- Depression is a serious illness that can affect anybody, at any age, at any time. It affects thoughts, behaviors, feelings, relationships, school, work, and health.
- There are many different types of depression. There are different kinds of “sad” depression, such as major depression and dysthymia, and there is the “up and down” depression, where moods alternate between times when you feel down and times when you feel really “up” and may even feel a little reckless and on top of the world.
- Depression can occur once, or it can occur again and again throughout life. Everyone is different.
- Many people don’t seek help with depression. If you feel down and can’t seem to shake it, talk to your counselor, parents, teacher, or doctor to get help.
- Depression seems to involve a change in brain chemistry, including times of psychological trauma. Sometimes a change in season can result in a depressed mood because of a change it may cause in a person’s brain chemistry.
- Medication and psychotherapy together, particularly cognitive-behavioral therapy, seems to be the most helpful treatment so far.
Signs of Depression
- Feeling down and sad, and it doesn’t seem to go away.
- Crying more than usual.
- Feeling very tired and not having much energy.
- Loss of self-confidence and not feeling good about yourself.
- Negative attitude.
- Life seems meaningless.
- Difficulty concentrating and remembering things.
- Changes in sleeping and eating habits.
- Loss of interest in things that you normally like to do.
- Withdrawing from friends, family, and activities.
- Thoughts of death and dying, perhaps even suicide.
- Feeling that no one understands and that you are alone in your sadness and pain.
What to do
- Get help. Talk to someone that can help you get the help you need. Depression is a serious condition.
- Be active. Exercise daily and be around people. Don’t isolate yourself.
- Monitor your eating habits and make sure you’re eating a healthy diet.
- Consult a doctor.
- Don’t make any big decisions while you are depressed. You’re probably not thinking clearly. Also, don’t accept any additional responsibility while you are feeling depressed. Keep your tasks manageable.
- Change takes time. It probably took you a while to get depressed, so realize that it will probably take a while to feel better.
- Start using positive thinking and positive self-talk with yourself. Negative thinking plays a big part in depression. When you catch yourself thinking negatively, turn it around. This takes practice, but keep it up.
- Do some volunteer work. Helping others can help you, too.