In this article I am aiming to give you knowledge about depression. I will be giving an overview to it and going over information that I think is important. If you would like to read more about depression and in-depth, I have a website, Depression for Teens, which you can access by clicking here. I post on it regularly and the article content is very detailed.
What Is Depression?
It is an illness. It can happen to anyone at any time and it should be treated ASAP. The best way to overcome and beat depression is through medical attention. You may think that you will get through depression without medical attention but in many cases you won’t. If you leave it for too long can become life threatening.
What Does Depression Feel Like Compared To Sadness?
When you are sad it tends to be temporary. When you are depressed, everything is sad. When you are sad, you still have happiness in your life. When we are sad we tend to be sad about something. But when we are depressed we tend to be sad about everything.
Depression does not necessarily require a trigger or anything like that. It is an illness. It can happen to anyone, at any time. But when you are sad you tend to have a reason for it.
Sadness that doesn’t go away could very well be depression. Don’t allow yourself to think that you are immune to becoming depressed.
What Are the Symptoms of Depression?
The symptoms will vary from person from person, but if you are feeling some of the following symptoms for more than a couple of weeks then you should seek medical help as soon as you can. It is important to begin recovery as soon as you can. That was you will have less time feeling down and you will be able to get your life back on track sooner.
- Continuous low mood or sadness
- Feeling hopeless
- Feeling helpless
- Feeling guilty or worthless
- Having low self-esteem
- Feeling tearful
- No longer enjoying activities you previously enjoyed
- Loss or gain of appetite
- Having suicidal thoughts or self-harm thoughts
- Not being able to concentrate for as long/at all
- Having difficulties in home or family life
If you go to a doctor for diagnosis they will normally describe your depression through one of the following:
- Mild – Has some impact on your daily life
- Moderate – Has a significant impact on your daily life
- Clinical (Major) – Makes it almost impossible for you to get through daily life.
What Does Depression Feel Like?
It is like a war. You either win, or you die trying. You feel that there is no way out. Every aspect of your life may feel crap. You probably won’t have any interest in things you once enjoyed. You get lost in your thoughts. You can’t see any light at the end of the tunnel. It’s just all darkness. You might see that the only option of escape is through death.
Did you know that people who commit suicide most likely don’t want to end their life? They just want to get rid of the pain. As depression continues people will soon forget what it’s like to be happy. They’ll feel that they’ll never know what it’s like.
Imagine yourself in a crowd of thousands of people. But even with all those people, you still feel alone. You feel like there’s no hope. You don’t know why this is happening to you. You don’t know what to do and all that is happening inside is that depression is eating you. It’s taking away everything you have. It just leaves you feeling so alone.
How Can I Help A Friend With Depression
To help a friend with depression the most important thing is that you should try and understand their situation and listen to them. Let them talk about how they feel. You should do your best to support them and let them know that no matter what happens you are here for them and will be here whenever they need. You should give them the confidence to be able to talk to you about how their day has been when they feel awful and at the same time they should be able to tell you if they have a good day. Try and avoid pressurising your friend into telling you all about their day, just let them know that you are here for them if they want to talk.
I have a very detailed article on how to help a depressed friend on my site, you can view the article directly by clicking here.
Further Reading For Depression
These are two websites I have found helpful when going through depression.
Mind – Mind is a mental health website with tonnes of information on mental health. It offers advice, support and information and you can call them on 0300 123 3393.
YoungMinds – This is a mental health website which contains a lot of information on mental health and getting help. It is geared more towards children and young people. The YoungMinds Parents Helpline is open from 9.30 to 4.00pm, Mon- Fri (0808 802 5544). They do not offer a helpline for children.
As I’ve said before I have a website and blog totally dedicated to Depression. If you do want to read more about what I’ve outlined in this post then you can check it by clicking here. I am always adding content to it and trying to help people through it so if you do get a chance to take a look, thank you!
Sam (age 15)
(Sam has been suffering from depression for several years and with help from some of his friends, has set up a website to help others deal with this issue)