Everyone feels down at some point. It’s normal to feel the “blues.” But if you are sad most of the time and the feeling is starting to affect your grades, relationships, and your behavior in many ways, then the problem may be more than just the “blues.” It may be teen depression, a serious illness that approximately four out of a hundred teenagers suffer through each year.
How do you when you’re depressed? Or when a friend might be depressed?
The signs of depression are numerous that there is usually no hard and fast rule to identifying all the symptoms of teen depression. But the most important thing to remember is that there are generally two types of teen depression.
Under the first type, you will find two other types of depression which vary only in their intensity – major depression or clinical depression (severe) and dysthymia or chronic depression (moderate but lasts for a longer period).
The second type of teen depression is referred to as bipolar depression, the depressive state of manic-depressive disorder, a condition wherein the subject suffers periodic bouts of mania or elevated mood and depression where the subject is often too low in energy that he would not be able to move.
It would take a health professional to distinguish the particular type of teen depression. It is advisable therefore that you consult professional help when you notice any of the following signs of teen depression:
* Persistent feelings of sadness (You cry a lot and for no apparent reason)
* Persistent feelings of guilt, again, for no real reason (You feel like you are no good or are worthless)
* Loss of confidence or low self-esteem
* You feel as though life is meaningless and that nothing good will ever come out of it.
* You always seem to be exhausted and you do not feel like doing the things that you used to enjoy a lot, like music, sports, being with friends, or going out. Most of the time, you just want to be left alone.
* You keep getting distracted and you can’t seem to concentrate. You also forget things, or you do things without any recollection of doing them.
* Little things make you lose your temper. You get irritated very easily, or you overreact.
* Your sleep pattern changes. Either you sleep more or you sleep less or you can’t seem to fall asleep or stay asleep. You wake up too early most mornings and have difficulty falling back to sleep. Insomnia (too little sleep) or hyposomnia (too much sleep) sets in.
* Your eating habits also change. You have lost your appetite or you eat a lot more. Weight gain or weight loss is drastic.
* You think about death, or feel like you are dying, or you have thoughts about committing suicide, whether or not you have the energy to actually harm yourself.
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