Do you feel like you just can’t get happy?
Are you finding you’re pulling away from friends?
Do you sometimes sit in your room in the dark, not even realizing how many hours have passed?
Depression can affect anyone, especially teens.
About 20% of all teens experience depression before they reach adulthood, that’s a worrying statistic.
When singer Willow Smith, Will Smith’s daughter, came out and said she suffered with depression, the comments at the bottom of many articles were attacking her, saying: “What have you got to be depressed about?”
A lot of people don’t understand that mental illnesses don’t discriminate between age or circumstance.
Often, depression is even more difficult to recognize in young people than adults.
Because as a teen, you experience so many changes at this stage in your life.
But the longer you feel this way, the more likely it’s going to disrupt your life and turn into a long term problem.
Five ways to recognize depression.
1: Continuous low mood or sadness.
Do you often feel very sad and low for a prolonged period of time?
If you’re feeling this way, things that normally lift your mood won’t bring the same joy and happiness.
You may feel depressed for no specific reason.
It’s a good time to reach out and talk to someone.
2: Being irritable or intolerant of others.
Irritability can be missed as a symptom of depression as you’re often stereotyped as moody and irritable already.
It’s also a very common symptom of depression.
Often, you’ll have a very short temper and snap at people you love for no apparent reason.
If you notice a change in your mood, it might be best to discuss it with someone, a parent, a school counselor, doctor or a friend.
Even if you think you’re just having a rough time at school, it might not be depression. But talking it out, helps to get the whole picture.
3: Showing feelings of helplessness.
If you’re suffering with depression, you’ll feel out of depth, like you aren’t in control of your life
You can feel completely helpless and confused.
While these feelings are normal as you go through changes in your body and growing up, be aware of the symptom persists for longer than a few weeks.
Feelings of unhappiness, worry, guilt, being fearful, helpless, hopeless, or lonely could all be signifying that something more serious is wrong.
4: Increasing social isolation.
Do you want to just be left alone?
When you’re not feeling like yourself and your mood is low, it can lead to social isolation.
It can be hard being around people because you feel like you have to act like you normally would.
This emotional strain can cause you to give up socializing altogether.
If you notice you’re starting to withdraw from people, talk to someone.
Even if you feel you’re just having difficulties with friends.
It may not always be a sign of depression, but dealing with it now can help stop it turning into something more.
5: Little to no enjoyment of things you once liked.
Have you lost interest in being involved in after-school clubs, music practice or sports?
Do you feel like you don’t want to go and/or contemplating dropping out?
You might not even watch your favorite TV shows with as much interest.
Not enjoying things you once liked could be assigned you’re depressed.