YCC Magazine

Vol.2 Issue 2

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It's normal for adolescents to be moody… teens don't suffer from "real" depression. FALSE: Depression is more than just being moody, and it can affect people at any age, including teenagers. Changes in personality, irritability and loss of interest in daily activities are all symptoms of teen depression. Telling an adult that a friend might be depressed is betraying a trust. If someone wants help, he or she will get it on their own. FALSE: Depression saps energy and self-esteem. It interferes with a person's ability to get the help they need. It is a true act of friendship to share your concerns with an adult who can help. You could be saving a life. Parents are always aware of their children's well-being. FALSE: Most people who suffer from depression keep their feelings hidden. The only way for parents to understand the illness is to be aware of the symptoms and maintain open communication with their child. Depression is a weakness. FALSE: Emotions and personality play a role in development of depression, but chemical imbalances in the brain and genetic predisposition also contribute to the depression development process. Prescription drug treatment for depression is dangerous for adolescents. It's better if they get over it by themselves. FALSE: Antidepressant use has been approved for adolescents and has demonstrated positive effects in recovery. When clinical depression is not treated it can become much worse, produce more problems and can end in suicide. The federal government requires that all antidepressants carry a label indicating that the medications can cause thoughts of suicide, but the incidence of those thoughts is very low when the medicine is used properly. On the other hand, untreated depression is the leading cause of suicide and suicide attempts, and the benefits of these drugs are well documented. Any decision to give a child medication should be coupled with a commitment to closely monitor the child's progress. Depression is caused by loss, trauma, or abuse. FALSE: While depression may be triggered by a setback, loss, or abuse, those events aren't the cause. Sadness arising from grief or demoralization does not always progress into major depression; depression is a psychiatric disorder that persists despite changes in circumstances. Teens who are depressed can snap out of it with positive thinking. FALSE: A teen who is sad but can "snap out of it" is not depressed. Part of the definition of depression is the inability to access positive thinking. While a normal child may think nothing of someone looking her way, a depressed child will immediately make negative deductions—"She's frowning at me because I look ugly." Some forms of cognitive behavioral therapy are designed to target these negative cognitions and work on changing them. w w w . y o u t h c e n t r e s c a n a d a . c o m 30 True or False D e b u n k i n g t h e M y t h s : D e p r e s s i o n i n Y o u t h

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