware of the neurobiological nature of mental illness. I had no inkling that many of the students that I saw had the symptoms of what we now are beginning to understand as diseases of the brain. I variously labeled these students seriously emotionally disturbed (SED), conduct disordered, and out of touch with their feelings. That many of these children might be suffering from the initial stages of major mental illnesses rarely occurred to me.


Emotional Ties to School Vital to Success - There's a growing body of evidence that building emotional connections between young people and their schools improves their commitment to education and increases their ability to resist risky behavior. Research shows that 40 percent to 60 percent of all students -- urban, suburban and rural - are "chronically disengaged" from school. And these numbers don't include kids who actually drop out of school. "Essentially, we're telling kids they're on their own, and while many of them succeed, many don't. This is not acceptable."


Parental Stress Leaves Mark on Kids - Kids have it rough these days. Their parents' financial troubles are their troubles. Their parents' marital woes are their woes. And it's depressing them. The National Institute of Mental Health recently reported 2.5 percent of children up to age 12 suffer from depression. Region experts said our kids are depressed too, though no number of local children suffering from depression is available.


Tragic Teen Suicides Inspire Idea That Invites More - In heart-wrenching testimony before federal drug regulators last February, parent after parent related how their teens had committed suicide after taking prescription antidepressants.


Discerning Difference Between Teen Angst, Depression - I received a phone call this week from an employer wanting to help a teen employee who she suspected was struggling with clinical depression and may have attempted suicide. Compounding the teen's mental health problems were parents who appeared to lack accurate information and understanding about this most serious problem, teen depression.


New Doubts About Medicating Kids - Personal tragedies and scientific evidence are combining to call into question the use of powerful antidepressant drugs on children and teens. Pressure has been building for months to ban or curtail their use. Recent scientific studies have found a link between the use of these drugs and suicidal tendencies among children. In December, Britain banned the use of some antidepressants on patients under 18. The fallout from a hearing called by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this week is ratcheting up the pressure for some kind of action on this side of the Atlantic.


UK Risk of New Anti-depressants Outweighs Benefit - British drug regulators Wednesday recommended against the use of all but one of a new generation of anti-depressants in the treatment of depressed children under 18.


Debate Resumes on the Safety of Depression's Wonder Drugs - Warnings by drug regulators about the safety of Paxil, one of the world's most prescribed antidepressants, are reopening seemingly settled questions about a whole class of drugs that also includes Prozac and Zoloft.

Recurrent concussions may be linked to depression, North Carolina study finds - Retired football players who suffered three or four concussions have twice the risk of later developing clinical depression - a risk that rises with even more injuries, new research says.


Commentary with Mike Lopresti: Bradshaw, Williams Confront Depression - The man on the telephone has four Super Bowl rings, a television name...and a lifetime of living with depression.


The Kids are Hurting - Gripped by depression and anxiety, adolescents are swamping psychiatric wards and therapists' offices across the country.  "If this were an infectious disease, we would call this an epidemic."


Young and Depressed - Ten years ago this disease was for adults only. But as teen depression comes out of the closet, it’s getting easier to spot—and sufferers can hope for a brighter future.


Medicating Depressed Kids, Surprising Trends
Despite concerns about doctors' potential reliance on medications to treat childhood depression, a new study by University of Michigan researchers finds that most primary care physicians still rely mostly on referral and counseling for their young patients.

Interventions Aim To Prevent Depression in High-Risk Children
by Elizabeth Fried Ellen, LICSW 
Children whose parents have been diagnosed with affective disorders are far more likely to be diagnosed with a mental illness-especially affective disorder-than their peers whose parents do not have mood disorders (Beardslee, 1998; Burge and Hammen, 1991; Downey and Coyne, 1990). Unhappy with these odds, Boston researcher William R. Beardslee, M.D., has developed two promising short-term interventions that aim to prevent depression in this at-risk population.

