People might think having a mental illness might be the same in all life stages. However, the eventual diagnosis of the illness might be the same, but the symptoms and circumstances can be all different. Following are the differences that we can see in different life stages with depression.
Depression in Children and Adolescents
There are not many differences with general indications and symptoms of depression between adults and children, including adolescents. However, the differences exist in some parts.
Younger children are easily annoyed, anxious, have physical discomfort, lose weight, or avoid school. In the case of adolescents, they might show poor educational achievement or absence from school. Also include being too sensitive, consuming drugs or alcohol for recreation, lack of passion for usual and social activities, too much food or sleep, or self-injurious behavior.
Depression in Older Adults
Depression itself is not a natural aspect of aging, and it is a serious condition that people should not underestimate. Sadly, depression in seniors is frequently not diagnosed and not given related medical care, and they might be hesitant to reach out for treatment. In older adults, depression symptoms may be dissimilar or less noticeable.
Therefore, as a result of depression, older adults might show problems with their memory or changes in their personalities. Ache or pain in the body, fatigue, a loss of appetite, or sleep issues are all possible symptoms; further, instead of socialising or trying new things, prefer to stay at home. In addition, particularly elderly males have a higher chance to experience suicidal emotions or thoughts.
Older adults also have more significant physical and cognitive symptoms. On the other hand, fewer reports of sadness or dysphoria.
Depression in University Students
Mental health issues, particularly depression, can severely hinder academic performance and a healthy lifestyle. Certainly, particular students might have raised the chances of having a depressed episode.
- Communication-challenged students.
- The experiences in university have not met one’s expectations.
- Students that experience a hard time adjusting to life in university with low motivation.
Moreover, a toxic combination of stressors might overwhelm the students with high resilience—for example, relationship anxiety, pressure to obtain excellent marks, or social acceptability. In addition, alcohol and other substances are misused, a bad eating habit, or insufficient sleep.
Being away from the safety net of family and friends due to university distance might worsen difficulties at that age.
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- Broadbent, J & Hayden, M. (2015). HBS110 Health Behaviour. (2nd ed.). Pearson Australia.
- Mayo Clinic. (2018). Depression (major depressive disorder). More information here.
- Halverson, J. (2020). Depression Clinical Presentation. Medscape. More information here.