Teen Depression

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Depression Symptoms and Warning Signs

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What is Depression?


A depressive disorder is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts. It affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way one feels about oneself, and the way one thinks about things. A depressive disorder is not the same as a passing blue mood. It is not a sign of personal weakness or a condition that can be willed or wished away. People with a depressive illness cannot merely "pull themselves together" and get better. Without treatment, symptoms can last for weeks, months, or years. Appropriate treatment, however, can help most people who suffer from depression.

For more information: National Institute of Mental Health www.nimh.nih.gov/publicat/depression.cfm#ptdep1

What are the symptoms of Depression?


According to the National Foundation of Depressive Illness, the symptoms of Depressive Illness are highly recognizable, both to those affected and to those closest to them, once they are told what to look for.

• Loss of energy and interest.
• Diminished ability to enjoy oneself.
• Decreased (or increased) sleeping or appetite.
• Difficulty in concentrating, indecisiveness, slowed or fuzzy thinking.
• Exaggerated feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or anxiety.
• Feelings of worthlessness.
• Recurring thoughts about death and suicide.

Think you might be suffering from depression? Try one of these free online quizes: Depression-screening.org and www.psycom.net/depression-test/

Unexpected Symptoms of Teen Depression


Depression in teens deeply affects those who suffer from it, but the symptoms are often notably different from depression in adults. Here's what you need to know about how depression shows up in teens.

What does depression in teens look like?

Adults expect teen depression to show up as a pervasive sense of sadness and withdrawal, and sometimes it does.

But what most adults don't know is that in teens, depression is more likely to show up as angry or irritable behavior.

A teen who is yelling at others, grumpy, easily frustrated, defiant or quick to snap at a parents' benign comments may in fact be suffering from depression.

In addition to anger and irritability, teens suffering from depression may also exhibit the following symptoms:

1. Health problems such as a chronic headache or stomachache.

Unexplained health problems are often a sign of depression in teens, who are likely to experience sadness as a physical sensation. Other complaints include feeling dizzy or nauseated. If your teen has such complaints, have them initially checked out by an MD. In cases where no physical illness is detected, depression may be the reason for these symptoms.

2. A change in social interactions or patterns.

Depressed adults tend to withdraw from others, but this is less likely to happen with teens, who build their lives around interactions with peers.

Sudden or significant changes in a teen's participation with others can signal depression. This can include changing friends, spending less time in activities with peers or being alone more often.

3. Very low self-esteem.

Depressed teens are likely to react badly to any negative event, perceiving failure or apparent criticism of them.

A seemingly small failure may be perceived as substantial and reinforce their sense of negativity and poor self-worth. A benign comment may be blown out of proportion by the teen.

Teen depression can manifest in many different ways and therefore the presence of depression should always be considered as part of the assessment and treatment of a teen who is exhibiting troubling behaviors.

Quick Link: Parent's Guide to Teen Depression | Quiz: Could Your Teen Be Depressed?
Source: www.verywell.com/unexpected-symptoms-of-teen-depression-2609496?utm_term=depression+symptoms+for+teenagers&utm_content=p1-main-1-title&utm_medium=sem&utm_source=msn_s&utm_campaign=adid-569c2ee1-d855-499a-84b9-a03ccfb7615a-0-ab_msb_ocode-34460&ad=semD&an=msn_s&am=broad&q=depression+symptoms+for+teenagers&o=34460&qsrc=999&l=sem&askid=569c2ee1-d855-499a-84b9-a03ccfb7615a-0-ab_msb

Depression Symptoms and Warning Signs


How to Recognize the Symptoms and Get Effective Help?

Feeling down from time to time is a normal part of life, but when emotions such as hopelessness and despair take hold and just won't go away, you may have depression. Depression makes it tough to function and enjoy life like you once did. Just getting through the day can be overwhelming. But no matter how hopeless you feel, you can get better. Learning about depression—and the many things you can do to help yourself—is the first step to overcoming the problem.

How do you experience depression?

While some people describe depression as “living in a black hole” or having a feeling of impending doom, others feel lifeless, empty, and apathetic. Men in particular may even feel angry and restless. No matter how you experience it, depression is different from normal sadness in that it engulfs your day-to-day life, interfering with your ability to work, study, eat, sleep, and have fun.

Some people feel like nothing will ever change. But it’s important to remember that feelings of helplessness and hopelessness are symptoms of depression—not the reality of your situation. You can do things today to start feeling better.

What are the symptoms of depression?

Depression varies from person to person, but there are some common signs and symptoms. It’s important to remember that these symptoms can be part of life’s normal lows. But the more symptoms you have, the stronger they are, and the longer they’ve lasted—the more likely it is that you’re dealing with depression.

Symptoms of depression include:
  • Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. A bleak outlook—nothing will ever get better and there’s nothing you can do to improve your situation.
  • Loss of interest in daily activities. You don’t care anymore about former hobbies, pastimes, social activities, or sex. You’ve lost your ability to feel joy and pleasure.
  • Appetite or weight changes. Significant weight loss or weight gain—a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month.
  • Sleep changes. Either insomnia, especially waking in the early hours of the morning, or oversleeping.
  • Anger or irritability. Feeling agitated, restless, or even violent. Your tolerance level is low, your temper short, and everything and everyone gets on your nerves.
  • Loss of energy. Feeling fatigued, sluggish, and physically drained. Your whole body may feel heavy, and even small tasks are exhausting or take longer to complete.
  • Self-loathing. Strong feelings of worthlessness or guilt. You harshly criticize yourself for perceived faults and mistakes.
  • Reckless behavior. You engage in escapist behavior such as substance abuse, compulsive gambling, reckless driving, or dangerous sports.
  • Concentration problems. Trouble focusing, making decisions, or remembering things.
  • Unexplained aches and pains. An increase in physical complaints such as headaches, back pain, aching muscles, and stomach pain.

Is it depression or bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, involves serious shifts in moods, energy, thinking, and behavior. Because it looks so similar to depression when in the low phase, it is often overlooked and misdiagnosed. This is a problem, because antidepressants for bipolar depression can make the condition worse. If you’ve ever gone through phases where you experienced excessive feelings of euphoria, a decreased need for sleep, racing thoughts, and impulsive behavior, consider getting evaluated for bipolar disorder. See: Bipolar Disorder Signs and Symptoms.

Depression and suicide risk

Depression is a major risk factor for suicide. The deep despair and hopelessness that goes along with depression can make suicide feel like the only way to escape the pain. If you have a loved one with depression, take any suicidal talk or behavior seriously and watch for the warning signs:

  • Talking about killing or harming one’s self
  • Expressing strong feelings of hopelessness or being trapped
  • An unusual preoccupation with death or dying
  • Acting recklessly, as if they have a death wish (e.g. speeding through red lights)
  • Calling or visiting people to say goodbye
  • Getting affairs in order (giving away prized possessions, tying up loose ends)
  • Saying things like “Everyone would be better off without me” or “I want out”
  • A sudden switch from being extremely depressed to acting calm and happy

If you think a friend or family member is considering suicide, express your concern and seek help immediately. Talking openly about suicidal thoughts and feelings can save a life.

