Talking To Someone About Depression
It may seem like theres no way your parents will be able to help, especially if they are always nagging you or getting angry about your behavior. The truth is, parents hate to see their kids hurting. They may feel frustrated because they dont understand what is going on with you or know how to help.
- If your parents are abusive in any way, or if they have problems of their own that makes it difficult for them to take care of you, find another adult you trust . This person can either help you approach your parents, or direct you toward the support you need.
- If you truly dont have anyone you can talk to, there are many hotlines, services, and support groups that can help.
- No matter what, talk to someone, especially if you are having any thoughts of harming yourself or others. Asking for help is the bravest thing you can do, and the first step on your way to feeling better.
What Are The Symptoms Of Seasonal Affective Disorder
Seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression. According to the American Psychiatric Association, SAD is officially classified as major depressive disorder with seasonal patterns. So if you have seasonal affective disorder, you have mood changes and symptoms of depression, including:
- Sadness, feeling depressed most of the day, almost every day.
- Trouble sleeping .
Tip : Take Care Of Yourself
As a parent, you may find yourself focusing all your energy and attention on your depressed teen and 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 so 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.
Children and Mental Health: Is This Just a Stage? Treatment of mental disorders in children, including depression.
Depression support, suicide prevention help
In the U.S.: Find DBSA Chapters/Support Groups or call the NAMI Helpline for support and referrals at 1-800-950-6264
UK: Find Depression support groups in-person and online or call the Mind Infoline at 0300 123 3393
Australia: Find Support Groups and regional resources or call the SANE Help Centre at 1800 18 7263
Canada: Call Mood Disorders Society of Canada at 519-824-5565
India: Call the Vandrevala Foundation Helpline at 1860 2662 345 or 1800 2333 330
Suicide prevention help
In the U.S.: Call 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988
UK and Ireland: Call Samaritans UK at 116 123
Australia: Call Lifeline Australia at 13 11 14
Other countries: Visit IASP or International Suicide Hotlines to find a helpline near you
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Depression And Older Adults
Feeling down every once in a while is a normal part of life, but if these feelings last a few weeks or months, you may have depression. Read this article to find common signs and symptoms of depression, treatment options, and if you or your loved one may be at risk for depression.
On this page:
Is Light Therapy Safe
Light therapy is typically safe and well-tolerated. But you may need to avoid light therapy if you:
- Have diabetes or retinopathies: If you have diabetes or a retina condition, theres a potential risk of damaging the retina, the back of your eye.
- Take some medications: Certain antibiotics and anti-inflammatories can make you more sensitive to sunlight. Light therapy can then cause harm.
- Have bipolar disorder: Bright light therapy and antidepressants can trigger hypomania or mania, uncontrolled boosts in mood and energy level. If you have bipolar disorder, let your provider know. This will play a role in your treatment plan.
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Why Am I Depressed
Despite what you may have been told, depression is not simply caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain that can be cured with medication. Rather, depression is caused by a combination of biological, psychological, and social factors. Since the teenage years can be a time of great turmoil and uncertainty, youre likely facing a host of pressures that could contribute to your depression symptoms. These can range from hormonal changes to problems at home or school or questions about who you are and where you fit in.
As a teen, youre more likely to suffer from depression if you have a family history of depression or have experienced early childhood trauma, such as the loss of a parent or physical or emotional abuse.
Teens With Two Or More Racial Or Ethnic Identities Report The Highest Rates Of Depression
Your teen years are often called the coming-of-age era for a reason. Youre discovering, questioning, and deciding many aspects of your identity, including what your cultural, racial, and ethnic identity means in your life.
This, coupled with societal pressures and prejudices, can reasonably leave you feeling stressed and emotionally shaken up.
Teens ages 12 to 17 years old with more than one racial identity are the most at-risk racial or ethnic group to report a major depressive episode, according to data published by
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The Symptoms Of Depression
The artwork depicts hand-drawn, shaded mountains in black and white, to the left is a dark cloud with rain falling from it, behind the mountains is a yellow sun rising up from behind the mountains. In front of the mountains is a scroll that reads: ‘these feelings are temporary and won’t last forever.’
Depression affects different people in different ways. Symptoms can include:
- not wanting to do things that you previously enjoyed
- avoiding friends or social situations
- sleeping more or less than normal
- eating more or less than normal
- feeling irritable, upset, miserable or lonely
- being self-critical
You Cant Just Snap Out Of Depression
Well-meaning friends or family members may try to tell someone with depression to snap out of it, just be positive, or you can be happier if you just try harder. But depression is not a sign of a persons weakness or a character flaw. The truth is that most people who experience depression need treatment to get better.