Debate Resumes on the Safety of Depression's Wonder Drugs 
After a decade of lies, deception, and cover-up of evidence linking antidepression drugs - such as, Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft - to acts of suicide in previously non-suicidal people - children and adults, some of who were depressed, others not - a front page article in The New York Times has finally opened the much needed public debate in the United States. The Times reveals that in light of public revelations in Great Britain about the high suicide risk for children who were given Paxil in clinical trials, seven members of an expert panel convened by the FDA in 1991 said they would now reconsider their recommendation exonerating these drugs from a link to suicide.

Recognizing Childhood Depression Is First Step To Saving Lives
NMHA News Release
Each day, at least one child in every elementary school classroom across America may suffer from depression. And several teenagers sitting in every junior high and high school classroom may also have depression. Yet most parents and teachers never realize these children are silently suffering.

Childhood Depression: Whose Job Is It? 
It is estimated that 1.9% of primary school children and 4.7% of adolescents are affected by depression (Weller and Weller, 1991); the consequences of depression in this age group can include social dysfunction, academic underachievement and suicidal behavior. Within the last three decades, the recognition of a behavioral component of the primary care of children, coupled with the introduction of managed care and new psychopharmaceuticals, has changed the role of the primary care clinician (Rushton et al., 2000). Also, while reports of the efficacy and safety of antidepressants in children and adolescents are mixed (Emslie et al., 1999; Hazell et al., 1995), their use has dramatically increased in the last decade (Martin et al., 2000; Zito et al., 2000). It is still unclear, however, how childhood depression and psychiatric disorders fall within the scope of primary care.

Phobias and anxiety mean more pupils can't face classroom
Sarah Cassidy, The Independent
Increasing numbers of children are refusing to attend school because they suffer from school phobia, anxiety or depression brought on by bullying or the unruly behavior of other pupils.

Recurrent concussions may be linked to depression
North Carolina study finds - Retired football players who suffered three or four concussions have twice the risk of later developing clinical depression - a risk that rises with even more injuries, new research says.

Children and Depression
By Dr. Trisha Macnair
Carefree, happy-go-lucky, and running wild ... just some of the clichés that come to mind when we think about childhood. Most of us have a romanticized, idealistic picture of what life is like for children. "What could children possibly have to worry about?" we adults tend to think from our tired cynical perches, weighed down as we are by cares about paying the mortgage, looking after elderly relatives and clawing our way up the career ladder. And until surprisingly recently mental health professionals colluded with this denial. Less than 20 years ago, in the early 1980's, many psychiatrists believed that children were incapable of experiencing depression because they lacked the emotional maturity to feel despondent.

Depressive Disorders in Adolescents: Challenges in Diagnosis
by Jerry Rushton, M.D., M.P.H.
Despite media and popular stereotypes of moody, apathetic teen-agers, most adolescents are well-adjusted and productive. Nevertheless, many adolescents experience depressive symptoms, and some have episodes beyond transient feelings and normal development. Adolescence is a key period when many mental health disorders--including depression, dysthymia and other comorbid conditions--are often recognized. Although depressive disorders are relatively rare during childhood, by adolescence the prevalence is estimated between 2% to 8% (Burke et al., 1990; Costello et al., 1996; Lewinsohn et al., 1998; Lewinsohn et al., 1994). During early adolescence, a striking gender difference also emerges, with females two to three times more likely to report depression than males (Fleming and Offord, 1990).

Immune System Different in Depressed People
New research shows the immune system in people with depression responds differently to infections. The research was conducted by studying the response of the immune systems of people after they received the flu shot.

Researcher Links Perfectionism in High Achievers with Depression and Suicide
American Psychological Association
Most everyone has known of someone who despite giving the appearance of 'having it all' -- power, prestige, admiration, a loving family, many friends and a promising future -- committed suicide. A researcher writing in the current issue of the American Psychological Association's (APA) American Psychologist suggests that the very quality that drives some individuals to very high levels of achievement -- perfectionism -- may also lead to their self-destruction.

