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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.

Quick Facts

  • 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

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Who's Most Affected by Depression?

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

Dear Dish-It In The Forums

labimba
labimba posted in Style:
Neko girl I have to get back in shape for September if u want we can be training buddies!  :)  
reply about 8 hours
animallover468
animallover468 posted in Style:
EndlessDream is right. Skipping breakfast and lunch can result in stomach ulcers and sudden weight gain (had personal experience...), ESPECIALLY skipping breakfast! You have to incorporate exercise in your daily routine. Stomach and body fat is mostly caused by lack of exercise, and maybe that means you need to do toning exercises. Try doing simple exercise videos like the 3-mile powerwalk on YouTube (trust me, I sweat like crazy when I do those workouts). Anything that gets you sweating, is the kind of exercise you need to do.  I hated working out when I first started my weight loss journey too. I would always start wheezing every time I started working out. But after pushing through everyday, I think working out is one of the best stress busters I've ever had!  If you want to lower your appetite though, I suggest eating a full lunch and breakfast and skipping your dinner. If you can't skip dinner, then at least try aiming for an early dinner, around 5:30 or 6:00. Your body needs time to digest at least 4 hours before you sleep. I started gaining weight around puberty when I was 12, it could be the same for you too.  But honestly, there's nothing wrong with having consciousness about your weight. Now starving yourself and dieting is BAD, but there's nothing wrong with changing your lifestyle in order to be fit. It's a good thing that kids start caring about their health, and the earlier you start, the better off you are. 
reply about 9 hours
EndlessDream
EndlessDream posted in Style:
You need breakfast and lunch. Starving yourself, even if you aren't hungry, makes you loose energy to the point you could pass out from not eating. Keep your diet healthy. For breakfast, at least have yogurt, fruit, and juice. Drink at least 4 full glasses of water a day. Trim down on the snacks. Everyone has different bodies and build. You may just be large-boned. And that's not bad! That makes you stronger and higher ability to gain muscle. Loosing weight doesn't happen over night. It can take months. 
reply 1 day
Nekogirl101
Nekogirl101 posted in Style:
For years my parents would tell me I'm skinny but compared to other people, my waist was bigger and I would always hide it. Though it was obvious I weighed more, I've only been doing this for a week and I didn't ever tell anyone what I was doing until my parents found out. I would skip lunch and breakfast and say I was full. I only ate a big dinner every night. Once my parents found out, they said it was unhealthy and if I didn't  stop, I would develop an eating disorder. I obviously listened to them, but I've tried as best as I can so far. I have barely lost any weight from exercise and my parents won't let me go on a diet because I already 'eat healthy enough'. I want to lose weight without exercising being 3/4s of my lifestyle. I know, I'm a lazy idiot for saying all this.
reply 1 day
rainbowpoptart
Yes, purely for the fact that you should not "hate" your sister (or anyone, for that matter).  I'm guessing by "get in trouble for her", you mean she does something wrong and the blame is all put on you? Yeah, little siblings tend to do that a lot. My brother did for the longest time, until my parents found out how much a liar he is. She, hopefully, will grow out of this eventually. Either that, or your parent[s]/guardian[s] will eventually see through her. You lose your friends to her? By this do you mean your friends want to hang out with her and they want you to tag along and you don't? Or do you mean your friends chose your sister over you? If it's the latter, then perhaps you shouldn't have ever referred to those people as friends. You'll find friends who'll prefer you over your sister, I'm sure of it. The only thing I can tell you to do is try to get along with your sister. Every group of siblings has their cats and dogs moment in life, but they grow out of it (most of the time; there are, of course, circumstances where it doesn't work out that way). Please be grateful for your sister, even if you two fight a lot. You never know how much you need something until it's gone.
reply 2 days