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Awareness Is Everything

Dylan Donine, Staff Writer

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It seems that people don’t usually realize this, but there is a world of difference between simply “feeling depressed” and actually having depression. Obviously, depression is much more severe. It’s not something that you can just grow out of, and it certainly won’t do any good if someone tells you to “get over it.” High school especially, and many factors associated with it, can have traumatic effects on teens with depression. Social status with peers, family life, sexual orientation, keeping your grades up and overall school performance are all reasons why a teen could become stressed out and depressed. Unfortunately, teens use these stressors to relentlessly bully their peers, and bullying can be a main cause of feeling depressed. Teens suffering from depression don’t need outside forces bringing them down along with their own mind, especially not in a place that is supposed to be safe and educational. If you know the symptoms and are aware of the severity of depression, you could bring a ray light into a friend’s darkened world.

Teens that suffer from teen depression may sleep excessively and show changes in their eating habits, thinking and behavior. They may even begin to be involved in criminal behaviors. The symptoms can be different for everyone, but the main symptoms of depression in adolescents include apathy, difficulty concentrating and decision making, excessive or inappropriate feelings of guilt, weight loss or gain, purging or binging food, preoccupation with death or dying, rebellious behavior, memory loss, sadness, anxiety, feelings of hopelessness, sleeping during the day and being awake at night, sudden drop in grades, withdrawing from friends, irresponsible behavior (like skipping class or forgetting obligations), usage of drugs and alcohol, promiscuous sexual activity, and complaining about pains such as headaches, fatigue, stomachaches, and even lower back pain.

It’s extremely hard to imagine what depression is like unless you suffer from it yourself. Often times when people try to assure a depressed teen that they are loved, can love, and everything is good or will be good again soon, the depressed teen feels even more upset and alienated. This is because every aspect of his/her entire world seems dark and sinister while experiencing a depressive episode. Depressed teens convince themselves that happiness cannot exist for them, and others trying to tell them otherwise results in feeling even more misunderstood and isolated from the people surrounding them. Their thoughts are altered, and they can even convince themselves that any past feelings of happiness or love they experienced were untrue or pretended.

Depression in teens is extremely difficult to handle. It is very brutal and damaging emotionally, hence high school students need to be aware that it does exist and they need to know what the symptoms are. Maybe if teens were more aware about it, they would be less cruel and not seclude one another, resulting in fewer teens suffering from depression.

If you or a friend want more information on depression or some helpful tips on how to deal with it, go to http://www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/teenagers-guide-to-depression.htm

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