Your mental health is one of the most important things to keep track of. With school starting, many seem to be so focused on school work that they forget about themselves. It’s not unusual to feel down on some days. But, if you start to feel more blue than normal, maybe it’s time to notice the signs of depression.
Many kids, ages 12-17, are used to feeling moody. Our bodies and our brains are changing, so we tend to feel certain emotions because of this. Unfortunately, many use puberty as an excuse for their emotions when it could be something else. According to MentalHealthAmerica.net, “3.1 million young people deal with periods of major depression.” For most, it’s not unusual to be depressed at times.
According to The National Institute of Mental Health, there are different types of depression. There are two common types: Persistent Depressive Disorder is a person who may have episodes of major depression along with periods of less severe symptoms, but symptoms must last for two years to be considered Persistent Depressive Disorder and Seasonal Effective Disorder is characterized by the onset of depression during the winter months, when there is less natural sunlight.
There are many factors that can cause depression such as problems at home, problems with friends, a chemical imbalance in your brain, the light of winter, and more. One major factor for young adults is school. The stress of school is a big benefactor of depression. Many become so focused on getting their school work in on time, trying to balance a social life and AP classes, that we forget to focus on ourselves.
Here are a few signs of depression, according to MentalHealthAmerca.org, to look for in yourself or others:
- Having trouble with school work
- Not participating in things they usually enjoy
- Feeling of hopelessness
- Lack of concentration
- Isolating oneself
- Anger or lashing out
Now, the list goes on, but there’s always ways to prevent this. Always be aware of what you’re feeling, and don’t be afraid to speak out. Make sure you leave time for yourself every day. It’s better to recognize these symptoms and to treat them as soon as possible. Talk to your counselors at school or a therapist. There are certain types of therapy targeted for depression, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, problem-solving therapy, and more.
It okay to feel down in the dumps. It’s okay to not want to participate on some days. You just need to be aware of what you’re feeling and experiencing. Be aware of your mental health. It’s one of the most important things about you.