The symptoms of depression can vary with gender and age

Depression often varies according to age and gender, with symptoms differing between men and women, or young people and older adults.

Depression in men. Depressed men are less likely to acknowledge feelings of self-loathing and hopelessness. Instead, they tend to complain about fatigue, irritability, sleep problems, and loss of interest in work and hobbies. They’re also more likely to experience symptoms such as anger, aggression, reckless behavior, and substance abuse.

Depression in women. Women are more likely to experience symptoms such as pronounced feelings of guilt, excessive sleeping, overeating, and weight gain. Depression in women is also impacted by hormonal factors during menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. Up to 1 in 7 women experience depression following childbirth, a condition known as postpartum depression.

Depression in teens. Irritability, anger, and agitation are often the most noticeable symptoms in depressed teens—not sadness. They may also complain of headaches, stomachaches, or other physical pains.

Depression in older adults. Older adults tend to complain more about the physical rather than the emotional signs and symptoms of depression: things like fatigue, unexplained aches and pains, and memory problems. They may also neglect their personal appearance and stop taking critical medications for their health.

Types of depression

Depression comes in many shapes and forms. Knowing what type of depression you have can help you manage your symptoms and get the most effective treatment.

Major depression

Major depression is much less common than mild or moderate depression and is characterized by intense, relentless symptoms.

  • Left untreated, major depression typically lasts for about six months.
  • Some people experience just a single depressive episode in their lifetime, but major depression can be a recurring disorder.

Atypical depression

Atypical depression is a common subtype of major depression with a specific symptom pattern. It responds better to some therapies and medications than others, so identifying it can be helpful.

  • People with atypical depression experience a temporary mood lift in response to positive events, such as after receiving good news or while out with friends.
  • Other symptoms of atypical depression include weight gain, increased appetite, sleeping excessively, a heavy feeling in the arms and legs, and sensitivity to rejection.

Dysthymia (recurrent, mild depression)

Dysthymia is a type of chronic “low-grade” depression. More days than not, you feel mildly or moderately depressed, although you may have brief periods of normal mood.

  • The symptoms of dysthymia are not as strong as the symptoms of major depression, but they last a long time (at least two years).
  • Some people also experience major depressive episodes on top of dysthymia, a condition known as “double depression.”
  • If you suffer from dysthymia, you may feel like you’ve always been depressed. Or you may think that your continuous low mood is “just the way you are.”

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)

For some people, the reduced daylight hours of winter lead to a form of depression known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD affects about 1% to 2% of the population, particularly women and young people.

  • SAD can make you feel like a completely different person to who you are in the summer: hopeless, sad, tense, or stressed, with no interest in friends or activities you normally love.
  • SAD usually begins in fall or winter when the days become shorter and remains until the brighter days of spring.

Depression causes and risk factors

While some illnesses have a specific medical cause, making treatment straightforward, depression is more complicated. Depression is not just the result of a chemical imbalance in the brain that can be simply cured with medication. It’s caused by a combination of biological, psychological, and social factors. In other words, your lifestyle choices, relationships, and coping skills matter just as much—if not more so—than genetics.

Risk factors that make you more vulnerable to depression include:

  • Loneliness and isolation
  • Lack of social support
  • Recent stressful life experiences
  • Family history of depression
  • Marital or relationship problems
  • Financial strain
  • Early childhood trauma or abuse
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Unemployment or underemployment
  • Health problems or chronic pain

The cause of your depression helps determine the treatment

Understanding the underlying cause of your depression may help you overcome the problem. For example, if you are depressed because of a dead end job, the best treatment might be finding a more satisfying career, not taking an antidepressant. If you are new to an area and feeling lonely and sad, finding new friends will probably give you more of a mood boost than going to therapy. In such cases, the depression is remedied by changing the situation.

What you can do to feel better

When you’re depressed, it can feel like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. But there are many things you can do to lift and stabilize your mood. The key is to start with a few small goals and slowly build from there, trying to do a little more each day. Feeling better takes time, but you can get there by making positive choices for yourself.

What you can do

Reach out to other people. Isolation fuels depression, so reach out to friends and loved ones, even if you feel like being alone or don’t want to be a burden to others. The simple act of talking to someone face-to-face about how you feel can be an enormous help. The person you talk to doesn’t have to be able to fix you. He or she just needs to be a good listener—someone who’ll listen attentively without being distracted or judging you.

Get moving. When you’re depressed, just getting out of bed can seem daunting, let alone exercising. But regular exercise can be as effective as antidepressant medication in countering the symptoms of depression. Take a short walk or put some music on and dance around. Start with small activities and build up from there.

Eat a mood boosting diet. Reduce your intake of foods that can adversely affect your mood, such as caffeine, alcohol, trans fats, sugar, and refined carbs. And increase mood-enhancing nutrients such as Omega-3 fatty acids.

Find ways to engage again with the world. Spend some time in nature, care for a pet, volunteer, pick up a hobby you used to enjoy (or take up a new one). You won’t feel like it at first, but as you participate in the world again, you will start to feel better.

10 tips for reaching out and staying connected

  • Talk to one person about your feelings
  • Help someone else by volunteering
  • Have lunch or coffee with a friend
  • Ask a loved one to check in with you regularly
  • Accompany someone to the movies, a concert, or a small get-together
  • Call or email an old friend
  • Go for a walk with a workout buddy
  • Schedule a weekly dinner date
  • Meet new people by taking a class or joining a club
  • Confide in a clergy member, teacher, or sports coach

For more information, see: Coping with Depression

When to seek professional help

If support from family and friends and positive lifestyle changes aren’t enough, find a therapist who can help you heal.

Therapy can help you understand your depression and motivate you to take the action necessary to prevent it from coming back.

Medication may be imperative if you’re feeling suicidal or violent. But while it can help relieve symptoms of depression in some people, it isn’t a cure and is not usually a long-term solution. It also comes with side effects and other drawbacks so it’s important to learn all the facts to make an informed decision.

