Depression common among teens

Briana Deferreira, Staff Writer

Look around. You might be surprised to know that one out of four teenagers suffer from depression.

Although many people get diagnosed by a doctor for their depression, many people still are self diagnosed. Many professionals say depression remains a difficult diagnosis in teens because they’re typically expected to act moody.

Depression can be caused by many different components such as problems at school, home, social activities, or other areas.

Depression tends to associate with many symptoms, but is highly associated with stress, anxiety, and in some scenarios can be linked to these suicidal thoughts.

Many children begin experiencing the symptoms of depression at a young age.

Susan Smith* was diagnosed with depression at the age of 15. [I wanted] “to kill myself everyday” because “I wasn’t happy and felt uncomfortable inside my own body.”

Sadly suicide tends to, more often than not, be in association with depression.

If you know someone who may be in immediate danger to themselves you should follow certain steps: call 911 or your local emergency number, stay with the person until help arrives, remove any guns, knives, medication, or other items that may cause harm, and most importantly listen, don’t judge them, argue, threaten, or yell.

Yelling only worsens the situation and can make them feel as though no one cares for them.

If you or someone you know endure suffering from suicidal thoughts call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.

This anonymous hotline allows the caller to speak with someone who will do their best to be as understanding as possible and will try to aid them in making the right decision.

There are many signs leading up to depression that everyone should be made aware of in order to help someone in need.

Some of the signs can be appearing sad, irritable, or tearful, it can cause a change in weight or appetite, a decreased interest in activities they once enjoyed, a decrease in energy, and difficulty concentrating on certain tasks in day to day life.

Other signs include feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness, major changes in sleeping habits, regular complaints of boredom, talk of suicide, withdrawal from friends or after-school activities, worsening school performance.

Many students who have depression show a fluctuating attitude toward school and their performance in their classes. In some scenarios students can go from honor roll to suddenly flunking most of their classes.

There’s many treatment options for depression such as medication, Smith says that she personally takes medication for their depression.

However there are also other treatment options that don’t require medication such as psychotherapy, exercise, and sleep.

Exercise and sleep help with mental illnesses greatly. It affects the brain and puts you in a different state of mind and can make you calmer. It is known to help improve moods and reduce stress a great deal.

Mental illnesses remain common to see throughout the United States and affects tens of millions of people worldwide each year. Only about half of those people receive treatment for their illness while the others don’t.

Some treatment options may not be available for them because of the price or location of their residency, everyone should have the option to receive treatment for their illness whether they were born rich or poor.

For others they go self diagnosed and don’t go out of their way to receive treatment for their illness, some people may not go to a doctor because they feel scared or alone.

If someone feels as though they have any sort of illness they should speak to a specialist so they can receive help.

No one should go through suffering from a mental illness alone and they shouldn’t feel scared to reach out and ask for help. Everyone needs help sometimes and asking for it has some great benefits and leads to the road of recovery.

Many people who suffer from the illness try and distract themselves by doing art, sports, and many other activities.

Smith says a good way to distract yourself is to “think of happy thoughts, once you get help you start to be yourself again, and to surround yourself with happy people.”

A study done by scientists from the Universities of Manchester and Warwick show that happy moods do spread from one person to another.

Thomas House, who has a Phd in this field goes to say that “social support is important for recovery from depression.” He also says how medication only helps a third of people suffering from depression, but having people around you who care for you and give their support is very effective to people with the illness.

Not only does human interaction help people with depression, but it is shown that animal interaction helps just as much.

Nearly seventy-four percent of pet owners say having a pet helped to improve their mental health. WebMD says how “studies back this up and show that activities with animals help with symptoms of depression.”

Animals do in fact help a great deal to those who suffer from a mental illness, dogs for example have shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Animals encourage play and exercise which improves the person’s cardiovascular health which results in a better frame of mind.

Many people suffer from depression and most of them don’t know how to find a way to cope with it or don’t know how to distract themselves from it.

Smith gives advice to others suffering from depression: “get help, go to a doctor or ask your parents,” adding that no one should have to go through this alone.

Depression is a serious illness that affects many people worldwide and with just a little help and support we can change the lives of thousands of people suffering from this.