Depression manifests differently depending on a person’s age, Huffington Post reports.
Signs of depressions – a mental health condition that affects about 350 million people – are not the same for each age demographic. How depression looks at different life phases is discussed below.
While uncommon, children can experience depression as early as pre-school age. At this young age, depression symptoms include defiance, moodiness, issues with school, and headaches.
“We tend to think of depression as sleeping or eating too much or even voicing it, but it’s different with kids,” psychiatry professor Michelle Riba said. “Kids may not appear depressed and the symptoms may not show ever day. The word ‘depressed’ may not even be in their lexicon.”
About two percent children of elementary-school age have depression.
Each year, about 11.5 percent of teens experience a major depressive episode, often brought on by causes such as bullying, academic pressure, and social media overexposure. Teenaged girls are more likely to experience depression than teenaged boys.
Professionals are focusing more on depression in teens and developing ways to respond to and treat it. Teens today now have resources such as the Crisis Text Line and Project UROK if they are struggling and need help.
- Young Adults
About 25 percent of young adults experience a major depressive episode, usually around the age of 25. Common symptoms include anger, tearfulness, lethargy, changes in mood, and lack of motivation.
- Middle-Age Adults
The greatest difference depression has in this demographic is increased risk of suicide. Middle-aged men in particular are more likely to die by suicide. Therapy, medication, or a combination of the two is an effective way to treat the disorder.
Middle-age adults are more likely to experience depression because of economic problems or isolation.
“Depression shouldn’t be left untreated,” Riba stressed. “When people are in pain or experiencing depression, just like with high blood pressure, they should get that evaluated.”
- Older Adults
Some people may not experience a depressive episode until later in life after age 60. Usually, at this age, the onset of depression is in conjunction with another health issue, such as cancer, or the loss of a partner.
Riba stresses the importance of mental health and seeking treatment.
“There’s no health without mental health,” she said. “It goes hand-in-hand with all other aspects of health.”