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Depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act.
See the fact file below for more information on Depression or alternatively, you can download our 20-page Depression worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
Causes of Depression
- Brain Chemistry – nerve cell growth, and the functioning of nerve circuits have a major impact on depression. Chemical imbalances in parts of the brain that manage mood, thoughts, sleep, appetite, and behavior increase or decrease the frequency of depression.
- Genes – Genes make proteins involved in biological processes. Different genes turn on and off so that they make the right proteins at the right time. But if the genes get it wrong, they can alter biology resulting in moods becoming unstable.
- Stressful Life Events – Nearly everyone will go through stressful life events: the death of a loved one, job loss, illness, or relationship trauma. If the stress is short-lived, the body usually returns to normal. But when stress is chronic, or severely traumatic, body and brain changes can be long-lasting. Stress response becomes apparent.
- Early trauma – early losses and emotional trauma may leave individuals more prone to depression as they grow older. Stress hormones usually result in extreme heart pounding, muscle tension, hyperventilation, and beads of cold sweat.
- Medical problems – chronic illness, insomnia, chronic pain, degenerative neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, stroke, heart attack, viruses, and infections such as hepatitis or HIV and cancer may cause depression.
- Substance Abuse – The risk is higher for people who abuse alcohol, and legal and illegal medications because of dependency, and mental effects.
- Vitamin deficiency – Studies show that low levels of vitamin D lead to depressive symptoms.
- Socio-economic status – Financial problems, poverty, and perceived low social status also lead to depression.
Types of Depression
- According to the Harvard Medical School, there are a few common types of depression:
- Major Depression – It is a state where a dark mood is consuming and the patient loses interest in activities, even ones that are usually enjoyable. Symptoms include trouble sleeping, loss of energy, and feeling worthless.
- Persistent depressive disorder – Previously named “dysthymia,” this depression refers to low mood lasting for at least two years. People with this type of depression are able to function day to day but always feel sadness.
- Bipolar disorder – Once known as manic-depressive disease, people who suffer also go through periods of unusually high energy such as grandiose ideas, and unrealistically high self-esteem, then plummeting down to self-destructive behaviour, which is usually followed by a period of depression.
- Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) – This type of depression happens in the fall and winter. Mood change may result from alterations in the body’s natural daily rhythms, light sensitivity, or serotonin and melatonin functions.
- Postpartum Depression (PPD) – Significant hormonal shifts that can often affect a pregnant woman’s moods during and after pregnancy. Mood changes, anxiety, and irritability are common symptoms after giving birth and often last up to two weeks.
- Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) – This depression is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome. Symptoms usually begin after ovulation and end when menstruation starts.
General Signs and Symptoms
- Not everyone goes through similar symptoms. However, if you notice having these moods lasting for at least two weeks, you may be experiencing depression
- According to www.nhs.uk, people with depression generally experience symptoms related to:
- Psychological symptoms:
- continuous low mood or sadness
- feeling hopeless and helpless
- having low self-esteem
- feeling tearful
- feeling guilt-ridden
- feeling irritable and intolerant of others
- having no motivation or interest in things
- finding it difficult to make decisions
- not getting any enjoyment out of life
- feeling anxious or worried
- having thoughts of harming yourself
- Physical symptoms:
- moving or speaking more slowly than usual
- changes in appetite or weight
- unexplained aches and pains
- lack of energy
- changes to your menstrual cycle
- fluctuating sleep patterns
- Social symptoms:
- avoiding contact with friends and taking part in fewer social activities
- neglecting your hobbies and interests
- having difficulties in your home, work, or family life
- Psychological symptoms:
- The American Psychiatric Association states that depression is among the most treatable of mental disorders. A high percentage of people who undergo treatment eventually respond well.
- Before diagnosis, a health professional conducts a thorough evaluation, including an interview and a physical examination.
- The evaluation identifies specific symptoms and explores medical and family histories as well as cultural and environmental factors to arrive at a diagnosis and a course of action.
- Treatment would include:
- Medications such as antidepressants
- Psychotherapy or “talk therapy”
- Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) – is a brief electrical stimulation of the brain while the patient is under anesthesia.
This is a fantastic bundle that includes everything you need to know about Depression across 20 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use worksheets that are perfect for teaching about Depression which is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Depression Facts
- The Signs
- Cycle of Depression
- Coping from Depression
- Plan of Action
- Be Kind
- Words of Care
- Awareness Poster
- Facing Myself
- The Best of Me
- Gratitude Wall
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Link will appear as Depression Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, December 2, 2021
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.