The Cutting Edge of Sadness
by Leon Cytryn, M.D.
The past decade witnessed major strides in our understanding and treatment of affective disorders in adults, children and adolescents. One of the baffling problems in child and adolescent psychiatry was the question of psychiatric illness spanning a lifetime. The existence of depressive disorders in prepubertal children has been generally recognized and acknowledged since the 1960s; however, only in the last decade did evidence become available that supports the notion that depression in different ages represents the same entity, albeit manifesting different clinical symptoms in each developmental period (Cytryn and others 1986).

Sleep and depression
Written by Dr R H McAllister-Williams, Carolyn Hughes and the Newcastle Affective Disorders Group
More than 80 per cent of people with depression suffer sleep problems. Find out what disturbs sleep and how you can ensure a good night's kip.

Gene More Than Doubles Risk Of Depression Following Life Stresses
Among people who suffered multiple stressful life events over 5 years, 43 percent with one version of a gene developed depression, compared to only 17 percent with another version of the gene, say researchers funded, in part, by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Those with the "short," or stress-sensitive version of the serotonin transporter gene were also at higher risk for depression if they had been abused as children. Yet no matter how many stressful life events they endured, people with the "long" or protective version experienced no more depression than people who were totally spared from stressful life events. The short variant appears to confer vulnerability to stresses, such as loss of a job, breaking up with a partner, death of a loved one, or a prolonged illness, report Drs. Avshalom Caspi and Terrie Moffitt, University of Wisconsin and King's College London, and colleagues, in the July 18, 2003 Science.

Adolescent Depression Leads to Adult Problems
Young adults who experienced an episode of major depression in adolescence may be more vulnerable to a relapse in adulthood that could significantly affect their quality of life.

Medication and Psychotherapy Treat Depression in Low-Income Minority Women
Treatment with medication or psychotherapy reduced depressive symptoms in women from minority populations, according to research funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Most of the participants in the controlled trial were low-income African-American and Latino women who are at high risk for depression and use county health and welfare services. Research findings appear in the July 2 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Antidepressants May Benefit Depressed Patients
Preliminary results of a laboratory study, conducted by researchers at the Center for Thrombosis Research at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore and Duke University, indicate that antidepressants may be beneficial in patients with ischemic heart disease by having a previously undiscovered inhibitory effect on platelets. The study will be presented at the American College of Cardiology Meetings in Anaheim, California on Monday, March 13, 2000.

Chronic Depression: Two Therapies Are Better Than One
Conventional wisdom among psychiatrists has dictated that people suffering from chronic depression are best treated with a combination of antidepressants and psychotherapy. Now, a large national study confirms that combination therapy is more effective than either medication or counseling alone.

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 Medical Information

Persistence Found to be Key to Treating Depressed Teens - Teenagers whose initial drug treatment fails to combat depression, which happens in four out of 10 cases, can be helped by switching medicine and adding psychotherapy, a U.S. study published on Tuesday said.


FDA Orders Strong Antidepressant Warnings - All antidepressants must carry a "black box" warning, the government's strongest safety alert, linking the drugs to increased suicidal thoughts and behavior among children and teens taking them, the Food and Drug Administration said Friday.


Drugs, Therapy Help Adolescent Depression - Combining drugs with talk therapy works best in treating depressed adolescents, the first large study of its kind has found, echoing research in adults showing that treating the disease requires more than a pop-a-pill quick fix.


