I’m just so tired.
I can’t believe I got another bad grade! What’s wrong with me?
No it’s okay. You guys have fun without me.
I’m a failure.
I just want to be alone.
Nobody understands. Nobody cares about me.
Depression. Whether it is a self-diagnosis or a clinical diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder, depression is no less of a serious issue. The teenage years are a time of development. While we can see our bodies changing, it is the unseen that makes the biggest difference—our brains. A brain going through puberty is experiencing dramatic changes in brain chemistry, making the teenagers particularly vulnerable to depression, among many other mental health problems. Add on the unending schoolwork, drama among friends, disagreements with parents, the constant pressure to be the best… it is not surprising that many teens feel depressed.
We have all been in a place where we felt like what might be the smallest problem is the end of the world. A problem might be upsetting, frustrating, ultimately discouraging, overwhelming, even unbearable! There is no instant fix to all your problems or stresses, but that does not mean that you have to just sit there and suffer in silence. Sometimes when we are trying to take on the world, we forget about ourselves. Sometimes, a little self-care is all it takes to start to feel better.
I have a project do tomorrow! And a presentation, and my final exam. IN. THE. SAME. DAY. I DON’T HAVE TIME TO RELAX.
Stop. Close your eyes. Breathe. Drink some water. Take a shower. Five, ten minutes is all it takes.
Take a music break and listen to your favorite motivational song! A great song is So Small by Carrie Underwood.
Talk to a friend about your problems or talk about something fun! Call up that friend that you have started feeling distant from and make plans to hang out Friday night.
Having depression does not mean that there is something “wrong with you,” and you are definitely not alone in the feeling. If the depressed feelings are persistent, consider taking the step to talk to the school counselor or a trusted teacher. Remember that there is no shame in seeking help for yourself.
And of course, come talk to us! The Teen Link phone line is open from 6-10pm every night of the year at 1-866-TEENLINK (833-6546).
To learn more about teenage depression and mental health, here are some interesting reads: