If you are feeling depressed, you’re not alone – nearly 80,000 children and young people suffer from severe depression. One in four people become depressed at some point in their lives.
It is not unusual for most young people to have lots of ups and downs as they are getting older. Sometimes young people will feel very upset by certain things that are on in their lives. But some young people can feel sad, lonely, down, anxious or stressed for longer periods of time to the point that it can affect their everyday lives and can prevent them from doing things they would normally do. This is known as depression.
Symptoms of Depression
– not wanting to do things that you previously enjoyed,
– not wanting to meet up with friends or avoiding situations
– sleeping more or less than normal
– eating more or less than normal
– feeling irritable, upset, miserable or lonely
– being self-critical
– feeling hopeless
– maybe wanting to self-harm
– feeling tired and not having any energy.
Getting help for depression
The most important thing you can do if you think you are feeling depressed is talk to someone. This could be your parents, a sibling, friend, teacher, GP but often talking about how you are feeling can really help you to feel better. People who care about you will want to help you to feel better so don’t feel worried about talking to people.
If it is something specific that is causing the depression, for example if you are worried about exams, then talking to a teacher may help to reassure you or they may be able to offer practical help such as extra reading to help you feel better about things. Please have a look at our page on ‘Exam Stress’ for tips on how to deal with exam stress.
If you don’t feel comfortable talking to a friend, teacher or your parents, go and see your GP – they are there to help you to feel better whether it is a physical health problem or a mental health problem and there are a number of things that they may suggest for you.