What are Common Symptoms of Depression
Mental illness is not just an affliction that you are born with; mental illnesses can develop over time, whether as something that was predestined to occur or as an illness that develops over time. While some mental illnesses are certainly not generally found in young people, like Alzheimer's disease, others such as depression can strike as early as childhood and mental illnesses like ADHD, though over diagnosed, does affect many children and adults.
Young adults can suffer from a wide range of mental illnesses, and are more commonly afflicted for the first time than any other age group because of their rapidly developing brains and the many new circumstances to which they are exposed to during their late teens and early twenties. Young adults are not necessarily particularly vulnerable; however, whatever mental illnesses they were possibly born with are more likely to come out of dormancy at this point in their lives.
Schizophrenia is one mental illness that often strikes for the first time in young adults. Individuals may suffer moodiness or paranoia, which can both be potentially recognized by a loved one and reported to the individual's physician.
Other warning signs might include the young adult hearing voices or seeing things that are not there.
Schizophrenic individuals may also experience apathy or lack of emotions and might become worse at social functions. They may also begin to have trouble concentrating or following directions and completing tasks, and their memories might suffer. Schizophrenic patients also almost always begin feeling depressed before their symptoms degenerate.
Depression is another mental illness that is very common in young adults. It is characterized by feelings of extreme helplessness, hopelessness, and is not nearly the same thing as "feeling blue" or being "down". Depression is a serious mental condition that affects millions of Americans, and can cause suicidal thoughts as well as over, or under-eating, over, or under-sleeping, and a change in moods. Depression is not something that people can just "get over" or "snap out of", and may in fact require medication or therapy or a combination of both before the individual begins to see a lifting of their symptoms. The symptoms of depression can come and go, and are similar but slightly different from the symptoms of bipolar disorder.
Bipolar disorder, which is also known as manic depression, can be managed with medication. It is characterized with intense manic or "high" periods in which the individual becomes overly enthusiastic or optimistic and may begin tasks or plans that are not feasible. These high periods are followed by crashes and intense "lows", which can involve sleeping all day, feeling hopeless, suicide attempts, and other symptoms shared with depression.
ADHD is more of a disorder than a disease as it does not often seriously impair a young adult's ability to function normally in society, however it is possible for a young adult to have ADHD that does affect their ability to hold a job or otherwise function individually. This disorder often involves an inability to focus, being easily distracted, and similar kinds of symptoms. It may be made apparent in forgetfulness that is almost chronic or in an inability to hold still, and also with a hyper-focus on certain activities.
The diagnosis of a mental illness should be left to medical professionals; however it is often up to the family and loved ones of the affected young adult to recognize the symptoms before the individual can get treatment.
Many mentally ill individuals do not know that they are suffering, or do not wish for various reasons related to their illness to seek treatment on their own.
People who love anyone affected by the above mentioned mental illnesses and by other mental illnesses should make a list of the specific symptoms that they see so that they can present these symptoms to a mental health specialist. Symptoms that you should look out for include changes in sleeping and eating patters, weight gain or loss, changes in personality, an inability to function normally, paranoia, aggression, and other unusual behavior. Even a feeling that something is "off" with a loved one might warrant extra attention or even investigation to help them get help with their mental illness.
No matter what symptoms are displayed, no diagnosis can be made until the individual who is suffering is taken to a doctor. A person taken to the hospital by police is likely to be treated and released quickly without enough attention paid to their actual needs. It is up to the family and loved ones of young adults affected by mental illness to get them help.
John De Gaumbre Case Study on Depression
Winter has always been a difficult time for me in Michigan, with its many gray days, and not much sunlight. I awoke, feeling heavy, sluggish, and still exhausted. I wanted to pull the covers back over my head and return to my secure sleep state. I sensed something was wrong but really didn't seem to care what it was. I knew I did not want to face another grueling day, outside the world of sleep. I felt scared, but didn't know why. I dragged myself, out of bed, and into the bathroom. I could not decide whether I wanted to shave or shower first, then I made that extremely difficult decision to shower. Typical thoughts that would run through my head every morning, would I ever get over this feeling? Why was I feeling like this all the time? Maybe this is normal and I will eventually get over it?
Finally, I was fully awake small tasks seemed monumental, drudgery and overwhelming but I pushed on. I started my day by looking for faults in everything but myself. I was very short tempered with those closest to me and I didn't even realize it, then out the door to work I go. The rest of the day, at work, I felt numb people were talking to me, asking questions, but nothing was getting thru. On the outside I put up a great front so no one could see, but I was trapped inside a deep dark world, a personal hell.
I was forgetting things very easily, even if I wrote them down. Organization, no matter how I organized things, didn't seem to matter, because I was depressed and felt hazy. I couldn’t decide exactly what to start on because it all seemed overwhelming. When I did start something it was like climbing a mountain and I couldn't see the top. Sometimes I felt a sinking feeling or a sense of little hope for anything. I felt like no one knew what I was going through or could help me. I would easily get angry and irritated at everything and everyone. There were times of Panic/Anxiety attacks in the middle of the night, those were not fun.
My typical day was like that movie "Ground Hog Day" with Bill Murray where he had to keep repeating the same day over and over till he got it right. What I found out later was that somewhere, I allowed myself to tumble into a state of depression and had not realized it or even truly acknowledged it. When I did finally acknowledge I was depressed and needed to do something it took me along time to find the right solutions by trial and error. The only person that can drag you out of depression is you, but I have to tell you the big secret to my success was the pharmaceutical grade St. Johns Wort that I took for about 6 months. If you need to know more about what I was taking come to my forum I go into more detail there.
Now I am doing great, I have focus, drive, energy and care what happens to myself and others. I jump out of bed, can't wait to face all of the issues at hand (They are issues now, before they were monumental problems). I don't have the emotional tendencies that I had before. I am by no means walking around with "rose colored glasses", but more like a clear view now without the numb hazy feeling.
Depression is an emotionally draining journey that many will go through in their lifetime, but depression does not have to rule your life there is plenty of help available.
Answers and treatments will vary from person to person what works for one person may not work for another.
Allowing the state of depression to control you and be the norm will negatively affect you and others.
Depression drags you down to depths that you feel you don’t have the energy to accomplish anything or even beat depression itself, a vicious cycle.
Depression appears to cause many physical illness's that can be over come with treatment. It’s time now, for you to pull out of the emotional numbness and rollercoaster that you step on to, but can’t remember where.
Being able to feel normal and handle life is your right. When people look at others that are cool and calm they appear to have everything under control that might not be the case, because many of us can put of a really good front. Putting up a good front is ok for a while, but you need to address the disorders. "Depression slowly erodes your will and breaks down any attempt at your happiness for a normal life this is not what anyone wants.
Finally, I want all of you to know that depressed people are highly intelligent, loving and sensitive people that have a lot to contribute to the world, but they need to realize that they are depressed, admit it and find a solution.