Depression2017-11-12T20:12:46+00:00
Depression

A state of feeling sad or a serious medical condition in which a person feels very sad, hopeless, and unimportant and often is unable to live in a “normal” manner free of sadness.

How can I personally handle it?

Since depression can be caused by both medical factors – a chemical imbalance in the brain – and environmental problems – poverty, homelessness, low achievement, family instability, etc. – it’s important to seek professional help for this condition in order to receive a proper diagnosis. If your doctor determines that your depression is caused by biological issues, he may prescribe medication to help you cope with feelings of sadness or inadequacy. If your doctor determines that your surroundings are largely to blame for why you feel down, he may refer you to family therapy so that you can talk about your feelings in a non-judgmental environment with a professional counselor.

 

Feeling depressed is not a sign of weakness. It takes courage to acknowledge that you are struggling with overwhelming feelings, and then reach out for help with them. Ignoring the signs of depression – sadness, confusion, a lack of interest in hobbies or socializing, low self-esteem, and restlessness – could only prolong the condition, and possibly even worsen it. Feelings of unworthiness or inadequacy could spiral down into thoughts of self-harm and suicide. Before this happens, know that there are many resources available to help you overcome these hurdles. The Mayo Clinic, a nationally recognized nonprofit medical research and practice group, has a site devoted to addressing adolescent depression. You can find more answers to your struggles at this link.

What are the steps I need to take to prevent myself from feeling depressed?

1. Practice self-care. Taking good care of your physical and mental health is one of the best ways to keep depression in check. Keep a journal to record your thoughts and feelings, whether good or bad; getting them down on paper will help you release them instead of bottling them up inside you. Eat a healthy diet rich in vitamins and nutrients. Drink eight glasses of water a day to keep your body hydrated and to flush out impurities. Go for a walk, run, or swim. Regular exercise helps you maintain an overall healthy state while also releasing endorphins, the brain’s pleasure chemicals. Make your health a priority and happiness will follow!

2. Talk to someone when you feel down. All people experience sadness – it’s one of the qualities that make us human and connect us to others. When you see a baby crying, your natural instinct is to comfort him. When your friend falls down on the playground, you lend a hand to help her up. We all go through difficult times, so it’s important to talk to other people when you’re feeling low. You might think your situation is hopeless only to find out that your uncle or your older cousin went through the exact same difficulties when they were your age. The solution could be right in front of you, so don’t be afraid to ask for help.

3. Make spiritual connections. Many people rely on their religious faith as a source of support and strength during hard times. They take comfort in knowing that they’re members of a spiritual community, and therefore don’t have to suffer alone. Members of the clergy (ministers, priests, rabbis, and imams) can be excellent sources of wisdom and guidance when facing life’s struggles. Quietly praying or meditating by yourself can also help calm your mind.

Who can I talk to or call?

If you feel depressed, speak to a trusted adult right away. Whether it’s your teacher, your parents, or even an older sibling, make sure you tell someone that you’ve been feeling sad and need some help. The road to feeling better starts with opening up. Your family can make arrangements to take you to the doctor for a check-up, and your teachers can refer you to the school counselor so that you can talk about your problems. Remember, there is no shame in sharing that you are hurting inside. The sooner you reach out for help, the faster you can get relief.