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Let's Talk About Depression

Approximately 4 out of 100 teenagers get seriously depressed each year.  Sure, everybody feels sad or blue now and then. But if you're sad most of the time, and it's giving you problems with:

  • your grades 
  • your relationships with your family and friends 
  • alcohol, drugs, or sex
  • controlling your behavior in other ways 

then the problem may be - DEPRESSION  

The good news is.... you can get treatment and FEEL BETTER SOON

 

What is Depression?

Clinical Depression is a serious illness that can affect anybody, including teenagers. It can affect your thoughts, feelings, behavior, and overall health. 

Most people with depression can be helped with treatment.  But, most depressed people never get the help they need. And, when depression isn't treated, it can get worse, last longer, and prevent you from getting the most out of your life. Remember, you're only a teenager once.

How do I know when I'm depressed? 
How can I tell if a friend might be depressed?

First, there are two kinds of depression: The sad kind, called major depression, dysthymia or reactive depression, and manic-depression or bipolar illness, when feeling down and depressed alternates with being speeded-up and sometimes acting reckless. 

If you have had several of these symptoms, and they've lasted several weeks, or cause a big change in your routine, you should talk to someone who can help, like a psychologist, or your school counselor!

WHEN YOU'RE DEPRESSED..

  • You feel sad or cry a lot and it doesn't go away. 
  • You feel guilty for no real reason; you feel like you're no good; you've lost your confidence.
  • Life seems meaningless or like nothing good is ever going to happen again.
  • You have a negative attitude a lot of the time, or it seems like you have no feelings.
  • You don't feel like doing a lot of the things you used to like-- like music, sports, being with friends, going out-- and you want to be left alone most of the time. 
  • It's hard to make up your mind. You forget lots of things, and it's hard to concentrate.
  • You get irritated often. Little things make you lose your temper; you overreact.
  • Your sleep pattern changes; you start sleeping a lot more or you have trouble falling asleep at night. Or you wake up really early most mornings and can't get back to sleep. 
  • Your eating habits change; you've lost your appetite or you eat a lot more.
  • You feel restless and tired most of the time. 
  • You think about death, or feel like you're dying, or have thoughts about committing suicide

WHEN YOU'RE MANIC...

  • You feel high as a kite... like you're "on top of the world". 
  • You get unreal ideas about the great things you can do... things that you really can't do.
  • Thoughts go racing through your head; you jump from one subject to another, and you talk a lot.
  • You're a nonstop party, constantly running around.
  • You do too many wild or risky things: with driving, with spending money, with sex, etc.
  • You're so "up" that you don't need much sleep.
  • You're rebellious or irritable and can't get along at home or school, or with your friends

Why do people get depressed?

Sometimes people get seriously depressed after something like a divorce in the family, major financial problems, someone you love dying, a messed up home life, or breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend. Other times, depression just happens. Often teenagers react to the pain of depression by getting into trouble: trouble with alcohol, drugs, or sex; trouble with school or bad grades; problems with family or friends. This is another reason why it's important to get treatment for depression before it leads to other trouble.


Complete List of Depression Topics

Teens: Depression and Bipolar Disorder