Archive for category Depression
With all of the suicides in recent years, teen depression has gotten a lot of press. This is a good thing because it helps alert us all to how serious this problem can be for them. Not all cases of teen depression end in suicide, but the increase in the rate is alarming.
Many parents these days work outside of the home. This means that the amount of time that they actually get to spend with their child is often limited.
Between the demands placed on families and the unwillingness of many teens to share with their parents, it becomes more important for everyone to be involved. This means that no matter how you are involved with teens, recognizing the signs of depression and reacting to them quickly can mean the difference between life and death for them.
Depression can be anything from a simple episode where they are upset briefly because of a break up, a missed opportunity, or a failure in some area of their life. It can also be a constant, heavy cloud that they can not get out from under. This heavy cloud can and does destroy lives.
There are many things that parents, counselors, teachers and even friends can do to keep them out of this deep, dark depression. Teen depression is serious and should be handled carefully.
Knowing and watching for the tell-tale signs can help you to determine when a simple case of depression is not so simple and needs some intervention.
- Pulling away from friends and activities that they are involved with.
- Loss of appetite, or weight loss.
- Restless sleep. Waking up still tired is a sure sign of this.
- Pulling away from social situations is a key sign of teen depression. Any teen that is not interested in socializing should be a signal that something is not quite right.
- Consistently down in the dumps. Occasionally being down is normal, but if you notice a pattern of the blues that lasts, it may be time to get help.
- Isolation. A teen or even a young adult that stays locked away in their room.
- Consistently quitting activities may be an indication that they do not feel worthy of being included with others.
Although teen depression does not always lead to suicide, it can lead to other serious problems. Teens that are depressed may be more likely to turn to drugs or alcohol to help ease their pain. These same teens are also less likely to do well in school. Read the rest of this entry »
You or I might be forgiven for wondering why a professional sportsperson would ever suffer from depression. After all, they are at the peak of physical fitness, often earning a massive salary from their sport as well as all the associated sponsorships and promotional deals, receiving acclaim, adulation and recognition on a national if not international stage. Surely this is a dream situation to be in?
Many sports have become the new celebrity focus. Big pay cheques, high-profile lifestyles and the cachet of being attached to an internationally recognised team or sport are raising the profile of sport and elevating many players to the level of superstar status.
But this recognition comes with a price. Players are all too aware of the responsibility they shoulder. Results are all important and need to be delivered consistently, often under the glare of media attention. Maintaining peak fitness requires following a disciplined regime. The slightest injury or indiscretion could be catastrophic for both the club and the player. And there are always others waiting in the wings, keen to take their place and become the next golden boy or girl.
Let’s try to better understand depression in sport:
- Many players join their sport at a young age and train for years, working with the single-minded objective of achieving success and recognition in their chosen field. The discipline required is huge; total commitment and sacrifice become a way of life with diet, training schedule and personal life all planned around their ultimate goal. There may be additional pressure to do well for the sake of their family, out of appreciation for the sacrifices made by them over the years.
- When they are selected by a club it often requires living away from home, perhaps with unfamiliar faces, away from the levelling stability of family and friends. This can be a lonely time for young athletes, and they may end up living their lives solely around their training, mixing with few people away from that world. It can be tempting to fantasize about the excitement and glamour of life away from the training environment.
- Living the dream can seem amazing and exciting to those on the outside. But being regarded as talented, successful, and elite can be both a blessing and a curse. Others may be envious of the money, lifestyle and acclaim but those people may also be on the lookout for slip-ups and indiscretions. New friends may come along but are they genuine or are they keen to attach themselves to the glamour, lifestyle and associated fame that comes from the celebrity connection. Who to trust can become a concern.
- Depression may start to manifest itself when the extent of their mental and physical pressure is appreciated. Many players experience private doubts and uncertainties. They want to do their best, be successful, make others proud of them. As a member of a team there is the additional responsibility to support the other players. Also family may have all their hopes for the future invested in them. The pressure to be consistently excellent can overwhelming. And the demand to keep improving intensifies as they become more successful.
- Recognising the early signs of depression is important. Lethargy often starts to creep in, nothing provides any pleasure or satisfaction, sometimes people feel that they can’t get out of bed, are disinclined to eat, their temper, humour and concentration are affected. There may be physical symptoms like aches and pains, loss of libido, restlessness or difficulty sleeping. Some of these may be ascribed to an intense training regime but it is important to be vigilant about early signs of depression.
- A young player may feel ashamed, embarrassed and inclined to pretend that they feel confident, happy and sure of themself. Willpower and determination has got them to where they are today, surely it can succeed again. Keeping fears and doubts to oneself can become a habit, a way of refusing to admit what is happening. It can seem almost self-indulgent to say that something is wrong when they have so many opportunities and advantages, but that in itself only adds to the pressure.
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