What Is Depression?

What is Depression?

A guide to the common signs of depression and what to do if you are grappling with it:

With depression, feelings of lingering sadness or emptiness are compounded by physical symptoms. This can go in a downward direction - like low energy, low appetite, or low motivation - or depression can manifest as doing more of something, too, like over-spending or over-eating. Unlike sadness, which is a feeling that resolves over time, depression will generally hang around until you get help from a professional. Some signs of depression include: 

  • Unending feelings of sadness
  • Feelings of deep, unwarranted guilt or worthlessness
  • Loss of interest and enthusiasm for things which used to provide pleasure
  • Irritability or inexplicable moodiness
  • Fatigue, which may manifest as low energy all day
  • Changes in sleep patterns - sometimes excessive sleeping, sometimes trouble falling asleep or staying asleep every night
  • Changes in eating patterns - this can mean loss of appetite or excessive eating, not just for a day but for several days or even weeks
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Other physical symptoms, such as headaches or body aches, that don’t have a specific cause
  • Constant thoughts about death
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions

If you think you might be depressed - or even if you’re feeling sad for a long stretch and the feeling doesn’t seem to be going away - it’s important to reach out to a trusted resource for help. This should almost always be an adult, someone who has the resources, life experience, and capacity to help you - maybe a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle, school nurse, coach, teacher or a mental health professional: school psychologist, guidance counselor, pediatrician. A best friend is invaluable, but if you are worried about depression, turn to an adult. This adult can help you figure out if and when you need the help of a mental health professional. Most importantly, remember there’s no shame in being depressed.

Call 988 for the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline  

Click here for more on trusted adults

Click here for more info on sadness vs. depression 

Click here for more on sadness


Photo by Vladim B

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