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Dear Dish-It: Am I Depressed?

Dear Dish-It,

What are some signs of depression? I've been really, really down for like 2 years. I feel like I have a mild case.

Grrrrr

Dear Grrrrr,

First thing's first: you're not alone. According to experts, as many as one in 10 teens battle depression at some point. But there is lots of light at the end of the tunnel.

Common Signs of Depression

Some common signs of depression are a lasting/constant feeling of sadness, irritability, not doing as well in school as you normally would, and having less interest in things you used to enjoy, like sports or hanging with friends. Doing things like using drugs or alcohol or turning to other risky behaviors to cope also point to depression.

Helping Hands

There’s lotsa help out there, so if these signs sound familiar, it’s time to open up to a parent, doctor, school counselor or other trusted adult. As many as 33% of teens aren’t diagnosed or don’t get help because they’re embarrassed. Truth is, a bout of depression is nothing to feel ashamed about. Plenty of teens have been in your position, and getting help is crucial.

Scary Stats

Some more scary stats: almost twice as many teen girls struggle with depression than boys, and attempt suicide three times more often than boys. Girls can also be more sensitive to social issues than boys, so they might be more likely to suffer from depression triggered by things like fighting with or losing friends. Periods of depression usually last about six to nine months, but experts say that factors like genetic predisposition or life stressors like probs with family and friends can make it reoccur, or even last for years.

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Who's Most Affected by Depression?

  • Boys tend to be more depressed than girls.
  • Girls tend to be more depressed than boys.
  • Both boys and girls get equally depressed.
  • I don't know.

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