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depression in adolescents
Αγωγή Υγείαςsilaidi Αρθρα "

What is Depression?

Clinical Depression is a serious illness that can affect anybody, including teenagers. It can affect your thoughts, feelings, behavior, and overall health.

Most people with depression can be helped with treatment. But, most depressed people never get the help they need. And, when depression isn't treated, it can get worse, last longer, and prevent you from getting the most out of your life. Remember, you're only a teenager once.

How do I know when I'm depressed?
How can I tell if a friend might be depressed?

First, there are two kinds of depression: The sad kind, called major depression, dysthymia or reactive depression, and manic-depression or bipolar illness, when feeling down and depressed alternates with being speeded-up and sometimes acting reckless.

If you have had several of these symptoms, and they've lasted several weeks, or cause a big change in your routine, you should talk to someone who can help, like a psychologist, or your school counselor!



WHEN YOU'RE DEPRESSED..

  • You feel sad or cry a lot and it doesn't go away.
  • You feel guilty for no real reason; you feel like you're no good; you've lost your confidence.
  • Life seems meaningless or like nothing good is ever going to happen again.
  • You have a negative attitude a lot of the time, or it seems like you have no feelings.
  • You don't feel like doing a lot of the things you used to like-- like music, sports, being with friends, going out-- and you want to be left alone most of the time.
  • It's hard to make up your mind. You forget lots of things, and it's hard to concentrate.
  • You get irritated often. Little things make you lose your temper; you overreact.
  • Your sleep pattern changes; you start sleeping a lot more or you have trouble falling asleep at night. Or you wake up really early most mornings and can't get back to sleep.
  • Your eating habits change; you've lost your appetite or you eat a lot more.
  • You feel restless and tired most of the time.
  • You think about death, or feel like you're dying, or have thoughts about committing suicide
<!--[if !vml]--><!--[endif]-->

WHEN YOU'RE MANIC...

  • You feel high as a kite... like you're "on top of the world".
  • You get unreal ideas about the great things you can do... things that you really can't do.
  • Thoughts go racing through your head; you jump from one subject to another, and you talk a lot.
  • You're a nonstop party, constantly running around.
  • You do too many wild or risky things: with driving, with spending money, with sex, etc.
  • You're so "up" that you don't need much sleep.
  • You're rebellious or irritable and can't get along at home or school, or with your friends

Talk to Someone About Depression

If you think you're depressed... TALK TO SOMEONE!

If you are concerned about depression in yourself or a friend, TALK TO SOMEONE WHO CAN HELP. There are many people who you can talk to:

  • a psychologist
  • your school counselor
  • your parents, or a trusted family member
  • your family doctor
  • your clergy
  • a professional at a mental health center
Remember - Depression can affect people of any age, race, ethnic, or economic group<!--[if !vml]--><!--[endif]-->

Treatment for Depression

LET'S GET SERIOUS HERE.

Having depression doesn't mean that a person is weak, or a failure, or isn't really trying... it means they need TREATMENT.

Most people with depression can be helped with COUNSELING, provided by a professional psychologist, and some are helped with Counseling and Medicine.

COUNSELING, or psychotherapy, means talking about feelings with a trained psychologist who can help you change the relationships, thoughts, or behaviors that are causing the depression. Think about it, you feel depressed because you think your life is bad. What if you're wrong? What if you're missing all the good things around you? What if your future holds a lot more promise than you think? When you're depressed, you're in a rut, and you can't see anything good. You need to talk to someone who can help you get out of that rut! Don't wait, ask your parents, or your school counselor for help today.

MEDICINE is used to treat depression that is severe or disabling. Antidepressant medications are not "uppers" and are not addictive. When depression is so bad that you can't focus on anything else, when it interferes with your life in an overwhelming way, medication might be necessary, in addition to counseling. But most often, counseling alone is sufficient.

With treatment, most depressed people start to feel better in just a few weeks.

So remember, when your problems seem too big and you're feeling low for too long,

YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

There's help out there and you CAN ask for help. And if you know someone who you think is depressed, YOU CAN HELP. Listen and encourage your friend to ask a parent or a responsible adult about treatment. If you friend doesn't ask for help soon, talk to an adult you trust and respect-- especially if your friend mentions suicide. Your friend's life is more important than keeping a secret! <!--[if !vml]--><!--[endif]-->

What About Suicide?

Most people who are depressed do not commit suicide. But depression increases the risk for suicide or suicide attempts. It is NOT true that people who talk about suicide do not attempt it. Suicidal thoughts, remarks, or attempts are ALWAYS SERIOUS... if any of these happen to you or a friend, you must tell a responsible adult IMMEDIATELY ....it's better to be safe than sorry. <!--[if !vml]--><!--[endif]-->

Why do people get depressed?

Sometimes people get seriously depressed after something like a divorce in the family, major financial problems, someone you love dying, a messed up home life, or breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend. Other times, depression just happens. Often teenagers react to the pain of depression by getting into trouble: trouble with alcohol, drugs, or sex; trouble with school or bad grades; problems with family or friends. This is another reason why it's important to get treatment for depression before it leads to other trouble.


Alcohol, Drugs and Depression

A lot of depressed people, especially teenagers, also have problems with alcohol or other drugs. (Alcohol is a drug, too.) Sometimes the depression comes first and people try drugs as a way to escape it. (In the long run, drugs or alcohol just make things worse.) Other times, the alcohol or other drug use comes first, and depression is caused by :

  • the drug itself, or
  • withdrawal from it, or
  • the problems that substance abuse causes.
And sometimes you can't tell which came first... the important point is that when you have both of these problems, the sooner you get treatment, the better. Either problems can make the other worse and lead to bigger trouble, like addiction or flunking school. You have to be honest about both problems-- first with yourself and then with someone who can help you get into treatment... it's the only way to really get better and stay better.

REMEMBER: YOU CAN HELP YOURSELF,
OR A FAMILY MEMBER,
OR A FRIEND
FIND TREATMENT FOR DEPRESSION.

DO IT NOW! <!--[if !vml]--><!--[endif]-->

Myths about depression

Myths often prevent people from doing the right thing. Some common myths about depression:

  • MYTH: It's normal for teenagers to be moody; Teens don't suffer from "real" depression.
    FACT: Depression is more than just being moody. And it can affect people at any age, including teenagers.
  • MYTH: Telling an adult that a friend might be depressed is betraying a trust. If someone wants help, he or she will get it.
    FACT: Depression, which saps energy and self-esteem, interferes with a person's ability or wish to get help. It is an act of true friendship to share your concerns with an adult who can help. No matter what you "promised" to keep secret, your friend's life is more important than a promise.
MYTH: Talking about depression only makes it worse.
FACT: Talking about your feelings to someone who can help, like a psychologist, is the first step towards beating depression. Talking to a close friend can also provide you with the support and encouragement you need to talk to your parents or school counselor about getting evaluated for depression.

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