Teen Depression in Action

“Things have no meaning, At least not anymore.

She was not how she was,

How she was once before.” (Anonymous)

Have you heard someone say; “I’m feeling so depressed today”? It has become everyday talk amongst teens.

Depression is the new word to describe when we’re feeling sad or down. However, clinical depression during the teen years is a serious mental health problem. It causes a persistent feeling of sadness, loss of interest in pleasurable activities and extreme irritation. More symptoms include drastic changes in weight and sleeping patterns, severe tiredness and overall negative feelings of emptiness and hopelessness. It causes emotional distress in your daily life. Your thoughts, feelings and behaviour are affected. Adolescence, is characterized by a brand new way of looking at the world and experiencing intense emotions. It is often difficult to make sense of this time in one’s life. Therefore, depression is fairly common in teenagers. Roughly, 1 out of 20 teenagers will experience an episode of Major Depression in their lifetime; making it one of the most common psychological illnesses young people face today (David Raymond Price Foundation).

What to do when you’re feeling intense sadness or any of the above symptoms for 2 or more weeks:

See a health care professional to identify whether you have clinical depression. Clinical psychologists are experts at helping you address depressive symptoms. Don’t label yourself with depression. This can lead you to identifying with the symptoms and thus the possibility of developing the disorder.

Ask for help. Share your concerns with a parent, a close friend, a spiritual leader, a teacher or someone you trust. Often times this person may serve as your support pillar. This may help during difficult times.

Make and keep healthy friendships. Positive relationships can help boost your confidence and help you stay connected with others. Avoid relationships with people whose attitudes or behaviors could make depression symptoms worse.

Stay active and healthy. Participation in sports, school activities or a holiday job can help keep you focused on positive things, rather than negative feelings or behavior. Try as much as possible to eat healthy, balanced meals. Ensure to get enough sleep and rest your mind.

• Compiled by: Samantha Feris

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