HOUSTON (FOX 26) - What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Depression?
Being a teenager can be tough. There are changes taking place in your body and brain that can affect how you learn, think, and behave. And if you are facing tough or stressful situations, it is normal to have emotional ups and downs.
But if you have been overwhelmingly sad for a long time (a few weeks to months) and you’re not able to concentrate or do the things you usually enjoy, you may want to talk to a trusted adult about depression.
Sadness is something we all experience. It is a normal reaction to a loss or a setback, but it usually passes with a little time. Depression is different.
If you are wondering if you may have depression, ask yourself these questions:
Do you constantly feel sad, anxious, or even “empty,” like you feel nothing?
Do you feel hopeless or like everything is going wrong?
Do you feel like you’re worthless or helpless? Do you feel guilty about things?
Do you feel irritable much of the time?
Do you find yourself spending more time alone and withdrawing from friends and family?
Are your grades dropping?
Have you lost interest or pleasure in activities and hobbies that you used to enjoy?
Have your eating or sleeping habits changed (eating or sleeping more than usual or less than usual)?
Do you always feel tired? Like you have less energy than normal or no energy at all?
Do you feel restless or have trouble sitting still?
Do you feel like you have trouble concentrating, remembering information, or making decisions?
Do you have aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or stomach problems without a clear cause?
Do you ever think about dying or suicide? Have you ever tried to harm yourself?
Not everyone with depression experiences every symptom. Some people experience only a few symptoms. Others may have many. The symptoms and how long they last will vary from person to person.
How Do I Get Help?
If you think you might have depression, you are not alone. Depression is common, but it is also treatable. Ask for help! Here are a few steps you can take:
Step 1: Try talking to a trusted adult, such as your parent or guardian, your teacher, or a school counselor. If you don’t feel comfortable speaking to an adult, try talking to a friend. If you are not sure where to turn, you can use TXT 4 HELP Interactive, which allows you to text live with a mental health professional.
Step 2: If you’re under the age of 18, ask your parent or guardian to make an appointment with your doctor for an evaluation. Your doctor can make sure you don’t have a physical illness that may be affecting your mental health. Your doctor may also talk to you about the possibility of seeing a mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist, counselor, psychologist, or therapist. These practitioners can diagnose and treat depression and other mental disorders.
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