Let's Talk About Depression
Sure, everybody feels sad or blue now and then. But if you're sad most of the time, and it's giving you problems with
- your grades or attendance at school
- your relationships with your family and friends
- alcohol, drugs, or sex
- controlling your behavior in other ways
the problem may be DEPRESSION.
The good news is that you can get treatment and feel better soon. Approximately 4 percent of adolescents get seriously depressed each year. Clinical depression is a serious illness that can affect anybody, including teenagers. It can affect your thoughts, feelings, behavior, and overall health.
Most people with depression can be helped with treatment. But a majority of depressed people never get the help they need. And, when depression isn't treated, it can get worse, last longer, and prevent you from getting the most out of this important time in your life.
So, Listen Up:
Here's how to tell if you or a friend might be depressed.
First, there are two kinds of depressive illness: the sad kind, called major depression, and manic-depression or bipolar disorder, when feeling down and depressed alternates with being speeded-up and sometimes reckless.
You should get evaluated by a professional if you've had five or more of the following symptoms for more than 2 weeks or if any of these symptoms cause such a big change that you can't keep up your usual routine...
When You're Depressed...
- You feel sad or cry a lot and it doesn't go away.
- You feel guilty for no reason; you feel like you're no good; you've lost your confidence.
- Life seems meaningless or like nothing good is ever going to happen again. You have a negative attitude a lot of the time, or it seems like you have no feelings.
- You don't feel like doing a lot of the things you used to like