As reported by WebMD, a new study indicates that those with a depression gene may respond to stress different than those without the gene.
The meta study, which was published in the January 2011 issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry, said that those with a short variation of the serotonin transporter gene, also known as 5-HTTLPR, are more likely to become depressed when faced with stress. These findings were the result of analyzing 54 depression studies published between 2000 and 2010 that involve more than 41,000 participants.
However, despite the finding, researchers do not recommend gene testing because the gene’s effect on depression risk is still unknown.
However, scientists are hopeful that this study will prompt more research into how depression affects the brain and, ultimately, more effective treatments for depression.
It’s fairly typical for children and teens to experience bouts of sadness and mood swings. However, clinical depression, a serious form of depression that affects most or all aspects of a sufferer’s life, is increasing among children and teens. It is believed that as many as five percent of people under the age of 18 suffer from clinical depression during their childhood or teen years, a significant increase from just 20 or 30 years ago.
Children and teens suffering from clinical depression, which can be caused by a chemical imbalance, a traumatic event or physical health issues, often exhibit several of the following symptoms:
- Irritability or anger
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Incessant feelings of sadness, hopelessness
- Increased anxiety, tension or panic
- Vocal outbursts or crying
- Social withdrawal
- Loss of interest in activities at home or with friends, in school, extracurricular activities and in other hobbies or interests
- Heightened sensitivity to rejection
- Significant increases or decreases in appetite
- Noticeable changes in sleep habits — insomnia or excessive sleep
- Fatigue and sluggishness
- Restlessness, agitation and increased fidgeting
- Difficulty concentrating
- Self-harm such as cutting or taking excessive physical risks
- Suicidal thoughts
If your child or teen is showing multiple symptoms of depression, we highly encourage you to seek help, as depression is easily treatable. At a Place of Hope, we offer whole-person treatment in depression, meaning we provide emotional, physical, spiritual and nutritional treatment for complete healing. To find out more about our childhood depression treatment program, please contact us today.