Depression Disorders

What it is

A diagnosed psychological condition of low mood and aversion to activity that has a negative impact on thoughts, feelings, behaviour, views and physical well- being, beyond periodic irritability, moodiness and ups and downs most experience, often brought on by years of anxiety.

Specific Depressive Disorders:
Depressive Disorders include mood disorders (Major Depressive Disorder, Dysthymic Disorder, Bipolar I Disorder (manic/mixed episodes), Bipolar II Disorder (depressive episodes)) and psychiatric conditions (Anxiety Disorders, Mood Disorders, Psychotic Disorders).

Major Depressive Disorder:

  • Presence of a single depressive episode Single Episode vs. Recurrent
  • Depressed mood, unhappy/sad, most of the day, nearly every day or irritability, reduced interest/loss of pleasure, weight or appetite change, sleep disturbance, reduced energy, fatigue, feeling of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt, lack of concentration, indecisiveness, recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal
  • Symptoms cause functional difficulties at school, home and in the community
  • Not a result of drugs or a medical condition

Dysthymic Disorder:

  • Depressed mood for most of the day for at least 1-2 years with two or more of: poor appetite or overeating, insomnia, low energy/fatigue, low self-esteem, poor concentration/difficulty making decisions, feelings of hopelessness
  • Not direct effect of substances
  • Symptoms cause functional difficulties at school, home and in the community

Teaching Strategies for Associated Student Needs:


General information on depression in children.

An outline of the symptoms, causes, risk factors, and how to help from The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids).

Student Needs IPRC Exceptionalites Diagnosed Conditions