Dealing with Depression
If you or a loved one are in crisis or experiencing suicidal thoughts, there are free, 24/7 services that can help – like the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, The Trevor Project Lifeline, and Crisis Connections.
Depression is a serious and common medical condition. In fact, in 2017, the National Institute of Mental Health reported that 3.2 million American teens had experienced at least one major depressive episode. And over 60% of those teens did not receive treatment. While it’s normal to feel sad or lonely sometimes, if those feelings prevent you from living your life fully, it may be time to seek medical help.
Here are some symptoms of depression to be aware of:
• Feelings of sadness, worthlessness, guilt, and hopelessness
• Insomnia or sleeping too much
• Feeling irritable and frustrated
• Lack of appetite or overeating
• Difficulty thinking, learning new material, remembering things, and making decisions
• Unexplained aches and pains that won’t go away
• Loss of interest in activities that you normally enjoy
• Recurring thoughts of death and suicide or suicide attempts
Recognizing symptoms is essential to getting the help you need. For many people living with depression, their symptoms are severe enough to cause problems with their relationships, school, and social activities. If you have symptoms for more than two weeks, consider reaching out to a doctor or a mental health professional. If you aren’t comfortable speaking to a doctor, turn to a friend, loved one, or a helpline like Teen Link. If you feel like you might harm yourself or attempt suicide, call 911 immediately.
It’s important to remember that you aren’t alone. Depression affects millions of people and it is treatable. From lifestyle changes to therapy to medications, a mental health professional can help you find the treatment that works for you. You can find additional mental health resources online at sites like A Mindful State.
Living with depression can be difficult and reaching out for help can also be hard. Just know that there are resources and people who want to support you. You deserve to live a happy life, and seeking help is the first big step in that direction.