As many as 1 in 8 students struggles with depression. You may wonder what the difference is between being seriously bummed out or sad and being clinically “depressed.”
Everyone has rough times. Big events like divorce, a death, moving, or a breakup can trigger depression. Depression can also occur without an obvious reason. A period of sadness versus true depression can be hard to diagnose and should be left to a professional to analyze. Persistence is a key sign – “normal” sadness goes away. Things to pay attention for are whether the person feels better within a few days or a week. When those feelings of sadness continue for weeks, it’s time to talk to someone.
If you or a friend can’t get past the sad or hopeless feelings, talk to a parent or trusted adult. Tell them how you are feeling and that these feelings have been persistent for a while. Physical symptoms, like recurring headaches or changes in sleeping patterns, can also accompany depression.
There is help and hope so you can feel better! Don’t hide it -- it’s not your fault or anything you’ve done. It’s a medical issue, just like healing a broken bone. Please talk to a trusted adult, and seek help with a professional.
Top Depression Warning Signs
- Persistent sad, anxious or empty mood
- Insomnia or sleeping too much
- Significant change in eating habits
- Lack of interest in doing anything
- Lack of enjoyment in any situation
- Inability to make a decision
- Difficulty concentrating
- Feeling hopeless or worthless
- Recurring headaches or stomach aches with other symptoms
- Waking up early and unable to go back to sleep
Recognizing and understanding depression is vital. Click here for resources on depression and ways to cope and get help.