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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

Autonomy
Autonomy posted in Family Issues:
"StarrChild" wrote: Two years ago my parents broke up. I was never really the same after that point. My mother she began to just not care about anything. She would go out clubbing every Friday and would yell at me for my attitude towards it. Why would I be okay with her doing that??? I didn't really realise it but I began feeling kind of depressed. Of course we didn't fight all the time but when we did I would always end up crying alone in my room. And it would be really painful. One time I cried every night for a week because of her. A week ago, I felt really sick at school so I went to the sick bay but my Mum refused to believe I was sick. She thought I was lying and being over dramatic as usual. I felt really horrible after that, that the teacher sent me to the guidance councellor and almost immediately I burst into tears. I didn't even know why I did but the councellor did a little test on me and came to the conclusion I was slightly depressed and had anxiety. It wasn't really surprising but hearing it out loud just felt really weird. Even after knowing that fact my mother doesn't really act any different. She's not a bad person I swear but she can just be really horrible at times. Anyways, that's technically whats been happening in my life lol. Nothing really interesting Oh dear, that sounds like a dreadful situation. I've lived through similar difficulties in my own life, and my heart goes out to you, truly. May I offer you some advice? I don't have the cure to your problems or a magic wand that can make them disappear, but I do believe that some good can come out of your living situation. The first thing I'd like to make note of, is that everyone makes mistakes. As human beings, we have to make mistakes. There's no way around it; it's how we learn and grow. And as we get older, we don't stop making mistakes. Your parents are no exception. Although we look to our parents for guidance, and direction, and support, we have to understand that they aren't perfect people, and they make mistakes. They may not always lead us in the right direction. They may not always set a good example. They may not always be there for us, to encourage us and support us when we need them most. And that's okay. Everyone makes mistakes, and we have to accept that. But we can't let allow other people's mistakes to hurt us, my dear. And I know it hurts. Your mum might not understand how her actions make you feel. You said you haven't been the same since your parents divorced, and I know how challenging that can be to go through. But you know, some of the brightest, wisest, and happiest people I've met, are people who have dealt with difficult problems in their lives, and used them to grow as people. You can let your parents' mistakes get to you, and make you upset and depressed; or, you can accept that they aren't perfect people, accept that they make mistakes, and accept that their mistakes don't have anything to do with you. So here's what you do, friend: you can't stop your mum from going clubbing, and that's okay. Don't try to. Don't fight with her about it. You can let her know how it makes you feel, but don't get into an argument. Accept the situation for what it is. Your mother is her own person, and she is accountable for what she does; you aren't. Next time you start to get in a fight or an argument with her, just step back, and withdraw yourself. Try it, see what happens. Once you decide not to let other peoples' failings affect you--and you do have the power to do this--then you'll find a sense of peace you probably haven't felt before. And you'll learn from your mistakes, and the mistakes of your parents, and everyone around you, and you'll be a better person. Press on.
reply about 4 hours
Dounuts
Dounuts posted in Family Issues:
Go to your neighbor's house and ask him/her to call to police.Everything will be just fine.
reply about 10 hours
RavenClawRaina
my ex is going through the same thing. Call the police now. Things will get out of hand. My brothers friend has been living with us for about 2 weeks becuz his dad punched him in the face. Call 911 now. They will help you. Just say you have been abused by your family member and they will take it from there. If you want, add me and we can talk
reply about 11 hours
XxRuby_PhoenixxX
If you are getting abused to the point where you bleed, call the police immediately. This isn't acceptable behavior.
reply about 11 hours
MRAP
MRAP posted in Family Issues:
Hey, Just wanted some advice to help me on what to do on this. Ever since I was 3 I've been both Verbally, Mentally, And Physically abused. To me, this is normal since it's been happening for so long. But I just can't take this thing anymore. When I get home I always get yelled at for no reason. I have been on Anti-Depressants for the past 1-2 years. Been going to counseling for 6-7 years for family. Nothing has changed yet. I just need help on how to handle this. Thanks.
reply about 11 hours