Sleep May Be a Predictor of Adolescents' Self-Esteem - A lack of sleep is associated with feelings of depression and low self-esteem among middle school students, according to a report in the January-February issue of Child Development. The study included 2,259 students from ages 10 to 14, who were asked about their grades and the number of hours they slept each night. The students also completed questionnaires designed to measure depressive symptoms and assess self-worth. Students who obtained less sleep in sixth grade exhibited lower initial self-esteem and grades, and higher initial levels of depressive symptoms. Students who obtained less sleep over time also reported heightened levels of depressive symptoms and decreased self-esteem. "This study underscores the role of sleep in predicting adolescents' psychosocial outcomes," concluded the authors. Note: the National Institute of Mental Health offers useful information on child and adolescent mental health on their web site. [Source: National Sleep Foundation]


UK 50,000 Children Taking Antidepressants - An antidepressant which GPs [General Practitioners] have been prescribing to thousands of children, in spite of the fact that it is not recommended for their use, can cause youngsters to want to kill themselves, the government's regulatory agency warned yesterday.


A Genetic Link to Depression - Traumatic life events, like the death of a loved one or the loss of a job, send some people into a deep depression, while others cope with the same problem and move on. The difference may be a gene that control chemical messengers in the brain, a study shows.

UK Paxil Banned in UK for under-18s - Mood drug Seroxat banned for under-18s (Seroxat is the non-U.S. name for Paxil)


Depression Screening
Life is full of good times and bad, happiness and sorrow. But if you've been feeling "down" for more than a few weeks or are having difficulty functioning in daily life, you may be experiencing more than just the "blues." You may be suffering from a common yet serious medical illness called clinical depression. The good news is clinical depression is highly treatable. Most people with depression, however, do not seek the professional help they need -- often because they don't know the symptoms, think depression will go away on its own, or are embarrassed to talk about how they're feeling. One of the quickest and easiest ways to determine whether you have symptoms of depression is by taking a free, confidential depression-screening test. Screening tests, such as the one on this web site, are not intended to provide a diagnosis for clinical depression. But they may help identify any depressive symptoms and determine whether a further evaluation by a medical or mental health professional is necessary. As with any other illness, you should see your doctor if you think you might have symptoms of depression.

St. John's Wort and the Treatment of Depression
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) has developed this fact sheet on the use of St. John's wort for depression. It is one of a series of fact sheets intended to help consumers make informed decisions about whether to use complementary and alternative medical (CAM) therapies for a disease or medical condition.

Study Shows St. John's Wort Ineffective for Major Depression of Moderate Severity
An extract of the herb St. John's wort was no more effective for treating major depression of moderate severity than placebo, according to research published in the April 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Clinical Trials for Depression

Treatment for Minor Depression
In a new approach to research on minor depression, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has launched a four-year study to determine the safety and effectiveness of St. John's wort, a common herbal supplement, and citalopram, a standard antidepressant, compared to placebo.

Screening for Depression: Recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force 
Depression causes sadness that interferes with daily life. Depression is a medical condition, not a normal reaction to a life situation such as the death of a loved one or the loss of a job. About 1 out of every 5 people suffers depression at some time in his or her life, and depression is common among patients who see primary care providers. Common depression symptoms are lack of energy and loss of interest in things previously enjoyed. Sometimes depression goes away on its own, but many depressed people need treatment with counseling or medication to speed recovery. Often, people with depression do not realize that their feelings are due to a medical condition and do not seek medical care for depression.

Major Depressive Disorder in Children and Adolescents Screening Checklist
If your child or teen has experienced some of these symptoms, they may be suffering from depression.

FDA Approves Prozac for Pediatric Use to Treat Depression and OCD
FDA Talk Paper
The Food and Drug Administration has approved new uses for the antidepressant Prozac (fluoxetine) to treat children and adolescents seven to 17 years of age for depression (major depressive disorder) and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

How to Find Help Through Psychotherapy
Millions of Americans have found relief from depression and other emotional difficulties through psychotherapy. Even so, some people find it hard to get started or stay in psychotherapy. This brief question-and-answer guide provides some basic information to help individuals take advantage of outpatient (non-hospital) psychotherapy.

