Depression is an illness that affects teens all over the world. But depression is a treatable illness! This means that with the right tools, it can be managed and it doesn’t have to get in the way of your life. This article will provide a description of teen depression along with the steps to take to manage this illness so that it doesn’t get the best of you.
Depression is such a common mental illness today. It can create low moods, little energy, feelings of isolation, and thoughts of suicide in a person. Despite these difficult symptoms, more and more research reveals that there are clear ways to prevent depression and manage it if you are diagnosed with it. If you suspect that you might have depression, you might begin by talking to a parent or an adult you trust about your suspicions. However, in the meantime, here are some signs to look for:
- Poor self esteem or guilt
- Withdrawal from friends and activities that one enjoys
- Poor performance in school
- Feelings of not being able to satisfy one’s ideals
- Anger or rage
- Lack of enthusiasm, energy, or motivation
- Sadness and hopelessness
- Overreaction to criticism
- Substance abuse
- Falling grades
- Isolating from friends
- Spending too much time alone
- Physical symptoms such as headaches or stomachaches
- Problems with authority
- Suicidal thoughts and/or actions
- Changes in eating or sleeping patterns
- Restlessness and agitation
- Indecision, lack of concentration, or forgetfulness
In addition to talking to an adult you trust, such as a parent or teacher, you should know that if you’ve never been diagnosed with depression but you are familiar with the above signs in your own, then it’s best to contact a mental health provider. However, you’re going to need your parents’ consent to receive services. In other words, your parents will need to be involved. They don’t have to participate in therapy nor do they need to know everything that goes on in therapy, unless you want them to. But they do need to be involved to some degree.
If you’ve already been diagnosed with depression and you are following your treatment guidelines, then there are additional suggestions to consider. Again, you can discuss these with your parents. The first is exercise, which is likely to be a part of your treatment regime anyway. Research shows that exercise can be just as effective for treating mild to moderate depression as an anti-depressant! Plus, exercise does not come with a whole list of side effects. Moving the body on a regular basis can bring you these benefits:
- Increase neural growth in the brain
- Reduce inflammation
- Promote feelings of calm and well being
- Release endorphins and feel good
- Relieves tension
- Serves as a break from negative thinking
- Boosts physical and mental energy
- Improve concentration
- Increase memory
- Builds self esteem
- Improves sleep
- Strengthens resilience
Another step to take is to do some research. Learn about depression. Find out what’s going on in the brain and body when depression sets in. Find out what circumstances might be contributing to depression. Perhaps you’ll make a connection between what is happening in your own life with your experience of depression. You might also learn the types of foods that might be contributing to your depression.
In summary, first make sure that you are getting mental health treatment for depression. Secondly, exercise on a regular basis. And lastly, educate yourself on depression and its symptoms.
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