Being sad sometimes is perfectly normal but have you been sad for longer than weeks or months? Are you irritable or sad and the feeling just won’t go away, you may be suffering from depression. Depression is a problem that can arise at any age, and it’s especially painful for teenagers. This article has been written so that you can understand whether you have depression or not and you can seek help if you think you do.
Things to Remember:
Depression is a major psychological condition in which a person feels sad, helpless, hopeless or irritable for 2 or more weeks.
You lose interest in your daily activities and interests. For example if you liked watching sports before, you will no longer enjoy it.
You may be eating too much or too less.
You may lack energy or not be able to sleep, or sleep too much.
You may have unhappy thoughts about your life or yourself, may feel your life is not worth living, and even think about hurting yourself.
You may feel unnecessarily guilty about things you have done or not done.
You may have nonspecific physical ailments, there may be unexplainable aches in different parts of your body, you may have trouble concentrating and you will be unable to explain your problems.
Who can get depressed?
Anyone can get depressed. It doesn’t matter what age, race, social background or sex you are you can get depressed. For a lot of teens depression is a result of a stressful event like a divorce among the parents, or bullying at school. But for many, depression simply occurs for no apparent reason. In both cases, it’s important to differentiate actual depression which requires treatment and sadness.
How can I find out if I’m depressed or sad?
It is normal to feel sad for sometime but if any of the symptoms of depression last for longer than 2 weeks, then you need to get help. There’s no laboratory test for depression, like the tests which are available to see if you have a broken bone or an infection. But you can go to a doctor or a counselor, and they can ask you the relevant questions to find out whether you have depression or not.
Often you will not notice the major changes that you may have when you are depressed. Someone around you, a friend or a relative can spot these changes.
What can happen to me if I’m depressed?
It can be harder to study in school or do a job.
Make it difficult to get along with those around you. You may have trouble adjusting with friends and get overly irritated with your family members.
Affect you physically, you m
ay feel sick or tired all the time.
Tempt you to turn to cigarettes, alcohol, drugs or unsafe sex as means of escaping from your feelings.
Feel irritable and act in a way that might get you into trouble, like breaking things or screaming at people.
Keep you distracted so that you can get into accidents or make mistakes.
Lead to serious injury to yourself or even suicide.
Why do people get depressed?
There isn’t a specific reason which leads to happiness. It’s partially due to chemical imbalances in the brain and partly due to what is happening around you. If you are depressed, it is important to understand that this is not your fault. Some factors which increase your chance of being depressed are:
Genes: If there is member of your family who is suffering from clinical depression, it is possible that you may suffer from the same because you have the same genes.
A loss: If you lose a family member or a friend, you may feel depressed.
Conflict: If there is a conflict within your family, like divorce among parents or separation in a joint family.