Depression and Co-occurring Illnesses
Clinical depression is a common and serious medical illness that can be effectively treated. The risk of clinical depression is often higher in individuals with serious medical illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes. However, the warning signs are frequently discounted by patients and family members, who mistakenly assume feeling depressed is normal for people struggling with serious health conditions. In addition, the symptoms of depression are frequently masked by these other medical illnesses, resulting in treatment that addresses the symptoms but not the underlying depression. It is a myth that depression is a “normal” emotional response to another illness; it’s extremely important to simultaneously treat both medical illnesses.

Questions to Ask About Psychiatric Medications for Children and Adolescents
American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Medication can be an important part of treatment for some psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents. Psychiatric medication should only be used as one part of a comprehensive treatment plan. Ongoing evaluation and monitoring by a physician is essential. Parents and guardians should be provided with complete information when psychiatric medication is recommended as part of their child's treatment plan. Children and adolescents should be included in the discussion about medications, using words they understand.

A Kid's Guide to Asking Questions about Medication
You may have questions about the medication your doctor has given you. The questions you have are very important. Asking questions will help you know how the medication works and help you feel better about taking it.
Antidepressant Medication and Your Child
These medications affect chemical messengers of the brain called neurotransmitters. There are many different neurotransmitters that work in different parts of the brain. Mood, thinking, sleep, appetite, and behavior are controlled by specific neurotransmitters (dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin). In depression, these neurotransmitters may be out of balance. Antidepressant medications work by correcting the imbalance, which then improves the symptoms of depression. Different antidepressants work on different neurotransmitters in the brain. That is why sometimes one medication will work and another will not. So, sometimes, more than one medication may need to be tried before finding the one that works best for your child.

Monitoring Sheet – Depression


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 Books & Videos

The Childhood Depression Sourcebook
by Jeffrey A. Miller
Depression is often underidentified in children. As a result, many go undiagnosed and suffer needlessly. The Childhood Depression Sourcebook provides insight into why children get depressed, how to identify symptoms, and where to find appropriate treatment. Dr. Miller distinguishes how childhood depression differs from adult depression and how depression manifests during different developmental stages: early childhood, late childhood, and adolescence. This unique book also emphasizes working with schools on both the academic and social level to help children adjust.

Sad Days, Glad Days: A Story About Depression
by Dewitt Hamilton, Gail Owens (Illustrator), Judith Mathews (Editor)
Amanda Martha tries to understand her mother's depression, which sometimes makes her sleep all day, feel sad, or cry.

Recovering from Depression: A Workbook for Teens
by Mary Ellen Copeland (Editor), Stuart Copans, Ellen, M. A., M. S. Copeland
Interactive workbook, for teens, explores ways to deal with suicidal thoughts, change negative behaviors, reach out to friends and family, reduce stress, avoid substance abuse, solve problems, recognize triggers of depression, and focus on dreams and goals. Includes tips, brain-storming activities, checklists, and more. Softcover.

Winning!: How Teens (And Other Humans) Can Beat Anger and Depression: A Handbook for Teens, Teachers, Parents, Therapists, and Counselors
by Lew, Ph.D. Hamburger
109 pages.

More Than Moody: Recognizing and Treating Adolescent Depression
by Harold S. Koplewicz
In this groundbreaking book, Harold Koplewicz, M.D., uses his experience as a clinician and researcher to help parents distinguish between normal teenage angst and true depression, a serious psychological illness with serious long-term consequences.

Helping Your Depressed Teenager: A Guide for Parents and Caregivers
by Gerald D. Oster (Author), Sarah S. Montgomery (Author)
"The authors have produced a very readable, extremely well informed and comprehensive book that will add greatly to the knowledge base of interested parents. This book is strongly recommended." —Stewart Gable, MD Chairman, Department of Psychiatry The Children’s Hospital, Denver, Colorado You supported and encouraged them as they grew from toddlers to teens. Now you are confronted with one of the toughest challenges you and they will ever face … teenage depression. Adolescence is a period of peaks and valleys. Most teens negotiate these years with relative ease; yet for some these times are treacherous with countless pitfalls. When depression ensues, it can interfere with much of your child’s potential. Clinical depression is now epidemic among American teens, and teen suicide can be a deadly consequence. Helping Your Depressed Teenager is a practical guide offering family solutions to a family problem. This book will sensitize you to the hidden struggles of adolescents and assist you in understanding their multifaceted problems.

