Teenagers and Depression

Everyone’s on your case. You fret about dating and school. You’re weirded out about changes in your body. You write really sad poems or ask yourself deep questions about the meaning of life.

You’ve got the blues.

For many teens, life can be described as an ongoing case of the doldrums. It’s a time for trying out new things, and it’s expected that there are going to be ups and downs. It may be perfectly normal to feel sadness, like when your friend suddenly puts you in the deep freeze, your current sweetheart moves away or ignores you, or you flunk an exam and your mood takes a major nose-dive. Some sad feelings come when you feel like you have little control over what’s happening in your life.

But then there are other forms of more serious sadness.

Sometimes this sadness doesn’t go away and affects all parts of your life. It doesn’t seem to have any real reason for being there, but it just is. It robs you of the joy that was once there (or has you forgetting that you ever experienced any joy at all). Far too many young people are suffering in silence, and sometimes with disastrous results.

According to the American Medical Association, the rate of teen suicide has jumped alarmingly in the last ten years. Why are young people so depressed?

The reasons we hear from teenagers over and over again are:

  • No one is listening! – We have the most to say and are the least listened to group.
  • We feel a great sense of disconnection to the bigger society.
  • We have little hope and no passion for the future.
  • School does not fit with our life experience.
  • The world is cruel and isolating.
  • We fear having to leave home and be further alone.

Expressions of depression may vary. But remember these are not the cause but only the performance of sad feelings.

These expressions of depression may include:

  • changes in sleep patterns
  • weight gain or loss (visit our section discussing anorexia/bulimia)
  • ongoing feelings of sadness, anxiety, or hopelessness
  • thoughts of death or suicide

Read more in “Depression” section, origin article “Teenagers and Depression

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