Related HelpGuide articles

  • Parent's Guide to Teen Depression: Recognizing the Signs of Depression in Teens and How You Can Help
  • Teenager's Guide to Depression: Tips and Tools for Helping Yourself or a Friend
  • Depression in Men: Signs, Symptoms, and Help for Male Depression

Resources and references

Signs and symptoms of depression

Signs and Symptoms of Mood Disorders – Lists the common signs and symptoms of depression and bipolar disorder. (Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance)

What Does Depression Feel Like? – Provides a list of signs and symptoms and ways you might feel if you're depressed. (Wings of Madness)

When Depression Hurts – Article on the painful physical symptoms of depression, including what causes them and how treatment can help. (Psychology Today)

Male Depression: Don't Ignore the Symptoms – Learn about the distinct symptoms of depression in men and the dangers of leaving them untreated. (Mayo Clinic)

Types of depression

The Different Faces of Depression – Discussion of the different subtypes of depression, including atypical depression, melancholic depression, and psychotic depression. (Psychology Today)

Atypical Depression: What's in a Name? – Article on the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of atypical depression. (American Psychiatric Association)

Dysthymia: Psychotherapists and patients confront the high cost of “low-grade” depression – In-depth look at the causes, effects, and treatment of dysthymic disorder. (Harvard Health Publications)

Seasonal Affective Disorder: Winter Depression – Guide to seasonal affective disorder and its symptoms, causes, and treatment. (Northern County Psychiatric Associates)

Depression causes and risk factors

What Causes Depression? Page 1 & Page 2 – Learn about the many potential causes of depression, including genes, temperament, stressful life events, and medical issues. (Harvard Health Publications)

Depression and Other Illnesses – An overview of the mental and physical illnesses that often co-exist with depression, and how this impacts treatment. (Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance)

Co-occurring Disorders and Depression – How medical disorders can affect depression and vice versa. (Mental Health America)

Source: www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/depression-signs-and-symptoms.htm

Parent's Guide to Teen Depression


Teenagers face a host of pressures, from the changes of puberty to questions about who they are and where they fit in. With all this turmoil and uncertainty, it isn’t always easy to differentiate between depression and normal teenage growing pains. But teen depression goes beyond moodiness. It’s a serious health problem that impacts every aspect of a teen’s life. Fortunately, it’s treatable and parents can help. Your support can go a long way toward getting your teenager back on track.

What are the signs and symptoms of depression in teens?

Unlike adults, who have the ability to seek assistance on their own, teenagers rely on parents, teachers, or other caregivers to recognize their suffering and get them the help they need. So if you have an adolescent in your life, it’s important to learn what teen depression looks like and what to do if you spot the warning signs.

While it might seem that recognizing depression is easy, the signs aren’t always obvious. For one, teens with depression don’t necessarily appear sad. Irritability, anger, and agitation may be the most prominent symptoms.

Signs and symptoms of depression in teens

  • Sadness or hopelessness
  • Irritability, anger, or hostility
  • Tearfulness or frequent crying
  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Poor school performance
  • Changes in eating and sleeping habits
  • .Restlessness and agitation
  • Feelings of worthlessness and guilt
  • Lack of enthusiasm and motivation
  • Fatigue or lack of energy
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Unexplained aches and pains
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Is it depression or teenage “growing pains”?

A certain amount of moodiness and acting out is par for the course with teens. But persistent changes in personality, mood, or behavior are red flags of a deeper problem. If you’re unsure if your child is depressed or just “being a teenager,” consider how long the symptoms have been going on, how severe they are, and how different your child is acting from his or her usual self. Hormones and stress can explain the occasional bout of teenage angst—but not continuous and unrelenting unhappiness lethargy, or irritability.

Suicide warning signs in teenagers

Seriously depressed teens often think about, speak of, or make "attention-getting" attempts at suicide. But an alarming and increasing number of teenage suicide attempts are successful, so suicidal thoughts or behaviors should always be taken very seriously.

For the overwhelming majority of suicidal teens, depression or another psychological disorder plays a primary role. In depressed teens who also abuse alcohol or drugs, the risk of suicide is even greater. Because of the very real danger of suicide, teenagers who are depressed should be watched closely for any signs of suicidal thoughts or behavior.

Suicide warning signs to watch for

  • Talking or joking about committing suicide
  • Saying things like, “I’d be better off dead,” “I wish I could disappear forever,” or “There’s no way out.”
  • Speaking positively about death or romanticizing dying (“If I died, people might love me more”)
  • Writing stories and poems about death, dying, or suicide
  • Engaging in reckless behavior or having a lot of accidents resulting in injury
  • Giving away prized possessions
  • Saying goodbye to friends and family as if for the last time
  • Seeking out weapons, pills, or other ways to kill themselves
Get help for a suicidal teen

If you suspect that a teenager you know is suicidal, take immediate action! For 24-hour suicide prevention and support in the U.S., call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK or Text SOS at 741741.

Don’t ignore the problem

Depression is very damaging when left untreated, so don’t wait and hope that worrisome symptoms will go away. If you suspect that your child is depressed, bring up your concerns in a loving, non-judgmental way. Even if you’re unsure that depression is the issue, the troublesome behaviors and emotions you’re seeing are signs of a problem that should be addressed.

Open up a dialogue by letting your teen know what specific signs of depression you’ve noticed and why they worry you. Then ask your child to share what he or she is going through—and be ready and willing to truly listen. Hold back from asking a lot of questions (teenagers don’t like to feel patronized or crowded), but make it clear that you’re ready and willing to provide whatever support they need.

Tips for communicating with a depressed teen

Focus on listening, not lecturing. Resist any urge to criticize or pass judgment once your teenager begins to talk. The important thing is that your child is communicating. You’ll do the most good by simply letting your teen know that you’re there for them, fully and unconditionally.

Be gentle but persistent. Don’t give up if they shut you out at first. Talking about depression can be very tough for teens. Even if they want to, they may have a hard time expressing what they’re feeling. Be respectful of your child’s comfort level while still emphasizing your concern and willingness to listen.

Acknowledge their feelings. Don’t try to talk your teen out of depression, even if their feelings or concerns appear silly or irrational to you. Well-meaning attempts to explain why “things aren’t that bad” will just come across as if you don’t take their emotions seriously. To make them feel understood and supported, simply acknowledging the pain and sadness they are experiencing can go a long way in making them feel understood and supported.

Trust your gut. If your teen claims nothing is wrong but has no explanation for what is causing the depressed behavior, you should trust your instincts. If your teen won’t open up to you, consider turning to a trusted third party: a school counselor, favorite teacher, or mental health professional. The important thing is to get them talking to someone.

Encourage social connection

Depressed teens tend to withdraw from their friends and the activities they used to enjoy. But isolation only makes depression worse, so do what you can to help your teen reconnect.

Make face time a priority. Set aside time each day to talk—time when you’re focused totally on your teen (no distractions or multi-tasking). The simple act of connecting face to face can play a big role in reducing your teen’s depression.

Combat social isolation. Do what you can to keep your teen connected to others. Encourage them to go out with friends or invite friends over. Participate in activities that involve other families and give your child an opportunity to meet and connect with other kids.

Get your teen involved. Suggest activities—such as sports, after-school clubs, or an art, dance, or music class—that take advantage of your teen’s interests and talents. While your teen may lack motivation and interest at first, as they reengage with the world, they should start to feel better and regain their enthusiasm.