Lonely, Sad and Angry
by Barbara D., Phd Ingersoll, Sam, Phd Goldstein, Sam Goldstein Ph.D., Barbara D. Ingersoll Ph.D.
Here is a source of accurate and up-to-date information about depression and depressive disorders in children and adolescents. Parents are at the front line in recognizing signs of depression and anger in their children. This book will give parents the tools to identify when their child is troubled and how to go about finding the right help. Information on psychological treatments, medications, and family relationships will provide the knowledge all parents need to help their unhappy child.

The Depressed Child: A Parent's Guide for Rescuing Kids
by Douglas A., Dr. Riley
From Publishers Weekly: Clinical psychologist Riley (The Defiant Child) tackles a difficult subject with aplomb in this keenly insightful guide for parents. "For children and adolescents, the depressive state makes them feel like astronauts whose tethers have been cut, and they are drifting in space," he writes. He not only explains how to identify the symptoms of depression and the "negative beliefs" "no one will ever like me," "I am made of inferior stuff," "death is an option," and so on that are so often at its core, but also provides tools for what he terms "Planning the Rescue Mission." Ten brief but thorough chapters cover the most common negative beliefs that trigger depression and such companion problems as substance abuse, prematurely intense relationships (what he calls "miniature marriages") that blindside adolescents when they come to an end, and suicide. Riley illustrates each point with case studies that offer readers a chance to learn from his dialogues with his patients. He suggests strategies for everything from closing "the physical distance between you and your child" in order to soothe and encourage them, to some particular lines of questioning for uncovering negative beliefs, to the crucial, often overlooked act of listening ("your ears cannot be fully open until your mouth is fully shut"). He also discusses when to seek professional help and how to step in swiftly and effectively in the case of a suicidal child. Riley's advice is commonsensical and sound, and the concrete tools he offers in this slim, practical volume provide a lifeline to parents of any child struggling with depression.

When Nothing Matters Anymore: A Survival Guide for Depressed Teens
by Bev Cobain, Elizabeth Verdick (Editor), Jeff Tolbert (Illustrator)
A guide to understanding and coping with depression, discussing the different types, how and why the condition begins, how it may be linked to substance abuse or suicide, and how to get help.

Teens & Depression (Other America)
by Theodore E. Roseen (Illustrator), Gail B. Stewart
Text and first-person accounts present the experiences of teenagers who have coped with and tried to overcome depression.

Teens, Depression, and the Blues: A Hot Issue (Hot Issues)
by Kathleen Winkler
From School Library Journal: Grade 7 Up-Brief chronicles of two teenage girls suffering from depression are the hook used to draw readers into this book. The six chapters define depression and related disorders, their causes, symptoms, and treatments. The colorful, upbeat format will appeal to reluctant readers. Boxed sidebars appear throughout; some reiterate important facts from the text while others seem superfluous. The full-color photos include shots of comedian Drew Carey, Kurt Cobain with his band Nirvana, and Tipper Gore on 60 Minutes. The list for further reading, chapter notes, and Web sites are all up-to-date and are evidence of a well-researched book. This lively presentation of a rather bleak subject will be a welcome addition to most libraries.
Marilyn Fairbanks, Azure IRC, Brockton High School, MA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Teen Depression (Teen Issues)
by Lisa Wolff (Editor)
Discusses the nature, possible causes, special problems, and both conventional and alternative treatments of depression.

Overcoming Teen Depression: A Guide for Parents (Issues in Parenting)
by Miriam Kaufman
In clear and accessible language, Dr. Miriam Kaufman explains what teen depression is, and how it can be overcome. She give parents a thorough overview with the most up-to-date medical knowledge, and includes many illustrative case histories.

