Abby Falgren 7th Hour

What is Depression?

Major depressive disorder is characterized by a combination of symptoms that interfere with a person's ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy once-pleasurable activities.

There are times you may feel sad, lonely, or hopeless for a few days. But major depression -- clinical depression -- lasts longer and is disabling. It can prevent you from functioning normally. An episode of clinical depression may occur only once in a person's lifetime. More often, though, it recurs throughout a person's life.

What Are The Effects of Depression?


1. Depressed Mood:

A person may report feeling "sad" or "empty" or may cry frequently. Children and adolescents may exhibit irritability.

2. Decreased Interest or Pleasure:

A person may show markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, daily activities.

3. Weight Changes:

Significant changes in weight when not attempting to gain or lose (a gain or loss of 5% or more in a month) may be indicative of depression. In children, this may also present as a failure to make expected weight gains.

4. Sleep Disturbances:

Insomnia or sleeping too much may be a symptom of depression.

5. Psychomotor Agitation or Retardation:

The person may be observed to be either agitated and restless or physically slowed down in their movements.

6. Fatigue:

Deep fatigue or a loss of energy is a symptom of depression.

7. Feelings of Worthlessness or Guilt:

A depressed person may feel that they have no value or they may feel inappropriately guilty about things they have no control over.

8. "Brain Fog":

A depressed person may have a diminished ability to think, concentrate or make decisions.

9. Thoughts of Death:

A depressed person may have frequent thoughts of death and suicide, although they may or may not have an actual plan for carrying it out.

Long Term Effects

If depression goes untreated for a long period of time, a person may start to experience effects that are detrimental to their overall health.
These effects may include:

1.Damaged or Lost Relationships:
Depression makes it very difficult to communicate with those you care for. People who are in relationships with someone with untreated depression may get angry, not understand, or feel let down.

3.Self Harm or Self Mutilation:
A person struggling with depression may turn to self harm. Each person may resort to this for different reasons whether it be to control their emotional pain, to punish themselves, to free themselves from emotional numbness, etc. There are many different types of self harm, some of them being: cutting, burning, scratching, etc.

Depression may cause a person to have suicidal thoughts, and in turn they may attempt suicide.

Who to talk to?

Friends and Family

Friends and Family are great to be on of the first to know of your troubles with depression. Although they obviously cannot treat you in anyway, they are a good place to start especially if you are uncomfortable talking about depression. They can also assist you to find and get the help you need.

Psychiatrists and Psychologists

These are professionals who are trained to deal with the exact issues that you are struggling with. They will help to evaluate, diagnose, and treat your specific depression. They may decide that you will benefit from therapy, medication, or both.

Mankato Clinic Department of Psychiatry and Psychology

The Mankato Clinic’s Department of Psychiatry and Psychology is located in a private and comfortable setting in the Madison East Center, Suite 352.

Mankato Clinic Psychiatrists evaluate, diagnose, treat and prevent illnesses that interfere with emotional and behavioral health. Psychiatric assessment typically includes a review of physical and mental conditions as well as discussion about development, previous physical and mental illnesses, social circumstances, and relationships.

Mankato Clinic Psychologists work with the individual to gain understanding of how emotional, social, cognitve, health related and developmental concerns affect behavioral functioning across lifespan. Psychological services include assesments, psychological evaluation and psychotherapy.

Other services provided by the Department of Psychiatry and Psychology include initial evaluations/consultations, medication management, bipolar affective disorder group therapy.

Depression in the Media

Demi Lovato

The stress of fame wore down on Demi Lovato until she broke. Her eating disorder from childhood became worse, and major depression emerged. She took to self harming herself. After struggling for so long, her family and friends interviened. They sent her to a treatment facility where she was given help for her eating disorder and the self harming tendencies. There she was also diagnosed with Bipolar disorder as well. She came out of treatment and now is a role model for girls who also struggle with these issues.
Demi Lovato GMA 20/20 Interview
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Demi Lovato Official

Skyscraper by Demi Lovato Official


David Karofsky has struggled with his sexuality for some time. He transfers to a new school in fear of his secret being revealed. But, when he is seen with a boy from his old school at a restaurant on Valentines day by a team mate, everything goes downhill from there. He is harassed by his entire school. He falls into a deep depression and feels as though suicide is the only way out.
Glee - Cough Syrup (Official Full Perfomance)


Advances in Diagnosing Depression

Scientists in America have come up with the first blood test to diagnose major depression and subtypes of depression in teenagers, a major breakthrough in the ultimate treatment of sufferers. Eva Redei, a professor of psychiatry and behavioural sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine hailed the test as ground breaking: “Right now depression is treated with a blunt instrument,” she said. “This is the first significant step for us to understand which treatment will be most effective for an individual patient. Without an objective diagnosis, it’s very difficult to make that assessment. The early diagnosis and specific classification of early major depression could lead to a larger repertoire of more effective treatments and enhanced individualised care.” And in the world’s largest brain study to date, a global team of more than 200 scientists have collaborated to map the human genes that boost or sabotage the brain’s resistance to a variety of mental illnesses.
Project ENIGMA was created three years ago and scientists from Australia to the Netherlands have been studying the data supplied from thousands of brain scans.
The scale of the project allowed the team to discover new genetic variants in people who have bigger brains and also unearthed genes that explain a person’s intelligence. Sauthor of the study, Paul Thompson said: For the first time, we have watertight evidence of how these genes affect the brain. This supplies us with new leads on how to mediate their impact.” Project ENIGMA will next search for genes that influence how the brain is wired by mapping the communication pathways between cells in the living brain, as disorders such as autism and schizophrenia disrupt the brain’s circuitry.

Advances in Depression Treatment

Depression is a highly prevalent and disabling condition associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Currently available treatments for depression include tricyclic antidepressants, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, various atypical antidepressants, and electroconvulsive therapy. Although these treatments are effective, a significant number of patients do not respond or achieve sustained remission despite aggressive management. Advances in the neurobiology of depression have suggested a number of novel targets for antidepressant treatment. Based on an improved understanding of the neurobiology of depression, several novel pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic interventions are being developed. Pharmacologic developments include CRF antagonists, glucocorticoid receptor antagonists, substance P receptor antagonists, NMDA glutamate receptor antagonists, transdermal selegiline, so-called "triple" reuptake inhibitors, and augmentation of typical antidepressant medications with atypical antipsychotics. Nonpharmacologic advances have largely involved focal brain stimulation techniques including vagus nerve stimulation, transcranial magnetic stimulation, magnetic seizure therapy, and deep brain stimulation. For the most part, the data on these treatments are preliminary, and more study is needed to clarify their potential clinical benefit. However, it is clear that further study of the neurobiology of depression will continue to provide a rationale for developing innovative targets for antidepressant therapies.