Promote volunteerism. Doing things for others is a powerful antidepressant and self-esteem booster. Help your teen find a cause they’re interested in and that gives them a sense of purpose. If you volunteer with them, it can also be a good bonding experience.

Make physical health a priority

Physical and mental health are inextricably connected. Depression is exacerbated by inactivity, inadequate sleep, and poor nutrition. Unfortunately, teens are known for their unhealthy habits: staying up late, eating junk food, and spending hours up hours on their phones and devices. But as a parent, you can combat these behaviors by establishing a healthy, supportive home environment.

Get your teen moving! Exercise is absolutely essential to mental health, so get your teen active—whatever it takes. Ideally, teens should be getting at least an hour of physical activity a day, but it needn’t be boring or miserable. Think outside the box: walking the dog, dancing, shooting hoops, going for a hike, riding bikes, skateboarding—as long as they’re moving, it’s beneficial.

Set limits on screen time. Teens often go online to escape their problems, but excessive computer use only increases their isolation, making them more depressed. When screen time goes up, physical activity and face time with friends goes down. Both are a recipe for worsening symptoms.

Provide nutritious, balanced meals. Make sure your teen is getting the nutrition they need for optimum brain health and mood support: things like healthy fats, quality protein, and fresh produce. Eating a lot of sugary, starchy foods—the quick “pick me up” of many depressed teens—is not going to make the body or brain happy.

Encourage plenty of sleep. Teens need more sleep than adults to function optimally—up to 9-10 hours per night. Make sure your teen isn’t staying up until all hours at the expense of much-need, mood-supporting rest.

Know when to seek professional help

Support and healthy lifestyle changes can make a world of difference for depressed teens, but it’s not always enough. When depression is severe, don’t hesitate to seek professional help from a psychologist or psychiatrist. A mental health professional with advanced training and a strong background treating teens is the best bet for your child’s care.

Involve your child in treatment choices

When choosing a specialist or pursuing treatment options, always get your teen’s input. If you want your teen to be motivated and engaged in their treatment, don’t ignore their preferences or make unilateral decisions. No one therapist is a miracle worker, and no one treatment works for everyone. If your child feels uncomfortable or is just not ’connecting’ with the psychologist or psychiatrist, seek out a better fit.

Explore your options

Expect a discussion with the specialist you’ve chosen about depression treatment options for your son or daughter. Talk therapy is often a good initial treatment for mild to moderate cases of depression. Over the course of therapy, your teen’s depression may resolve. If it doesn’t, medication may be warranted.

Unfortunately, some parents feel pushed into choosing antidepressant medication over other treatments that may be cost-prohibitive or time-intensive. However, unless your child is acting out dangerously or at risk for suicide (in which case medication and/or constant observation may be necessary), you have time to carefully weigh your options before committing to any one treatment. In all cases, antidepressants are most effective when part of a broader treatment plan.

Medication comes with risks

Antidepressants were designed and tested on adults, so their impact on young, developing brains is not yet understood. Some researchers are concerned that exposure to drugs such as Prozac may interfere with normal brain development—particularly the way the brain manages stress and regulates emotion.

Antidepressants also come with risks and side effects of their own, including a number of safety concerns specific to children and young adults. They are also known to increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in some teenagers and young adults. Teens with bipolar disorder, a family history of bipolar disorder, or a history of previous suicide attempts are particularly vulnerable.

The risk of suicide is highest during the first two months of antidepressant treatment. Teenagers on antidepressants should be closely monitored for any sign that the depression is getting worse.

Teens on antidepressants: Red flags to watch out for

Call a doctor if you notice…

  • New or more thoughts of suicide
  • Suicidal gestures or attempts
  • New or worse depression
  • New or worse anxiety
  • Agitation or restlessness
  • Panic attacks
  • Difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
  • New or worse irritability
  • Aggressive, angry, or violent behavior
  • Acting on dangerous impulses
  • Hyperactive speech or behavior (mania)
  • Other unusual changes in behavior

Take care of yourself (and the rest of the family)

As a parent dealing with teen depression, you may find yourself focusing all your energy and attention on your depressed child. Meanwhile, you may be neglecting your own needs and the needs of other family members. However, it’s extremely important that you continue to take care of yourself during this difficult time.

Above all, this means reaching out for much needed support. You can’t do everything on your own. Trying is only a recipe for burnout. As the saying goes: “It takes a village.” Enlist the help of family and friends. Having your own support system in place will help you stay healthy and positive as you work to help your teen.

Don’t bottle up your emotions. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed, frustrated, helpless, or angry. Reach out to friends, join a support group, or see a therapist of your own. Talking about how you’re feeling will help defuse the intensity.

Look after your health. The stress of your teen’s depression can affect your own moods and emotions, so support your health and well-being by eating right, getting enough sleep, and making time for things you enjoy.

Be open with the family. Don’t tiptoe around the issue of teen depression in an attempt to “protect” the other children. Kids know when something is wrong. When left in the dark, their imaginations will often jump to far worse conclusions. Be open about what is going on and invite your children to ask questions and share their feelings.

Remember the siblings. Depression in one child can cause stress or anxiety in other family members, so make sure “healthy” children are not ignored. Siblings may need special individual attention or professional help of their own to handle their feelings about the situation.

Avoid the blame game. It can be easy to blame yourself or another family member for your teen’s depression, but it only adds to an already stressful situation. Furthermore, depression is normally caused by a number of factors, so it’s unlikely—except in the case of abuse or neglect—that any loved one is “responsible.”

Related HelpGuide articles

Resources and references

General information about teen depression

Depression – Breaks down the different types of depression in teenagers, as well as the symptoms and remedies. (TeensHealth)

Depression in Boys – While teen depression is more prevalent in girls, teenage boys have their own special risk factors and warning signs. This article delves deeper into male teen depression. (Psychology Today)

Depression in Girls – With society and hormonal changes wreaking havoc, girls need extra care in the teen years. Learn what parents can do. (Psychology Today)

Teen depression and suicide

About Teen Suicide – Discusses teen suicide statistics, risk factors, warnings signs, and how to get help. Also find coping tips for those who have lost a child to suicide. (TeensHealth)

Teen Suicide: What Parents Need to Know – Learn about the risk factors, warning signs, and the steps you can take to protect your teen from suicide. (MayoClinic)

Teenage depression and violence

Warning Signs of Youth Violence – Learn why some teenagers turn violent, what the warning signs are, and who is at risk. (American Psychological Association)

Depression and Violence in Teens – Explores the problem of teen violence, the possible link to depression, and what parents can do about it. (HealthDay)

Treatment for teen depression

Treatment of Children with Mental Illness – Answers to frequently asked questions about the treatment of mental disorders in children, including depression. (National Institute of Mental Health)

Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist Finder – Series of articles on when to seek help for your child and where to find it. (American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry)

Antidepressants for teens

Antidepressant Medications for Children and Adolescents: Information for Parents and Caregivers – Fact sheet from the federal government on medication for children and teens. (National Institute of Mental Health)

Source: www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/teen-depression-signs-help.htm

Teen Depression - Boys


Adolescent males face a unique set of pressures.

