Dealing with teen depression

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NO matter how despondent life seems, there are many things one can do to start feeling better today. Use these tools to help yourself or a friend.

What is teen depression?

The teenage years can be really tough and it’s perfectly normal to feel sad or irritable every now and then. But if these feelings don’t go away or become so intense that you feel overwhelmingly hopeless and helpless, you may be suffering from depression.

Teen depression is much more than feeling temporarily sad or down in the dumps. It’s a serious and debilitating mood disorder that can change the way you think, feel, and function in your daily life, causing problems at home, school, and in your social life. When you’re depressed, you may feel hopeless and isolated and it can seem like no one understands. The increased academic pressures, social challenges, and hormonal changes of the teenage years mean that about one in five of us suffer depression in our teens.

Signs and symptoms of teen depression

For some teens, depression is characterised by feelings of bleakness and despair. For others, it’s a persistent anger or agitation, or simply an overwhelming sense of “emptiness.” You constantly feel irritable, sad, or angry.

Nothing seems fun anymore—even the activities you used to love—and you just don’t see the point of forcing yourself to do them.

You feel bad about yourself—worthless, guilty, or just “wrong” in some way.

You sleep too much or not enough.

You’ve turned to alcohol or drugs to try to change the way you feel.

You’re extremely sensitive to criticism.

You’ve gained or lost weight without consciously trying to.

You’re having trouble concentrating, thinking straight, or remembering things. Your grades may be plummeting because of it.

You’re thinking about death or suicide. (If so, talk to someone right away!).

Whatever the causes of your depression, the following tips can help you overcome your symptoms, change how you feel, and regain your sense of hope and enthusiasm.

Overcoming teen depression tips:

  • Talk to an adult you trust

Depression is not your fault, and you didn’t do anything to cause it. However, you do have some control over feeling better. The first step is to ask for help.. No matter what, talk to someone, especially if you are having any thoughts of harming yourself or others. Asking for help is the bravest thing you can do.

  • Try not to isolate yourself—it makes depression worse

Depression causes many of us to withdraw into our shells. You may not feel like seeing anybody or doing anything and some days just getting out of bed in the morning can be difficult. But isolating yourself only makes depression worse. not feel motivated at first, but as you start to participate again, your mood and enthusiasm will begin to lift.

  • Adopt healthy habits

Making healthy lifestyle choices can do wonders for your mood. Things like eating right, getting regular exercise, and getting enough sleep have been shown to make a huge difference when it comes to depression.

  • Manage stress and anxiety

For many teens, stress and anxiety can go hand-in-hand with depression. Unrelenting stress, doubts, or fears can sap your emotional energy, affect your physical health, send your anxiety levels soaring, and trigger or exacerbate depression.helpguide.org