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Symptoms of Teen Depression
For more information: National
Institute of Mental Health www.nimh.nih.gov/publicat/depression.cfm#ptdep1
What are the
symptoms of Depression?
Loss of energy and
Symptoms of Teen Depression
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?
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 depressionand the many things you can do to help yourselfis 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 its important to remember that feelings of helplessness and hopelessness are symptoms of depressionnot 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. Its important to remember that these symptoms can be part of lifes normal lows. But the more symptoms you have, the stronger they are, and the longer theyve lastedthe more likely it is that youre dealing with depression.
Symptoms of depression include:
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 youve 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:
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. Theyre also more likely to experience symptoms such as anger, aggression, reckless behavior, and substance abuse.
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.
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. Its caused by a combination of biological, psychological, and social factors. In other words, your lifestyle choices, relationships, and coping skills matter just as muchif not more sothan genetics.
Risk factors that make you more vulnerable to depression include:
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 youre depressed, it can feel like theres 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 dont 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 doesnt have to be able to fix you. He or she just needs to be a good listenersomeone wholl listen attentively without being distracted or judging you.
Get moving. When youre 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 wont 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
For more information, see: Coping with Depression
When to seek professional help
If support from family and friends and positive lifestyle changes arent 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 youre feeling suicidal or violent. But while it can help relieve symptoms of depression in some people, it isnt a cure and is not usually a long-term solution. It also comes with side effects and other drawbacks so its important to learn all the facts to make an informed decision.
Related HelpGuide articles
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)
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)
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)
Parent's Guide to
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, its 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 arent always obvious. For one, teens with depression dont necessarily appear sad. Irritability, anger, and agitation may be the most prominent symptoms.
Signs and symptoms of depression in teens
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 youre 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 angstbut 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
Dont ignore the problem
Depression is very damaging when left untreated, so dont 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 youre unsure that depression is the issue, the troublesome behaviors and emotions youre seeing are signs of a problem that should be addressed.
Open up a dialogue by letting your teen know what specific signs of depression youve noticed and why they worry you. Then ask your child to share what he or she is going throughand be ready and willing to truly listen. Hold back from asking a lot of questions (teenagers dont like to feel patronized or crowded), but make it clear that youre 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. Youll do the most good by simply letting your teen know that youre there for them, fully and unconditionally.
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 talktime when youre 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 teens 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.
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 activewhatever it takes. Ideally, teens should be getting at least an hour of physical activity a day, but it neednt be boring or miserable. Think outside the box: walking the dog, dancing, shooting hoops, going for a hike, riding bikes, skateboardingas long as theyre moving, its beneficial.
Know when to seek professional help
Support and healthy lifestyle changes can make a world of difference for depressed teens, but its not always enough. When depression is severe, dont 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 childs care.
Involve your child in treatment choices
When choosing a specialist or pursuing treatment options, always get your teens input. If you want your teen to be motivated and engaged in their treatment, dont 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 youve 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 teens depression may resolve. If it doesnt, 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 developmentparticularly 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.
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, its 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 cant 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.
Dont bottle up your emotions. Its 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 youre feeling will help defuse the intensity.
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
They're young, they're often highly visibleand 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.
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 alexithymiathey 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 lifeat 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 consequencesdrug and/or alcohol addiction, self-destructive behavior and accidents, suicide, and violence towards others. Such problems are already rampant.
Then impart emotional management skills. Boys in particular need to learn how to manage stress and the negative emotionsanger, fear, frustration, sadness, loneliness, doubtbecause they are at risk for acting them out.
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 soaringand 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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. Its not easy dealing with a friend or family members depression. And if you dont 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, dont forget to look after your own emotional health. Thinking about your own needs is not an act of selfishnessits 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. Dont underestimate the seriousness of depression. Depression drains a persons energy, optimism, and motivation. Your depressed loved one cant just snap out of it by sheer force of will.
Is my friend or loved one depressed?
Family and friends are often the first line of defense in the fight against depression. Thats why its 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...
Doesnt 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.
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 dont know where to start, the following suggestions may help. But remember that being a compassionate listener is much more important than giving advice. You dont 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.
Dont 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."
Questions you can ask:
"When did you begin feeling like this?"
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:
Source: The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
Taking care of yourself
Theres a natural impulse to want to fix the problems of people we love, but you cant control a loved ones depression. You can, however, control how well you take care of yourself. Its 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 wont 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, youll 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 youre 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 youre 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 ones depression. You cant 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 ones therapist, so dont 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 dont need to go into detail about your loved ones 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 tono judging your emotions!
Encouraging your loved one to get help
While you can't control someone elses 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 problemand helping him or her see that it can be solvedis 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 doctors 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.
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.
The risk of suicide is real
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. Its important to know the warning signs:
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 persons 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)
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.
What to do if
you are depressed?
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 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
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.
Over half of
teachers report kids feel anxiety now that Trump is
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:
If you want to contact Dr. Anita
A comic that
accurately sums up depression and anxiety and the
uphill battle of living with them
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.
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