They're young, they're often highly visible—and they're in deep trouble. America's adolescent boys may look strong as they swagger down the street, but in reality they are the population at highest risk today for all kinds of serious problems.

Rates of anxiety disorders and depression are soaring among them. For the first time, depression among males is nearly as prevalent as among females in this group.

Adolescent males find themselves facing a set of unique pressures. Shifting gender opportunities have left many boys in the dust. The girls may now be equal players on the soccer team, but the boys no longer know the rules of play.

Then too, the boys, as well as their sisters, belong to the first generation of divorce. Instead of a stable and supportive family base to keep them from feeling overwhelmed at times of stress, many are the products of absentee parents and conflict.

And today's boys are facing unprecedented stresses from many directions. While there is less certainty about the outcome of the college race, there is no let up in expectations for male success. There is more career confusion, and paths seem less clear.

Given the disquietude, substance abuse is an easy lure, as is the pressure for early sexual activity. Contrary to popular mythology, boys are just as anxious and confused about sex as the girls are.

But perhaps the biggest problem with today's young males is that they often have mild to moderate alexithymia—they are unable to identify their own (and others') feelings and thus unable to communicate about them. They never learned how from absent or overworked fathers.

However, the ability to communicate feelings is an increasingly important survival skill. It is certainly required for stable interpersonal relationships throughout life—at school, at work, and in the families most expect eventually to create.

For adolescent boys as for anyone, resolving the pressures in one's life involves figuring out how you feel. Alexithymia is like having a padlock on your tongue.

There is an immediate need to take action. If not, our sons face life-threatening consequences—drug and/or alcohol addiction, self-destructive behavior and accidents, suicide, and violence towards others. Such problems are already rampant.

  • Educate yourself about the psychology of boys. Read Real Boys by William Pollack, Ph.D. And if you need more, get Real Boys' Voices, in which boys confide how they are struggling with their masculinity, their sexuality, their future, their harassment from other boys, their feelings, their relationships with their parents and girlfriends, and more. \
    Talk with adolescent boys. Let them know that you're really interested in understanding their experience in the world. Make no attempt to judge the information or control the discussion.
  • Discard the prevailing cultural myth that would have you take a step back from their lives. More than ever, adolescence is a time when kids need your support. Their lives depend on it.
  • Recognize that there is an all-important difference in the way genders display distress. Boys tend to express negative feelings in violence toward themselves or others, in self-destructive behavior and recklessness, and in substance abuse.
  • Take on the task of teaching emotional intelligence. You can't leave its development to chance. But even before you begin, tell the truth—that feelings are good, a source of strength, not a sign of weakness.
    Help the young males in your life to develop an emotional vocabulary. To do this, they need to understand their own feelings and those of others, and put names to what they too often feel as undifferentiated distress.

Then impart emotional management skills. Boys in particular need to learn how to manage stress and the negative emotions—anger, fear, frustration, sadness, loneliness, doubt—because they are at risk for acting them out.

  • Teach empathy. Help boys learn to put themselves in the other person's place.
  • Help boys learn to handle competitive feelings. Males especially need strengthening of the ego so they can be more independent of others' judgment when others are being negative towards them.
  • Teach boys to connect and communicate instead of detaching when they face problems. Interaction always leads to better solutions. Boys need to be openly told that the closer they are to others, the safer and stronger they will feel. Support them in developing a "family of choice," composed of friends and parents of friends. And encourage them to improve relationships in their own family. Instruct males to ask for feedback. They need to ask others how they are coming across. The world is too complicated for anyone to figure these things out alone.
  • Stay connected to young boys even though society pulls you in the other direction. My 13-year-old son occasionally asks me to walk him to school. I wouldn't think of saying no. But he consciously knows he's going to get flack from his peers. So a block from school he invariably says to me, "OK, Mom, now it's time for us to detach." We disengage our hands—but we still discuss what it all means.

Source: www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200207/teen-depression-boys

Teen Depression - Girls


How to get closer to your teenaged daughter and prevent depression.

It's clear that many kids are breaking down in college. But most of the issues affecting them are at play well before they get to college age.

If you wish to understand what is happening with young adults, it's wise to focus on teenagers. We have all heard about the male loner who suddenly blows people up, like the pipe bomber or the Columbine kids. We are learning about the girls who are as aggressive as the boys but who are indirect in their aggression, the so-called mean girls syndrome. They are the most visible symbols of some disturbing trends.

By any measure, our young people are in trouble. Rates of depression and anxiety are soaring—and getting worse. Possibly one out of three teens will end up with significant clinical depression needing treatment. Their suicide rates have tripled.

We need to take action. If you are the parent or sibling of a teenager, or come in contact with them on a regular basis, there is information you need to have and strategies to adopt. I want to focus this article on teenage girls.

  • Make no assumptions that you know what is really going on. Recognize that you are ignorant even though you'd love to believe you're not. Teenagers represent the most classic case of what you see is not what you get. One major reason parents are out of touch is that to be in touch takes a great deal of time and parents are just too harried.
  • Recognize that to be in touch requires new communications skills, and they have to be learned if you expect to connect with and understand these kids. All the skills that worked up to this point no longer work.
  • Turn to the real experts for answers, the people who are immersed in the peer culture teens set up for themselves, adults who work with teens day in and day out and know how to help them. Take workshops and classes where you get hands-on training in skill-building.

One of the best sources of information is The Inside Story on Teen Girls, by Alice Rubenstein, Ed.D., and Karen Zager, Ph.D. The book was published by the American Psychological Association.

  • Appreciate how different their world is from ours, and expose yourself to the culture your kids are immersed in. Look on it as an anthropological exploration. Ask kids what's hip and what they are paying attention to. Watch a half hour of MTV for a couple of weeks. Ask your kids to show you some of their favorite computer games and video games. Look at the magazines teen girls read. Go online to good teen websites.
  • Take all the expertise you've gathered and distill it down to some core action strategies that will work with your particular kids.
  • Let your kids know that you're really interested in learning about them and their lives without judging or controlling—and that it can be at their time and in their way.
  • Make yourself available at the most inconvenient times. Your kids will purposely choose the worst time of your day or week to open up to you. They want to talk when you're exhausted, in bed, and they've just come home at curfew time.

You have to mobilize your values and realize that your exhaustion is not worth missing an opportunity to connect. In the long run connection produces more value than a night's sleep.