Understanding Teenage Depression: A Guide to Diagnosis, Treatment, and Management
by Maureen Empfield, Nicholas Bakalar, Nick Bakalar
Each year, thousands of American teenagers are diagnosed with clinical depression. If ignored or poorly treated, it can be a devastating illness for adolescents and their families. Drawing on her many years of experience as a psychiatrist working with teenagers, Dr. Maureen Empfield answers the questions parents and teens have about depression.

Helping Students Overcome Depression and Anxiety: A Practical Guide
by Kenneth W. Merrell
Univ. of Iowa, Iowa City. Provides strategies for addressing problems having lasting and severe consequences for children and adolescents. Discusses the nature, development, and course of childhood depression and an assessment model is outlined. Includes reproducible worksheets. Softcover.

Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America: A Memoir
by Elizabeth Wurtzel
Elizabeth Wertzel writes with her finger in the faint pulse of a generation whose ruling icons are Kurt Cobain, Xanax, and pierced tongues. A memoir of her bouts with depression and skirmishes with drugs, Prozac Nation still manages to be a witty and sharp account of the psychopharmacology of an era. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Healing Anxiety and Depression: The Revolutionary Brain-Based Program That Allows You to See and Heal the 7 Types of Anxiety and Depression
by Daniel G. Amen, Lisa C. Routh
Daniel G. Amen, M.D., has pioneered the clinical use of brain SPECT imaging (one of medicine's most sophisticated functional brain-imaging studies) in psychiatry. The Amen Clinics' signature brain scans have discovered that the illnesses of anxiety and depression are, in large part, the result of brain dysfunction. Additionally, they have determined that not only do anxiety and depression often occur together, here are seven distinct types of the disorders.

Undoing Depression: What Therapy Doesn't Teach You and Medication Can't Give You
by Richard O'Connor, Richard O'Conner
For some people, depression has been a part of their experience for so long that they've begun to believe it's what they are. They become experts at "doing" depression--hiding it, working around it, even achieving great things (but at the price of great struggle, and little satisfaction). In this book, psychotherapist Richard O'Conner shows us how to "undo" depression, by replacing depressive patterns of thinking, relating, and behaving with a new and more effective set of skills. With a truly holistic approach that synthesizes the best of the many schools of thought about this painful disease, O'Conner offers new hope--and new life--for depressives.

Unmasking Male Depression
by Archibald D. Hart
Depression is a secret pain at the core of many men's lives, and one that goes largely undiagnosed and untreated. The consequences of not treating male depression are extremely serious. Studies show that suicide is more common in men than women, and tha the male suicide rate is three times higher at midlife than at any other life stage. In Unmasking Male Depression, Dr. Archibald Hart explores the many forms of depression and gives tools for coping with and healing depression in men. Hart also examines the lives of Christian leaders who struggled with depression, such as Charles Spurgeon, Martin Luther, and John Calvin, to reveal the myths surrounding this illness.

Unveiling Depression in Women: A Practical Guide to Understanding and Overcoming Depression
by Archibald, Phd Hart, Catherine Hart, Phd Weber
Almost every woman in America has either suffered from depression or knows a close friend or family member who has. Depression in women is an epidemic, and it's frustrating particularly for believers who are told that Christians shouldn't feel depressed. What is a biblical perspective on depression? What causes it in women? How do we treat it?

Feeling Good : The New Mood Therapy
by David D. Burns
The good news is that anxiety, guilt, pessimism, procrastination, low self-esteem, and other "black holes" of depression can be cured without drugs.In FEELING GOOD, eminent psychiatrist, David D. Burns, M.D., outlines the remarkable, scientifically proven techniques that will immediately lift your spirits and help you develop a positive outlook on life. Now, in this updated edition, Dr. Burns adds an ALL-NEW CONSUMER'S GUIDE TO ANTIDEPRESSANT DRUGS as well as a new introduction to help answer your questions about the many options available for treating depression.

