Patient: I was wondering if I am depressed. Im a 13 year old guy and i have a fairly good life. I have friends, a girlfriend, go to a nice school, I’m physically fit, I have a happy family life but I have started getting ’bouts’ of depression. I generally have a pretty low self esteem due to primary school (I didn’t really fit in) but when I start to feel depressed it gets much worse. They generally last for about half an hour and can range anywhere from feeling down to feeling empty and crying. It normally happens once everyday or two and certain things ‘trigger’ it (eg I see photos of instagram of people having fun with their friends and being healthy when I have spent all day being lazy). So am I depressed? If so, what can I do to stop or help it (talking to my close friends about it does help sometimes).
Symptoms: Bouts of depression, feeling down with no energy and sometimes crying.
Doctor: Hello,Thanks for choosing “Ask The Doctor” for posting your query.The symptoms that you have mentioned suggest that you could be having a depression. Although you may be experiencing it as bouts of sadness, but it is mostly a continuous illness with sadness manifesting as bouts. Depression in young can present such atypically. The mood swings that you are describing are occurring due to imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain. The neurotransmitters like serotonine, nor-epinephrine, and dopamine. This condition can be corrected with the help of medicines such as fluoxetine, mirtazapine or venlafaxine. These medicines start showing improvement in 2-3 weeks and the illness requires a treatment of 6-8 months. During this period, try to do regular exercise and eat healthy food and try inculcating some hobby. If you averse to medicines, then cognitive behavioral therapy can help you in the treatment of depression. This is a specialized counselling technique mastered by clinical psychologists and is almost as effective as medicine.You may meet your doctor and get these medicines prescribed, or you can request for a psychologist consult.Hope I am able to answer your concerns.Wish you good health!