  • Whatever else, avoid comments—positive or negative—about body appearance. Any remarks are triggers to cultural craziness on the topic. Instead talk about health and strength.
  • Engage in activities together, which then tend to open up opportunities for communication and connection, rather than sitting down eyeball to eyeball. One of the very best approaches is a shared fitness activity. Walk, run or do yoga together; or go to the gym and lift weights together. Take in a museum exhibit on video art. Go to a movie like Bridget Jones' Diary. But don't go shopping together.

There are many reasons why depression is rampant in young people. They face unprecedented pressures to succeed. The college race is harder and more uncertain than ever. As the pressure has increased, so has anxiety, because adults aren't there to teach kids how to handle it. It's exploding in eating disorders, anxiety disorders and aggression.

This is the first generation of divorce, the product of absentee parents and lots of conflict.

Today's teens face more pressure for sexual activity earlier, a situation that can be very depressing for those who aren't ready or don't know what to do.

There is an epidemic of low self-esteem, because parents haven't had the time it takes to build it. That has left adolescent girls prey to body image issues.

It's critical to go after depression in the young. We now know that there is a kindling effect: the younger you are when you get your first depression, the more at risk you are for serious adult depressions with more frequency. The faster anyone can pick up on depression and its signs in young people, the quicker they can be helped.
Source: www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200206/teen-depression-girls

How to Help Someone with Depression


What You Can Do to Support a Friend or Loved One’s Recovery

When a family member or friend suffers from depression, your support and encouragement can play an important role in his or her recovery. However, depression can also wear you down if you neglect your own needs. These guidelines can help you support a depressed person while maintaining your own emotional equilibrium.

Helping a depressed friend or family member

Depression is a serious but treatable disorder that affects millions of people, from young to old and from all walks of life. It gets in the way of everyday life, causing tremendous pain, hurting not just those suffering from it, but also impacting everyone around them.

If someone you love is depressed, you may be experiencing any number of difficult emotions, including helplessness, frustration, anger, fear, guilt, and sadness. These feelings are all normal. It’s not easy dealing with a friend or family member’s depression. And if you don’t take care of yourself, it can become overwhelming.

That said, there are steps you can take to help your loved one. Start by learning about depression and how to talk about it with your friend or family member. But as you reach out, don’t forget to look after your own emotional health. Thinking about your own needs is not an act of selfishness—it’s a necessity. Your emotional strength will allow you to provide the ongoing support your depressed friend or family member needs.

Understanding depression in a friend or family member

Depression is a serious condition. Don’t underestimate the seriousness of depression. Depression drains a person’s energy, optimism, and motivation. Your depressed loved one can’t just “snap out of it” by sheer force of will.

The symptoms of depression aren’t personal. Depression makes it difficult for a person to connect on a deep emotional level with anyone, even the people he or she loves most. In addition, depressed people often say hurtful things and lash out in anger. Remember that this is the depression talking, not your loved one, so try not to take it personally.

Hiding the problem won’t make it go away. Don’t be an enabler. It doesn’t help anyone involved if you are making excuses, covering up the problem, or lying for a friend or family member who is depressed. In fact, this may keep the depressed person from seeking treatment.

You can’t “fix” someone else’s depression. Don’t try to rescue your loved one from depression. It’s not up to you to fix the problem, nor can you. You’re not to blame for your loved one’s depression or responsible for his or her happiness (or lack thereof). Ultimately, recovery is in the hands of the depressed person.

Is my friend or loved one depressed?

Family and friends are often the first line of defense in the fight against depression. That’s why it’s important to understand the signs and symptoms of depression. You may notice the problem in a depressed loved one before he or she does, and your influence and concern can motivate that person to seek help.

Be concerned if your loved one...

Doesn’t seem to care about anything anymore. Has lost interest in work, sex, hobbies, and other pleasurable activities. Has withdrawn from friends, family, and other social activities.

Expresses a bleak or negative outlook on life. Is uncharacteristically sad, irritable, short-tempered, critical, or moody; talks about feeling “helpless” or “hopeless.”

Frequently complains of aches and pains such as headaches, stomach problems, and back pain. Or complains of feeling tired and drained all the time.

Sleeps less than usual or oversleeps. Has become indecisive, forgetful, disorganized, and “out of it.”

Eats more or less than usual, and has recently gained or lost weight.

Drinks more or abuses drugs, including prescription sleeping pills and painkillers.

How to talk to a loved one about depression

Sometimes it is hard to know what to say when speaking to a loved one about depression. You might fear that if you bring up your worries he or she will get angry, feel insulted, or ignore your concerns. You may be unsure what questions to ask or how to be supportive.

If you don’t know where to start, the following suggestions may help. But remember that being a compassionate listener is much more important than giving advice. You don’t have to try to “fix” the person; you just have to be a good listener. Often, the simple act of talking to someone face to face can be an enormous help to someone suffering from depression. Encourage the depressed person to talk about his or her feelings, and be willing to listen without judgment.

Don’t expect a single conversation to be the end of it. Depressed people tend to withdraw from others and isolate themselves. You may need to express your concern and willingness to listen over and over again. Be gentle, yet persistent.

Ways to start the conversation:

"I have been feeling concerned about you lately."

"Recently, I have noticed some differences in you and wondered how you are doing."

"I wanted to check in with you because you have seemed pretty down lately."

Questions you can ask:

"When did you begin feeling like this?"

"Did something happen that made you start feeling this way?"

"How can I best support you right now?"

"Have you thought about getting help?"

Remember, being supportive involves offering encouragement and hope. Very often, this is a matter of talking to the person in language that he or she will understand and respond to while in a depressed mind frame.

What you CAN say that helps:

  • You are not alone in this. I’m here for you.
  • You may not believe it now, but the way you’re feeling will change.
  • I may not be able to understand exactly how you feel, but I care about you and want to help.
  • When you want to give up, tell yourself you will hold on for just one more day, hour, minute—whatever you can manage.
  • You are important to me. Your life is important to me.
  • Tell me what I can do now to help you.
  • What you should AVOID saying:
  • It’s all in your head.
  • We all go through times like this.
  • Look on the bright side.
  • You have so much to live for why do you want to die?
  • I can’t do anything about your situation.
  • Just snap out of it.
  • What’s wrong with you?
  • Shouldn’t you be better by now?

Source: The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Taking care of yourself

There’s a natural impulse to want to fix the problems of people we love, but you can’t control a loved one’s depression. You can, however, control how well you take care of yourself. It’s just as important for you to stay healthy as it is for the depressed person to get treatment, so make your own well-being a priority.

Remember the advice of airline flight attendants: put on your own oxygen mask before you assist anyone else. In other words, make sure your own health and happiness are solid before you try to help someone who is depressed. You won’t do your friend or family member any good if you collapse under the pressure of trying to help. When your own needs are taken care of, you’ll have the energy you need to lend a helping hand.

