When it comes to depression, there can be many reasons behind it, and sometimes there is no way to pinpoint a cause. Depression is not defined as periodical sadness, but rather a longer and more severe type of withdrawal. According to psychcentral.com, the feeling of sadness must persist for two weeks or longer in order to be considered depression. This does not mean that’s the case for everyone, since everyone is very unique in the way they handle different events in their lives.
According to nimh.nih.gov, out of 11.4% of the U.S. adolescent population, 2.8 million teens reported having at least one major depressive episode within the year of 2014. This number continues to increase throughout each year.
The most general symptoms of depression include feelings of hopelessness, loss of interest in everyday activities, loss of energy, fatigue, restlessness, irritability, reckless behavior, difficulty concentrating, withdrawal, and unexplained aches and pains. These symptoms can also exist in everyday sadness, but when they occur for a prolonged amount of time they should be taken more seriously.
When suffering from depression or recognizing that a loved one suffers from depression, it is important to understand that depression is something that shouldn’t be overlooked. Even if the person insists they don’t need help, it’s always crucial to show that they are not alone. People with depression need to know that they have people who will not criticize them for what they’re going through.
Not all people can easily speak out about what they’re going through, and sometimes they can’t easily pinpoint a reason as to why they are feeling the way they are. Depression should not be taken lightly, so it’s important that people who are suffering are able to seek help. For some people, seeking help is not as easy as it sounds. There is nothing wrong with encouraging someone to seek help, especially if their depression is a threat to them or others.
Being able to talk to a family member or close friend is a good way to start a conversation as to how they are feeling. If it gets to the point where someone needs more than that, it’s good to start with a teacher or school counselor. Chelsea Griffith, a school counselor, said, “Our counselors are awesome at being able to find the right resources for a student going through depression. We will usually either find a place where a student can receive counseling outside of school or if they prefer to just talk, then we are always here with open ears.”
Kenzie Ross, Staff Reporter