Depression In Teenagers And Its Treatment
Depression is a very serious illness, which is sadly ignored by the people living in our society. Studies show that approximately four out of every 100 teenagers get seriously depressed each year. Many teenagers take depression very lightly and ignore the problems that they are facing as a result of it. Teens are prone to get depressed more easily and quickly than adults.
What is depression?
Medically depression can be termed as a pathological state of excessive melancholy, characterized by a mood of hopelessness, with feelings of inadequacy, and sometimes physical symptoms. Basically there are two kinds of depression: The first is called Reactive Depression. This type of depression is commonly found among teens. The second type is the Manic Depression. A person suffering from manic depression gets unreal ideas, does a lot of wild and risky things, etc.
Depression takes over your thoughts, feelings, health and behaviour. In short, it practically affects your whole personality.
When depression isn't treated, it tends to get worse and worse. Depression sucks all your happiness and leaves you hopeless, sad and full of misery. It makes you incapable of enjoying your life. When you're suffering from depression, you feel gloomy and low all the time.
Symptoms of depression
The symptoms of depression are very clear and vivid. A depressed person can be easily identified from others. If you want to find out whether you're suffering from depression or not, then all you have to do is to look for the following signs in yourself:
- You feel sad and you cry a lot.
- You have low self-esteem and you have lost your confidence.
- You don't feel like doing a lot of the things you used to do - like listening to music, participating in sports, hanging out with friends, watching movies. Mostly you want to be left alone.
- You get irritated often and you get angry at every little thing.
- Your sleep pattern changes; you start sleeping a lot more or you have trouble falling asleep at night.
- Your eating habits change; you have lost your appetite or you eat a lot more.
- You think about death, or feel like you're dying. You have thoughts about committing suicide.
- If you notice these signs in a friend or a family member you will know that he/she is suffering from depression and encourage him/her to seek medical help.
Why do teens get depressed?
A teenager can get depressed easily as he is undergoing a constant change in his life physically, emotionally and mentally. The most common reasons for getting depressed occurs as a result of separation of parents, death of someone closer and dearer to you, failure in love life, getting bad grades in school, the feeling of being ignored by parents and peers, having financial problem s, drug addiction not having ones aims or dreams fulfilled, getting degraded, etc. Other times, depression just happens. Whatsoever the reason is, a depressed person shouldn't be left alone.
Teens are reluctant to ask for help especially when suffering from depression. They believe that depression will go away by itself. Sometimes depression goes away but most of the time, a depressed person needs to be treated. Treatment doesn't necessarily include medicines.
Talking about one's feelings to someone can also help to cure depression. Depressed teens can get rid of depression simply through counselling.
Counselling means talking about your feelings with a psychologist who can help you change the relationships, thoughts, or behaviours that are causing the depression. Talking about your feelings to someone who can help like a close friend, your parents or a school counsellor, is the first step towards beating depression.
Depression can be also treated with the help of Antidepressant medicines. These medicines are not dangerous and neither are they addictive. When depression becomes severe and starts interfering in your life, making your life miserable, then medication might be necessary, in addition to counselling.
But most often, counselling alone is sufficient.
Suicide and depression
Depression can lead to a lot of serious problems - the biggest and the worst is the desire of ending one's life. Suicide is said to be one of the last stages of depression.
Depression increases the risk for suicide or suicidal attempts. Teens, who show signs of attempting suicide such as talking about it, are most likely to attempt it. Suicidal thoughts, remarks, or attempts are always serious.
Depressed people believe that ending life is the solution to all their problems, which is entirely wrong. Teens need to understand that they can get rid of depression simply by treatment. Depression, which saps energy and self-esteem, interferes with a person's ability or wish to get help.
So if you're suffering from depression or know some one who is, then don't wait for anything. Immediately tell an adult about it. It's better to be safe than to be sorry!