Tips for taking care of yourself

Think of this challenging time like a marathon; you need extra sustenance to keep yourself going. The following ideas will help you keep your strength up as you support your loved one through depression treatment and recovery.

Speak up for yourself. You may be hesitant to speak out when the depressed person in your life upsets you or lets you down. However, honest communication will actually help the relationship in the long run. If you’re suffering in silence and letting resentment build, your loved one will pick up on these negative emotions and feel even worse. Gently talk about how you’re feeling before pent-up emotions make it too hard to communicate with sensitivity.

Set boundaries. Of course you want to help, but you can only do so much. Your own health will suffer if you let your life be controlled by your loved one’s depression. You can’t be a caretaker round the clock without paying a psychological price. To avoid burnout and resentment, set clear limits on what you are willing and able to do. You are not your loved one’s therapist, so don’t take on that responsibility.

Stay on track with your own life. While some changes in your daily routine may be unavoidable while caring for your friend or relative, do your best to keep appointments and plans with friends. If your depressed loved one is unable to go on an outing or trip you had planned, ask a friend to join you instead.

Seek support. You are NOT betraying your depressed relative or friend by turning to others for support. Joining a support group, talking to a counselor or clergyman, or confiding in a trusted friend will help you get through this tough time. You don’t need to go into detail about your loved one’s depression or betray confidences; instead focus on your emotions and what you are feeling. Make sure you can be totally honest with the person you turn to—no judging your emotions!

Encouraging your loved one to get help

Beating depression, one day at a time

You can’t beat depression through sheer willpower, but you do have some control—even if your depression is severe and stubbornly persistent. The key to depression recovery is to start with a few small goals and slowly build from there. Feeling better takes time, but you can get there if you make positive choices for yourself each day and draw on the support of others. Read: Coping with Depression

While you can't control someone else’s recovery from depression, you can start by encouraging the depressed person to seek help. Getting a depressed person into treatment can be difficult. Depression saps energy and motivation, so even the act of making an appointment or finding a doctor can seem daunting. Depression also involves negative ways of thinking. The depressed person may believe that the situation is hopeless and treatment pointless.

Because of these obstacles, getting your loved one to admit to the problem—and helping him or her see that it can be solved—is an essential step in depression recovery.

If your loved one resists getting help:

Suggest a general check-up with a physician. Your loved one may be less anxious about seeing a family doctor than a mental health professional. A regular doctor’s visit is actually a great option, since the doctor can rule out medical causes of depression. If the doctor diagnoses depression, he or she can refer your loved one to a psychiatrist or psychologist. Sometimes, this “professional” opinion makes all the difference.

Offer to help your depressed loved one find a doctor or therapist and go with them on the first visit. Finding the right treatment provider can be difficult, and is often a trial-and-error process. For a depressed person already low on energy, it is a huge help to have assistance making calls and looking into the options.

Encourage the person to make a thorough list of symptoms and ailments to discuss with the doctor. You can even bring up things that you have noticed as an outside observer, such as, “You seem to feel much worse in the mornings,” or “You always get stomach pains before work.”

Supporting your loved one's treatment

One of the most important things you can do to help a friend or relative with depression is to give your unconditional love and support throughout the treatment process. This involves being compassionate and patient, which is not always easy when dealing with the negativity, hostility, and moodiness that go hand in hand with depression.

Provide whatever assistance the person needs (and is willing to accept). Help your loved one make and keep appointments, research treatment options, and stay on schedule with any treatment prescribed.

Have realistic expectations. It can be frustrating to watch a depressed friend or family member struggle, especially if progress is slow or stalled. Having patience is important. Even with optimal treatment, recovery from depression doesn’t happen overnight.

Lead by example. Encourage your friend or family member to lead a healthier, mood-boosting lifestyle by doing it yourself: maintain a positive outlook, eat better, avoid alcohol and drugs, exercise, and lean on others for support.

Encourage activity. Invite your loved one to join you in uplifting activities, like going to a funny movie or having dinner at a favorite restaurant. Exercise is especially helpful, so try to get your depressed loved one moving. Going on walks together is one of the easiest options. Be gently and lovingly persistent—don’t get discouraged or stop asking.

Pitch in when possible. Seemingly small tasks can be hard for a depressed person to manage. Offer to help out with household responsibilities or chores, but only do what you can without getting burned out yourself!

The risk of suicide is real

What to do in a crisis situation

If you believe your loved one is at an immediate risk for suicide, do NOT leave the person alone.

In the U.S., dial 911 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK of the Crisis Text Line at 741741 text SOS.

In other countries, call your country’s emergency services number or visit IASP to find a suicide prevention helpline.

It may be hard to believe that the person you know and love would ever consider something as drastic as suicide, but a depressed person may not see any other way out. Depression clouds judgment and distorts thinking, causing a normally rational person to believe that death is the only way to end the pain he or she is feeling.

When someone is depressed, suicide is a very real danger. It’s important to know the warning signs:

  • Talking about suicide, dying, or harming oneself; a preoccupation with death
  • Expressing feelings of hopelessness or self-hate
  • Acting in dangerous or self-destructive ways
  • Getting affairs in order and saying goodbye
  • Seeking out pills, weapons, or other lethal objects
  • Sudden sense of calm after a depression

If you think a friend or family member might be considering suicide, talk to him or her about your concerns as soon as possible. Many people feel uncomfortable bringing up the topic but it is one of the best things you can do for someone who is thinking about suicide. Talking openly about suicidal thoughts and feelings can save a person’s life, so speak up if you're concerned and seek professional help immediately!

Related HelpGuide articles

Resources and references

Helping a depressed person

Helping Someone with a Mood Disorder – Covers how to support a loved one through depression treatment and recovery. (Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance)

Helping Someone Receive Treatment – What to do (and not to do) when trying to help a loved one get help for depression. (Families for Depression Awareness)

Helping a Friend or Family Member with Depression or Bipolar Disorder – How to help your loved one while also taking care of yourself. (Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance)

What is the role of the family caregiver? – Tips on how families can work together to manage depression treatment. (Families for Depression Awareness)

Helping a suicidal person

How to Help Someone in Crisis – Advice on how to deal with a depression crisis, including situations where hospitalization is necessary. (Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance)

Suicidal helplines

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – Suicide prevention telephone hotline funded by the U.S. government. Provides free, 24-hour assistance. 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Crisis Text Line - US 24/7 confidential line for any crisis. 741741 text SOS

Samaritans UK – 24-hour suicide support for people in the UK and Ireland call 116 123. (Samaritans)

Lifeline Australia – 24-hour suicide crisis support service at 13 11 14. (Lifeline Australia)

Crisis Centers Across Canada – Locate suicide crisis centers in Canada by province. (Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention)

IASP – Find crisis centers and helplines around the world. (International Association for Suicide Prevention).

