Symptoms of Teenage Depression
1. Being overwhelmed by deep feelings of sadness or hopelessness.
2. Lack of energy; feeling sluggish and lethargic. Alternatively, feeling restless and agitated.
3. Having no interest in, and deriving no pleasure from, activities they previously enjoyed.
4. Experiencing feelings of anxiety and panic.
5. Feeling as if they are in turmoil; feeling worried and irritable all the time. He or she may brood over things, or suddenly lash out in anger (because of their feelings of distress.)
6. Having difficulty organizing, concentrating or remembering things (where this wasn’t previously the case.)
The questions get progressively harder. Let me know how you perform!
Understanding depression in a friend or family member
· Depression is a serious condition. Don’t underestimate the seriousness of depression. Depression drains a person’s energy, optimism, and motivation. Your depressed loved one can’t just “snap out of it” by sheer force of will.
· The symptoms of depression aren’t personal. Depression makes it difficult for a person to connect on a deep emotional level with anyone, even the people he or she loves most. In addition, depressed people often say hurtful things and lash out in anger. Remember that this is the depression talking, not your loved one, so try not to take it personally.
· Hiding the problem won’t make it go away. Don’t be an enabler. It doesn’t help anyone involved if you are making excuses, covering up the problem, or lying for a friend or family member who is depressed. In fact, this may keep the depressed person from seeking treatment.
· You can’t “fix” someone else’s depression. Don’t try to rescue your loved one from depression. It’s not up to you to fix the problem, nor can you. You’re not to blame for your loved one’s depression or responsible for his or her happiness (or lack thereof). Ultimately, recovery is in the hands of the depressed person.
Types of negative thinking that add to depression
1. All-or-nothing thinking - Looking at things in black-or-white categories, with no middle ground (“If I fall short of perfection, I’m a total failure.”)
2. Overgeneralization - Generalizing from a single negative experience, expecting it to hold true forever (“I can’t do anything right.”)
3. The mental filter - Ignoring positive events and focusing on the negative. Noticing the one thing that went wrong, rather than all the things that went right.
4. Diminishing the positive - Coming up with reasons why positive events don’t count (“She said she had a good time on our date, but I think she was just being nice.”)
5. Jumping to conclusions - Making negative interpretations without actual evidence. You act like a mind reader (“He must think I’m pathetic.”) or a fortune teller (“I’ll be stuck in this dead end job forever.”)
How to Cope with Depression
Depression can often be difficult to fight as it usually drains you of your energy. And though you can’t overcome it by willpower alone, you still have some control, no matter how you feel. The suggestions below can help you with this.
1. Keep doing the activities you previously enjoyed (even if you don’t enjoy them as much when you’re depressed).
2. Try and build some exercise into your day as it releases endorphins – the body’s “feel good” hormones.
3. Know what your triggers and your risk factors are. For example, loneliness, stress, disappointment and pain are common triggers and risk factors for depression.
4. Stay in touch with your friends. Often those who are depressed start to isolate themselves – but that leads to loneliness - which makes depression worse.
5. Try and maintain some kind of routine, especially when it comes to getting up and going to bed. Taking naps in the daytime can cause insomnia and leave you feeling drained, so you have no energy.