Depression in Teenagers: Stay Alert to the Signs

When I entered my freshman year of high school, I noticed a change in my best friend, Kelly. I barely ever saw her on the weekends because she was always sleeping, and whenever I did she seemed different and distant from the group she was once so close to. At first, I thought the transition from middle school to high school might be causing her a lot of stress. I thought maybe she needed space so I started talking less and less to her. However, I was very wrong. Despite all of the signs and symptoms, I did not realize Kelly was actually suffering from depression. Luckily, Kelly told me how she was really feeling. She explained that she had been feeling hopeless and sad for a long time but she was scared to share her feelings because she was embarrassed and thought that maybe one day she would just wake up happy again.” -- Anonymous

This story is a good example of why there are so many untreated cases of teenage depression. Due to the lack of available information about depression, teenagers like Kelly don’t know how to battle this faceless, alienating enemy. Here, you shall learn about the different types of depression, and how to recognize the warning signs.

What is depression?

Clinical depression is an illness that can affect anyone, especially the vulnerable Kellies of the world. Depression negatively impacts the thoughts, emotions, actions, and even bodily health of the people it attacks.

What are signs of depression? 

You feel helpless and sad for an extended period of time. 

You have low self-esteem.

You feel that nothing good will happen to you ever again.

You lose interest in the activities that once made you happy.

You want to be left alone most of the time.

You tend to forget things and it’s hard to focus.

You overreact to things that you normally wouldn’t.

You sleep too much or sleep too little; you eat too much or eat too little.

You think about hurting yourself, dying, or committing suicide.

Remember, these red flags do not apply to everyone, but if you have struggled with some of these symptoms for over two weeks, then it is time to seek help. You’re only a teenager once! So get out there and make a change in your life, or change your friend’s life. You don’t have to live your life in depression.