International Suicide Hotlines – Find a helpline in different countries around the world.

Source: www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/helping-a-depressed-person.htm

What to do if you are depressed?


Depressive disorders make one feel exhausted, worthless, helpless, and hopeless. Such negative thoughts and feelings make some people feel like giving up. It is important to realize that these negative views are part of the depression and typically do not accurately reflect the actual circumstances. Negative thinking fades as treatment begins to take effect. In the meantime:

  • Set realistic goals in light of the depression and assume a reasonable amount of responsibility.
  • Break large tasks into small ones, set some priorities, and do what you can as you can.
  • Try to be with other people and to confide in someone; it is usually better than being alone and secretive.
  • Participate in activities that may make you feel better.
  • Mild exercise, going to a movie, a ball game, or participating in religious, social, or other activities may help.
  • Expect your mood to improve gradually, not immediately. Feeling better takes time.
  • It is advisable to postpone important decisions until the depression has lifted. Before deciding to make a significant transition-change jobs, get married or divorced-discuss it with others who know you well and have a more objective view of your situation.
  • People rarely "snap out of" a depression. But they can feel a little better day-by-day.
  • Remember, positive thinking will replace the negative thinking that is part of the depression and will disappear as your depression responds to treatment.
  • Let your family and friends help you.

For more information: National Institute of Mental Health www.nimh.nih.gov/publicat/depression.cfm#ptdep5

Where can I get more information about Depression?


National Institute of Mental Health Information Resources and Inquiries Branch, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 8184, MSC 9663, Bethesda, MD 20892-9663, 301.443.4513, FAX: 301.443.4279, TTY: 301.443.8431, FAX4U: 301.443.5158 or www.nimh.nih.gov or nimhinfo@nih.gov

National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI), Colonial Place Three , 2107 Wilson Blvd., Suite 300 , Arlington, VA 22201, 800.950NAMI (6264) or 703.524.7600 or www.nami.org

A support and advocacy organization of consumers, families, and friends of people with severe mental illness-over 1,200 state and local affiliates. Local affiliates often give guidance to finding treatment.

Depression & Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA), 730 N. Franklin St., Suite #501, Chicago, IL 60610-7204, 312.988.1150, Fax: .312.642.7243 or www.DBSAlliance.org

Purpose is to educate patients, families, and the public concerning the nature of depressive illnesses. Maintains an extensive catalog of helpful books.

National Foundation for Depressive Illness, P.O. Box 2257, New York, NY 10116, 212.268.4260; 800.239.1265 or www.depression.org

A foundation that informs the public about depressive illness and its treatability and promotes programs of research, education, and treatment.

National Mental Health Association (NMHA), 2001 N. Beauregard Street, 12th Floor, Alexandria, VA 22311, 800.969.6942 or 703.684.7722, TTY 800.443.5959, www.nmha.org

An association that works with 340 affiliates to promote mental health through advocacy, education, research, and services.

Source: www.facetheissue.com/depression.html  

Who Young People Turn to for Help


 
Study Shows 900,000 Teens Planned Suicides While Depressed


Approximately 900,000 American teens 12-17 years old had made a plan to commit suicide during their worst or most recent episode of major depression, and 712,000 attempted suicide during such an episode, a new federal study reports. Source: www.healthcentral.com/newsdetail/408/1506914.html

Over half of teachers report kids feel anxiety now that Trump is president


A study from the Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit political organization, found that over half of teachers report that the kids in US feel anxiety now that President Trump has taken office.

The problem is the most prevalent among Muslims, immigrants, and children of immigrants. Local therapist Anita Gandhia-Smith says kids take on their parents’ anxiety.

What can you do? It's best to talk to your child openly and honestly. They are likely hearing rumors and gossip in school.

Ghandia-Smith suggests reassuring your kids and telling them that it is going to be ok.

"There is an element of having basic trust in the system and in the universe," said Ghandia -Smith.

"Help your children understand that the system has worked for a long time. There are lots of checks and balances."

Mayor Muriel Bowser and other mayors all over the country, have come out and said that D.C. will continue to protect immigrants.

Madeline Albright is the latest prominent figure to come out and say she will register as Muslim if there is a Muslim registry, so Muslims do not feel alone. If your child is struggling with anxiety, here are a few resources that can help:

http://bit.ly/2k9aMpq

http://bit.ly/2jYqTUJ

If you want to contact Dr. Anita Gandhia-Smith: www.fromaddictiontorecovery.com/
Source: www.wusa9.com/news/local/dc/study-half-of-kids-in-the-us-feel-anxiety-now-that-trump-is-president/393802904

A comic that accurately sums up depression and anxiety — and the uphill battle of living with them


Sarah Flanigan has been fighting depression since she was 10 years old and anxiety since she was 16. "I wish everyone knew that depression is not something that people can just 'snap out of,'" she explains. "I mean, if I could 'snap out of it,' I would have by now."

Depression and anxiety disorders are real illnesses. Mental illnesses are not "in someone's head," they're not something a person can "just get over," and they affect so many of us — over 40 million people in the U.S. alone.

Despite how common they are, it's still really difficult to explain to people who may have never experienced a mental illness.

Enter: cute, clever illustrations that get the job done.

Nick Seluk, who creates the amazing comics at The Awkward Yeti, heard from reader Sarah Flanigan. She shared her story of depression and anxiety with him. If it could help even one person, she said, it would be worth it.

Nick turned her story into a fantastic comic that perfectly captures the reality of living with depression and anxiety. (Go to the web site to see the actual cartoon.)

"The hardest part of living with depression and anxiety for me is feeling like I have to hide it," Sarah said. "I've always been known as the happy one in my group of friends. Everyone's always so shocked when I tell them I have depression or they see the self-harm scars."

"It's much harder than it should be to say, 'Hey, I have depression and I've been struggling with self-harm since I was 10 and I just really need your support to get me through tonight,'" Sarah explained.

Let's all keep working to make it easier for our friends, family members, and ourselves to get support. Let's keep talking about it.

About

These comics were created by Nick Seluk of The Awkward Yeti, published on Tapastic. I'm sharing them with Nick's express permission. He's a really cool guy who has an entire "Medical Tales Retold" series that, until recently, focused on physical conditions. He covers a lot there and makes the difficult reality of living with certain conditions a little lighter. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram.

Huge props to Sarah for bravely sharing her story with Nick and, in turn, thousands and thousands of people. She was hoping for just one person to see the comic and know they weren't fighting the battle alone. She more than accomplished that, and we're all better for it!
Source: www.upworthy.com/a-comic-that-accurately-sums-up-depression-and-anxiety-and-the-uphill-battle-of-living-with-them?c=upw1&u=07fa0e7f2d23f338b4a3b29d16b2a71a4c4e496b

 
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