Change Your Brain, Change Your Life: The Breakthrough Program for Conquering Anxiety, Depression, Obsessiveness, Anger, and Impulsiveness
by Daniel G. Amen
In this breakthrough bestseller, you'll see scientific evidence that your anxiety, depression, anger, obsessiveness, or impulsiveness could be related to how specific structures in your brain work. You're not stuck with the brain you're born with. Here are just a few of neuropsychiatrist Dr. Daniel Amen's surprising--and effective--"brain prescriptions" that can help heal your brain and change your life.

An Unquiet Mind
by Kay Redfield Jamison
From a leading international authority on manic-depressive illness--and one of only a handful of women who are full professors of medicine--comes a remarkable personal testimony: the revelation of her own struggle since childhood with manic-depression, and how it has shaped her life.

Breaking the Patterns of Depression
by Michael D. Yapko
Twenty to thirty million Americans suffer from some form of diagnosable depression, and their ranks are growing. Psychologist Michael D. Yapko explains that in order to find relief, more than the current episode of depression must be examined. In Breaking the Patterns of Depression, he presents skills that enable readers to understand and ultimately avert depression's recurring cycles. Focusing on future prevention as well as initial treatment, the book includes over one hundred structured activities to help sufferers learn the skills necessary to become and remain depression-free.

The Feeling Good Handbook
by David D. Burns
Dr. David Burns is one of the prime developers of cognitive therapy, a fast-acting, drug-free treatment for designed to help the clinically depressed. In The Feeling Good Handbook, he adapts cognitive therapy to deal with the wide range of everyday problems that plague so many (chronic nervousness, panic attacks, phobias, and feelings of stress, guilt, or inferiority). The Feeling Good Handbook teaches how to remove the mental obstacles that bar you from success--from test anxiety and fear of public speaking to procrastination and self-doubt.

What to Do When Someone You Love Is Depressed
by Mitch Golant, Susan K. Golant
This book is directed toward the caregiver or "strengthened ally" of any of the more than seventeen million Americans who suffer from this common but often misunderstood affliction. Woven throughout are the personal experiences of Mitch Golant, who spent most of his childhood with a mother who was seriously depressed, an experience that not only catapulted him into his work as a clinical psychologist, but also informs this book with a tone of compassionate understanding.

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression: A New Approach to Preventing Relapse
by Zindel V. Segal (Author), J. Mark G. Williams (Author), John D. Teasdale (Author)
Presents an innovative eight-session program clinically proven to bolster recovery from depression and prevent relapse. Integrates cognitive therapy principles and practice into a mindful framework. For clinicians.

How to Heal Depression
by Harold H. Bloomfield, Peter McWilliams (Contributor), Melba Colgrove (Contributor)
From Ingram: The first companion to the eighteen-year bestseller, How to Survive the Loss of a Love, this clear, simply-written program explains what depression is, what causes it, and what the most effective treatments are. 3 cassettes. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Essential Psychopharmacology of Depression and Bipolar Disorder
by Stephen M. Stahl (Author), Nancy Muntner
Essential Psychopharmacology has established itself as the preeminent source of information in its field, and this book draws on the second edition to provide a resource for all clinicians involved in the treatment of depression and bipolar disorder. Stressing the basic neuroscience of the mood disorders, the fully updated text and color illustrations enable readers to understand how the various antidepressants and mood stabilizers work in their patients. It contains new information on the pharmacokinetics of antidepressants, including the role of the cytochrome P450 enzyme system and neuropeptides including substance P. The mechanisms of action of newer antidepressants, including the latest SSRIs, are prominently and authoritatively reviewed. Psychiatrists, primary care physicians and mental health professionals can depend on this book for an up-to-date account of the psychopharmacology of mood disorders, and for essential information in planning treatment approaches.

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