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Dear Dish-It: I’m Secretly Depressed

Dear Dish-it,

I’m depressed but nobody knows. I act like a crazy, fun, happy girl,but under all that I’m sad and lonely...I can’t keep lying to my friends when I’m in the bathroom stall crying. Should I wait until it goes away or should I tell them…and how?

Leah123

Dear Leah123,

I know just how you feel. I’ve felt down a lot of times, too, and it’s been hard keeping my feelings hidden from everyone around me. But what’s even harder, I think, is dealing with the blues yourself when you’re not even sure why it’s happening!

You’re Not Alone

First thing’s first: you’re not alone in how you feel. Depression is really common, affecting about 1 in 8 teens. It also seems to affect more girls than guys. No one really knows what causes depression. It may have to do with your genes (if your mom or dad suffers from depression, you may be more likely to get the blues than some of your friends), something bad that happens in your life (like moving or changing schools), being stressed out – sometimes depression is even caused by a medical condition.

Depression vs. Sadness

It’s important, also, to understand the difference betwee depression and regular sadness. Everyone has their ups and down – sadness is a totally natural emotion. Things like arguing with friends, breaking up with your boyfriend, getting a bad mark on a test or having to deal with your best friend moving away can all make you feel sad, hurt or disappointed. But it usually doesn’t last very long and you eventually feel better.

Depression is more than feeling down in the dumps every so often. It’s a strong mood that lasts for weeks, months or even longer and it gets in the way of your normal life. You may feel more tired or you may not be motivated to do the things you normally like to do. It may even make you pull away from the people around you – but this will only make you feel more lonely, making the depression worse.

Getting Help

Now for some good news: depression is totally treatable! About 80% of people who get help for their depression end up feeling much better than they did before! The best way to get help is to talk to your parents or some other adult that you trust (a close family friend, your fave aunt, a school counselor or your family doctor) about how you’ve been feeling. While your friends definitely care about you and will be there for you if you need them, they won’t be able to explain why you’re feeling like you do and they won’t be able to find a solution that will help you. An adult may be better able to help you figure out what’s happening inside your head, and find a way to make it better.

Types of Treatment

While there are prescription medications out there for depression (only your family doctor can decide whether you need to try any of these, and he or she will then write you a prescription), it doesn’t even have to be about that. Sometimes just talking about your life and feelings with a counselor or a therapist once a week or so can help a lot! Other things have also been shown to make depression better: exercising, getting outside more, painting, changing the way you eat are all thing that can help to change your mood!

Don’t Wait

One thing’s for sure: you shouldn't wait and hope your feeling of sadness and depression will just go away on their own. After you talk to an adult and get the help you need, you may feel more confident about letting your friends in on your feelings, or you may not even feel the need to explain anything to them because you’ll likely be feeling better than you did before!

HAVE YOUR SAY: What do you think Leah123 should do? Do you know how she feels and have some advice for her? Leave your comment below!

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  • I'm never depressed.

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Dear Dish-It in the forums

hugebear
hugebear posted in Friends:
Congratulations on being gifted and getting all the opportunties what your getting :) You knows your friends better than any of us and how does you think they will react if you tell them?  Thinks about if one of your friends told you and how you would feel.  Be proud and enjoy your learning and you will meet other gifted people too in your classes and ask them their experiences too of how/if they told friends. If it was me then I probably wouldnt but thats just me personality. I wouldnt ever get in the gifted group anyway so I doesnt really have to think about this :)
reply about 1 hour
__dischic3__
__dischic3__ posted in Style:
today I got my hair down...chillin'
reply about 8 hours
Teh_Skittlez
Teh_Skittlez posted in Friends:
Don't go out of your way to talk about it. A lot of people are off put by people who talk about their intelligence a lot. If it comes up in a conversation, you can talk about it, but you probably won't need to tell them. Usually with people who are genuinely intelligent, they don't need to talk about their intelligence, it's obvious to everyone around you, and therefore people who are not as intelligent might feel like you're rubbing it in. 
reply about 16 hours
jordand08
jordand08 posted in Friends:
Maybe you should wait until you feel a little bit more comfy talking to them, and then tell them!  :D
reply about 16 hours
totalgeek
totalgeek posted in Friends:
There is a slight issue with that. I am rarely comfortable talking with children my own age.
reply about 16 hours

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