Depression is very common and one the leading causes of disability in the US.
I am an occupational therapist and I have been diagnosed with depression since the age of 11 when I had my first suicide attempt. (Since 14, I have not had any more suicide attempts). I have an IEP and have been in the special education system since the age of 12.
I hope to give insight into depression & special education not only from a consumer perspective but from an occupational therapist's perspective. I am also diagnosed with ADHD and may blog about this later, since depression & ADHD make life very interesting.
OT thought of the day: OTs continually say "we do not treat depression", this sentence needs to be changed from "we do not treat symptoms of sadness but we treat symptoms of depression". Depression has many symptoms that OTs treat. Looking at the DSM-IV: (I haven't seen DSM-V but I from what I have read, depression has only changed in regard to grief component) decreased interest or pleasure in activities, weight loss or weight gain, difficulty in concentration, fatigue, insomnia or hypersomnia. These symptoms are such a vital part of treatment from an OT perspective.
Consumer thought of the day: I continually talk to my therapist about organization. I am a very messy person. I have a system for academics that have taken me 10 years of resource to implement, but I am unable to organize my daily routines and clothes. How may you ask can I be an OT if I cannot do this for myself? I can easily task analysis people's routines and break them down and help. I am able to regurgitate what I know from OT : organizational system put into your daily routines, use a planner, make goals, categorize etc But no one has been able to help me implement this. When I come home I have zero motivation. I like to stay on my couch from 5-10 pm and watch Netflix. Is this a symptom of depression? Is my disorganization heighten due to ADHD? I have no idea. I just understand how hard it is to implement ideas and suggestions when people are not in the environment. One of my thoughts about this is related back to home health/ Assertive Community treatment. http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=ACT-TA_Center (Please see link if you don't know what it is) ACT is only for serious mental illness and it is proven to work. However, it combines key components of OT, helping people in the environment! Getting off track, I wish OTs could help people who function, but not functioning fully in their environment. I kept thinking in OT school... Perfect fit for OT. Although high functioning, I have serious disorganization and motivation problems that keep me from even having people over. Rambled on but I think others will relate to this.