It is very common for teens to struggle with depression. About 20% of teens experience depression before adulthood. Every 100 minutes, a teen takes their life. This is not the answer. You may feel alone and hurting, but there is a way out. Hope is on the horizon.
There are many things that could cause a person to feel depressed. Depression can be caused by major life changes such as lose or divorce. Some people might feel depressed after moving. Not all depression is caused by something. Depression is a mental illness, so it doesn’t have to have been triggered by anything. Even if you have nothing bringing you down, you may still feel lost or hurting. It is common to experience body aches, loss of sleep, loss of appetite, and/or mood swings. Some people may only want to sleep, instead of not being able to.
There are many ways you can get help for depression. Talk to your school counselor, if you are having a hard day. One bad day does not mean you are depressed. Depression is a long-term illness, but it can be overcome. School counselors are great people to talk to, since they will listen to everything you want to say. They won’t judge you in any way. In most schools, you can visit the counselors anytime you need to. You may feel awkward asking a teacher to see a counselor, but I assure you it is worth it. You’ll feel better once you talk about how you feel. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to school counselors, talk to your parents. You may want them to know what you are going through, so they can help. If your parents know about how you’ve been feeling, they may be able to help you see a professional therapist.
When you’re not with a counselor, parent, or therapist; you will probably come across moments when you are angry or sad. You can use coping mechanisms to help you. Some people calm themselves down my closing their eyes and clearing their minds. They try not to think about what’s upsetting them. Another person might rub their fingers as a way to relax them. If you breathe slowly and count to ten, you can distract you mind for a little while. Many teens think that cutting themselves is away to get away from their pain. They are convinced they are replacing emotional pain with physical pain. They want to feel the pain of the cuts, so they can ignore their depression. This is not a solution. Your pain is still there, even if you try to cut it away. Instead of hurting yourself, take a deep breathe. Think before you attempt this. Think about how it will cause more problems. When I’m feeling stressed or down I like to read or listen to music. Find something you like to do and use it as a way to distract yourself. Go out with friends. If you are having a good time, chances are you won’t think about your pain.
If you think you have a depressed or suicidal friend, the best option is to tell someone. If they want to kill themselves, getting someone involved is the right thing to do. You could be saving them from death or severe harm. It isn’t as urgent to report a depressed person, if they aren’t necessarily suicidal, but there is always the chance that they are, so be aware. A depressed person may need someone to talk to, but they are uncomfortable asking for help. They may not want to talk about how they are feeling, but they will really benefit from it. If your friend or peer has openly discussed their depression or suicidal thoughts, encourage them to talk to a counselor.