Anzeichen für eine Depression

Anzeichen für eine Depression

Es ist nicht immer leicht, eine Depression festzustellen. Wenn mehrere typische Symptome mindestens zwei Wochen andauern, kann das auf eine Depression hinweisen. Bei Kindern und Jugendlichen äußert sich eine Depression jedoch oft ganz anders als bei Erwachsenen.

Wir alle haben manchmal mit tiefer Traurigkeit und Angst zu kämpfen, vor allem wenn wir mit einer besonders herausfordernden oder schmerzlichen Situation im Leben konfrontiert sind. Manchmal entwickelt sich daraus eine Depression. Eine depressive Erkrankung ist etwas anderes, als einfach nur traurig oder verstimmt zu sein. Anhaltende Niedergeschlagenheit, Antriebs- und Interesselosigkeit sind typische Symptome. Die Freude am Leben geht verloren, die Arbeit oder das Lernen fallen schwer, Freunde und Familie werden vernachlässigt.
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Wie eine Depression festgestellt wird

Um herauszufinden, ob jemand an einer Depression erkrankt sein könnte, gehen Ärztinnen und Ärzte in zwei Schritten vor: Zum einen fragen sie nach Beschwerden, die auf eine Depression hinweisen können. Zum anderen versuchen sie, andere Erkrankungen oder Probleme auszuschließen, die ähnliche Symptome verursachen können. Eine sichere Untersuchungsmethode, um eine Depression festzustellen, gibt es nicht.

Wenn bei jemandem über längere Zeit (mindestens zwei Wochen) mehrere der folgenden Beschwerden anhalten, kann dies auf eine Depression hindeuten:

Eine anhaltend gedrückte Stimmung
Antriebslosigkeit
Verminderte Aktivität
Freudlosigkeit und allgemeines Desinteresse (selbst an Hobbys und anderen Aktivitäten, die zuvor Freude bereitet haben)
Vermindertes Selbstwertgefühl und Selbstvertrauen
Das Gefühl, an Dingen schuld zu sein, für die man eigentlich nichts kann
Müdigkeit
Schlafstörungen
Appetitlosigkeit
Konzentrationsschwierigkeiten

Bei einigen Menschen äußern sich Depressionen vor allem durch körperliche Symptome wie Gewichtsverlust, Schlafstörungen, unerklärbare Schmerzen, Verstopfung oder einem Verlust an sexuellem Interesse. Depressionen können nicht nur mit Mattigkeit, sondern auch mit einer erhöhten Erregbarkeit einhergehen.

Neben den genannten Beschwerden können manchmal auch andere Probleme eine Rolle spielen, etwa ein erhöhter Alkoholkonsum oder eine Suchterkrankung. Depressionen können auch zusammen mit anderen psychischen Erkrankungen auftreten, wie zum Beispiel Angststörungen.
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Anzeichen bei Kindern und Jugendlichen

Welche Anzeichen wie stark und wie oft auftreten, ist von Person zu Person und bei Kindern auch in den einzelnen Altersgruppen unterschiedlich:

Bei Kleinkindern sind Depressionen vermutlich eher selten und schwierig zu erkennen. Kleinkinder, die depressiv sind, weinen häufig, haben keine Lust zu spielen und sind sehr ängstlich. Viele sind übermäßig lieb und folgsam. Bei einigen Kindern verzögert sich die Entwicklung.
Schulkinder verlieren häufig das Interesse an Freizeitaktivitäten und verhalten sich ablehnend anderen Menschen gegenüber. Die Kinder haben Wutausbrüche, regen sich schnell über Kleinigkeiten auf und haben ein geringes Selbstwertgefühl.
Bei Jugendlichen sind "normale" Stimmungsschwankungen oft nur schwer von Symptomen einer Depression zu unterscheiden. Auch gesunde junge Menschen sind manchmal trotzig, aggressiv, gleichgültig, haben wenig Selbstwertgefühl oder ziehen sich zurück. Außer Anzeichen wie anhaltende Niedergeschlagenheit können unter anderem auch Gewichtsschwankungen, Drogen- und Alkoholkonsum, extremes Schlafbedürfnis und Selbsttötungsgedanken auf eine Depression bei Jugendlichen hindeuten.

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Schwere Depressionen

Fachleute unterscheiden zwischen leichten, mittelschweren und schweren Depressionen. Anzahl und Ausgeprägtheit der Symptome können Hinweise auf die Schwere der Depression geben. Jemand mit einer schweren Depression könnte sich zudem ernsthafte Gedanken über eine Selbsttötung machen. Wer darüber nachdenkt, sich selbst zu töten, benötigt dringend Hilfe.

Eine besondere Form der Depression ist die bipolare Störung (oft manisch-depressive Störung genannt). Sie ist deutlich seltener als eine Depression. Menschen mit einer bipolaren Störung durchleben abwechselnd Phasen, in denen sie depressiv sind, und Phasen, in denen sie extrem überschwänglich und euphorisch („manisch“) sind. Eine bipolare Störung kann dazu führen, dass Menschen den Bezug zur Realität verlieren und in problematische Situationen geraten.

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