If you are a friend or family member of a woman with depression, you can offer emotional support, understanding, patience, and encouragement. But never dismiss her feelings. Encourage her to talk to her health care provider, and remind her that, with time and treatment, she can feel better.
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Getting Your Teen Evaluated
A thorough evaluation by a professional is required to determine if your teen has depression, assess the severity of the problem, and weigh the treatment options.
Schedule an assessment for your teen with a medical doctor or mental health professional who specializes in helping teenagers. Seeing your child’s pediatrician can be a good first step.
Theres No Single Cause Of Depression
Depression often brings deeply negative or apathetic feelings, but its important to remember that these emotions do not reflect any character flaws.
In fact, depression often stems from events outside of your control, such as:
Of course, depression can also develop without a specific triggering event or preexisting condition, just as it can result from numerous sources. Exploring the causes of your depression with a professional can help you determine the most effective treatment plan.
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Tip : Manage Stress And Anxiety
For many teens, stress and anxiety can go hand-in-hand with depression. Unrelenting stress, doubts, or fears can sap your emotional energy, affect your physical health, send your anxiety levels soaring, and trigger or exacerbate depression.
If youre suffering from an anxiety disorder, it can manifest itself in a variety of ways. Perhaps you endure intense anxiety attacks that strike without warning, get panicky at the thought of speaking in class, experience uncontrollable, intrusive thoughts, or live in a constant state of worry. Since anxiety makes depression worse , its important to get help for both conditions.
Key Points About Major Depression In Teens
Major depression is a type of mood disorder. It is not the same as being unhappy or in a blue mood. It can be treated with a combination of medicine and psychotherapy.
Depression is caused by a combination of factors, such as genetics and the environment.
A teen may have a higher risk for depression if he or she has a family history of it. Trauma, stress, and abuse can also make a teen prone to it.
Symptoms include feelings of sadness, despair, and guilt. A teen may lose interest in activities and have problems sleeping and eating.
A mental health professional can diagnose major depression after a mental health evaluation.
Talk therapy and certain medicines can help treat depression.
Major depression is linked to a higher risk for suicide.
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Who Is At Risk For Seasonal Affective Disorder
Seasonal affective disorder is more common in younger people and women. Youre also at higher risk if you:
- Have another mood disorder, such as major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder.
- Have relatives with SAD or other forms of depression or mental health conditions, such as major depression or schizophrenia.
- Live at latitudes far north or far south from the equator. Theres less sunlight during the winter at these latitudes.
- Live in cloudy regions.
When To Get Medical Help
If you think your child is depressed, or you’re concerned about their general wellbeing, make an appointment with them to see a GP.
If necessary, the GP can refer your child to a local children and young people’s mental health service for specialist help.
CYPMHS is used as a term for all services that work with children and young people who have difficulties with their mental health or wellbeing.
You may also be able to refer your child without seeing a GP.
Read more about accessing mental health services.
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Suicide Warning Signs To Watch For
- Talking or joking about committing suicide
- Saying things like, Id be better off dead,I wish I could disappear forever, or Theres no way out
- Speaking positively about death or romanticizing dying
- 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 is suicidal, take immediate action! For 24-hour suicide prevention and support in the U.S., call the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988. To find a suicide helpline outside the U.S., visit IASP or Suicide.org.
To learn more about suicide risk factors, warning signs, and what to do in a crisis, read Suicide Prevention.
How To Help Your 18
Talk to your teen about friendships beyond high school, suggests Dr. Pressman. Discuss whether your teen thinks theyll maintain some of their current friendships after high school. Talk about meeting new friends down the road while also honoring some of their friendships from the past.
Keep the lines of communication open between you and your child. Rather than try to solve their problems for them, aim to be a sounding board. Before offering advice, suggests Dr. Pressman, ask if they want it. If not, simply listen and ask questions.
While you do want to step in with guidance and support when it’s truly needed, it’s important to let your child be independentand even to fail, in order for them to truly mature. “Allow your child to experience the consequences of their actions,” explains Dr. Pressman.
Its normal to experience a sense of grief as your child turns into an adult. Make sure you dont allow the sadness you might experience to burden your child, and make it clear that although it will be a big change for you, youre also happy that your child will be heading out into the real world.
