Get the 411 on Teen Depression
We've all had bad days - had fights with the 'rents, done really badly on a test or maybe just couldn't find anything cool to wear that morning. But when does a normal bad day turn into serious depression? To observe National Mental Health Month this May, Kidzworld's got the 411 on this common health condition.
How Do I Know if I am Depressed?
People don't often think of depression as something that has symptoms, but there are definitely tell-tale signs that you are headed down depression lane. One big thing to look out for is your overall feeling of worth. Often teens who are depressed notice a drastic change in how they feel about themselves and the world around them. From there, teens tend to become less interested in activities they used to enjoy and will spend more time alone, watch more TV, pay less attention in school, etc.
What Causes Depression?
No one thing causes depression, but doctors do have an idea of what sorts of things can trigger it. Research has shown that genetics probably play a role in who gets depressed and who doesn't. That means if other members in your family have had trouble with depression, your chances of being depressed are greater than somebody whose family members have never been depressed. Peeps who are genetically prone to depression may have a chemical imbalance of the brain which can be assessed by a doctor. Losing a loved one can also be enough to trigger depression in some people. Then there's the environment that you live in - if you are constantly surrounded by negativity, if your 'rents are always fighting for example, or if you are stressed out a lot, this could also lead to depression.
Can You Cure Depression?
Depression is very common and is almost always treatable. The main thing is to recognize that you are depressed and seek help as soon as possible. Many people who are depressed move on to self-harming or even attempt suicide if their depression isn't treated. Just letting a trusted adult know what you are going through is a good first step in getting better. Talking with a therapist is also something that will really help a depressed person along with their recovery. Sometimes a therapist will prescribe medication depending on the severity of the person's depression, which will help balance the chemicals in the person's brain.
- Depression affects approximately one in eight teens in North America.
- Girls tend to be more prone to depression than boys.
- Almost one million American teens attempt to commit suicide each year - approximately 1,600 die every year from suicide.
Teen Depression - Good Resources
- National Mental Health Association
- Teen Help Line
- Teen Health & Wellness
- Kids Help Phone
- Dear Dish-It, I Hate My Life
- Dealing With Stress
- Substance Abuse in Teen Girls
- More Teen Health Info!