Reaching out can change a teen’s life

Paola Maldonado

Depression is a medical condition in which people feel sad, hopeless and alone. Unfortunately, many kids in high school feel depressed because they are in a stage where they are going through personal changes. Some students start having different feelings about the type of person they want to be, college decisions, grades and friends.

Students are often closed-minded when wanting to reach for help. They are worried about what others think or that the help they receive might not help them. Also, sometimes students feel like teachers don’t care, like they’re only there to teach. But schools have social workers, and they sure can help. They can’t change the situation you’re going through, but they give you hope and faith, and they understand and won’t judge you.

Reaching for help is the best thing someone can do when they’re feeling depressed; however, teens often deal with it by doing drugs or drinking alcohol.

There are steps that can help students deal with their struggles. Students with depression don’t want to admit they need help because they don’t want others to see them as a weak link, but admitting their struggle is the first step toward getting better. Reaching out to someone is the next step, but sometimes they fear being rejected, so writing feelings down in a diary can help. The last step is reading stories of others that understand what a depressed teen goes through: A book called “Back from the Brink” by Graeme Cowan talks about how depression affected people from different backgrounds and what they did to manage it.

Dr. Carol Glod is the Director of Nursing Research at McLean Hospital in Massachusetts and manages the studies of teen depression and its possible treatments. On the Families for Depression Awareness website, McLean discusses how many teens develop depression, what signs of depression to look for in teens and how it can be fixed.

Teens have a lot of untreated depression because they do not know how to express themselves properly. Slamming a door, cursing and screaming are examples of irritable behavior that a teen may show when depressed, according to Glod.

Also, sleeping a lot or not sleeping at all can be a part of depression for teens. By sleeping all day, they feel like they can runaway from their problems for awhile, and with staying up late, teens just don’t want to do anything and do not find any school activities enjoyable.

Teens with depression is not a joke. Twenty percent think of suicide and eight percent of them actually do it, according to Glod. They need to know there are people in this world who can help them and that reaching for help isn’t bad.

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