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Depression in teenagers

posted Nov 17, 2014, 10:58 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Jan 13, 2015, 11:00 AM by Tamara Salisbury ]

Noticing and understanding depression in teenagers is very important. According to the Mental Health America website and recent studies done, as many as one in five teenagers suffers from depression. The symptoms of depression can make it seem like somebody is just having a bad day or a bad week, so you don’t really pay much attention to it. These symptoms include poor performance in school, withdrawal from friends, anger and rage, overreaction to criticism, poor self-esteem, changes in eating or sleeping patterns, problems with authority, and substance abuse, although there are more symptoms.

If you notice someone showing these symptoms for more than a couple days, you should try to talk to them, or if you can’t talk to them, tell a trusted adult. There’s a multitude of things you can do to help a friend or classmate with depression. If you notice that they seem depressed, and you let them know, they won’t feel like it’s just them against the world. One thing you can do is encourage them. Let them know how much they mean to you and to other people. Just listening to a friend talk about problems can make them feel better.

One of the main things not to do is tell them that their depression is all in their head. Don’t tell them to just “be happy” or “get over it”. Never ignore someone that you think may be depressed, as that will make them feel more alone. Whatever you do, make sure you act positively and help them.

If you notice somebody has the symptoms of depression, do something. If you don’t think you can do anything about it, tell an adult that you trust, like counselor Louise Ronnau. Try to convince a friend to go to support groups, or just be there for them. No matter what you do, do not ignore it. Do something, and you may save a life. If you or somebody you know may be battling depression, there is a toll-free depression crisis hotline you can call at any time:  800-273-8255.