Everything to Know About Depression

Elie Yates, Staff

It can be easy to joke about depression, we do it all the time when it comes to school, chores, and other things we don’t like to do. But, depression can be a real thing among teens and can be a big issue for the people dealing with it. Not enough people know the facts about depression and it’s important for everyone to know. 

A lot of people get confused about what depression is because of the way the word is thrown around and its real meaning is lost. The clinical definition of depression is a mental health disorder characterized by persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life, according to the Mayo Clinic. Research suggests that factors like biological, psychological, and social life can contribute to depression. A majority of the time, depression can come along with anxiety, a mental disorder that can cause fear or apprehension of the future. 

Depression can be caused by so many different things, from friends to social media, a lot of things can be a trigger. One of the biggest ones is actually school. In a survey done by the Washington Post of 1080 teens from ages 13-17, many reported being overwhelmed and depressed because of schools stress levels. The levels of the depression caused by school have increased to 14% over the past 9 years. Depression from school doesn’t always mean academic stress like grades and homework, peer pressure and bullying at school can contribute to depression. Social media is another factor that can add to the development of depression because it isolates you from other people, makes you compare yourself with others, and takes time away from other healthy activities. Being around others with the disorder can make you five times more likely to develop depression as well. Sometimes, depression can be because of hormone imbalances that can cause you to feel irritable, have mood swings, and anxiety. 

Depression can have so many symptoms and signs, it’s hard to tell if it’s the real thing sometimes. But, there are many changes that can occur emotionally and behaviorally if depression develops. Obviously feeling sad and empty are some of the symptoms, but there can also be feelings of anger, frustration, hopelessness, annoyance, and loss of interest. A lot of cases can make people feel like they are worthless and lose a lot of self esteem. These are some of the symptoms that can be hard to see, but other changes are more obvious. People with depression can have angry outbursts, lose weight, always be tired, and have a hard time concentrating. A huge sign can be when they start isolating themselves from friends, family, and things they love to do. School attendance and performance can decrease too. 

If you notice someone starting to show symptoms, it’s important to do something. You always want to make sure you talk to the person you’re concerned about first because sometimes it can just be a part of being a teen. Having the support of friends or family can be very important to help someone recover because they are the closest to them and have a large effect on their lives. Talking openly and without judgement to the person suffering from depression can let them know they are supported and cared for, something that depression can take away. Depression often has to be treated with more than just talking with family, part of the treatment can consist of therapy and sometimes antidepressants. It is crucial to make sure someone with signs of depression is getting help.  People with depression are three times more likely to die by suicide if they aren’t getting treatment . 50% of those with a substance abuse problem also have depression or another mental health disorder. 

Depression is a growing issue today and it’s important that everyone knows what it is, the symptoms and causes, and how to help others in need.