Wherever your 18-year-old is developmentally, and no matter how independent they may seem, don’t think your job is done. “Remember, you are still the parent and they still need you,” says Pressman.
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Most People With Depression Need Treatment To Feel Better
If you think you may have depression, start by making an appointment to see your health care provider. This could be your primary doctor or a health provider who specializes in diagnosing and treating mental health conditions . Certain medications, and some medical conditions, such as viruses or a thyroid disorder, can cause the same symptoms as depression. A health care provider can rule out these possibilities by doing a physical exam, interview, and lab tests. Your health care provider will examine you and talk to you about treatment options and next steps.
Talking to Your Health Care Provider About Your Mental Health
Communicating well with your health care provider can improve your care and help you both make good choices about your health. Read about tips to help prepare and get the most out of your visit. For additional resources, including questions to ask your health care provider, visit the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
Womens Attitudes Toward Depression:
According to a Mental Health America survey on public attitudes and beliefs about clinical depression:
- More than one-half of women believe it is normal for a woman to be depressed during menopause and that treatment is not necessary.
- More than one-half of women believe depression is a normal part of aging.
- More than one-half believe it is normal for a mother to feel depressed for at least two weeks after giving birth.
- More than one-half of women cited denial as a barrier to treatment while 41% of women surveyed cited embarrassment or shame as barriers to treatment.
- In general, over one-half of the women said they think they know more about depression than men do.
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What Are The Warning Signs For Teen Suicide
Teen suicide is a serious problem. Adolescent suicide is the second leading cause of death, following accidents, among youth and young adults in the U.S. It is estimated that 500,000 teens attempt suicide every year with 5,000 succeeding. These are epidemic numbers.
Family difficulties, the loss of a loved one, or perceived failures at school or in relationships can all lead to negative feelings and depression. And teen depression often makes problems seem overwhelming and the associated pain unbearable. Suicide is an act of desperation and teen depression is often the root cause.
Warning signs of suicide with teen depression include:
- Expressing hopelessness for the future
- Giving up on one’s self, talking as if no one else cares
- Preparing for death, giving away favorite possessions, writing goodbye letters, or making a will
- Starting to use or abuse drugs or alcohol to aid sleep or for relief from their mental anguish
- Defiant behavior
- Acting violently
- Threatening to kill one’s self
If your teenager displays any of these behaviors, you should seek help from a mental health professional immediately. Or you can call a suicide hotline for help.
Depression carries a high risk of suicide. Anybody who expresses suicidal thoughts or intentions should be taken very, very seriously. Do not hesitate to call your local suicide hotline immediately. Call 1-800-SUICIDE or 1-800-273-TALK .
Getting Help For Teenagers With Depression
Depression is unlikely to go away on its own, but teenagers with depression usually get better with treatment. This means that seeking early help for your child is the best thing you can do.
Seeking help also shows your child that you care. Talking to your child and seeing a health professional together sends the message that your child isnt alone. And most young people wont seek help themselves, so your child probably needs your help to get professional support.
If youve tried to talk to your child, but your child has refused help or said there was nothing wrong, you might need to seek help by yourself to start with.
There are many professionals and services you can go to for help with teenage depression:
- your local community health centre
- local mental health services.
If youre unsure, your GP will be able to guide you to the most appropriate services for your family.
Depression is no-ones fault, even if it seems to run in your family. Many factors influencing depression will be outside your control. But theres a lot you can do every day to foster your childs mental health and reduce your childs risk.
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Talking With Friends And Family About Suicide
Its important to watch for signs and symptoms of depression or suicide. Dont shy away from asking if a family member or friend is feeling depressed or suicidal. It may be an uncomfortable conversation, but it is important. Asking if someone is having thoughts of suicide will not make them more likely to act on those thoughts. Your questions may help the person open up about how theyve been feeling and encourage them to seek treatment.
What Are The Symptoms Of Teen Depression
Often, kids with teen depression will have a noticeable change in their thinking and behavior. The most common symptom of depression is sadness for no apparent reason most of the time. They may have no motivation and even become withdrawn, closing their bedroom door after school and staying in their room for hours.
Kids with teen depression may sleep excessively, have a change in eating habits, and may even exhibit criminal behaviors such as DUI or shoplifting. Here are more signs of depression in adolescents even though they may or may not show all signs:
For in-depth information, see WebMD’s Symptoms of Depression.
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