Most of us feel blue or get down from time to time, but
usually it doesn't last long, and we can still keep going
with day to day things like going to school and being
But sometimes when you suffer from depression, you feel
so sad, down and miserable that it is impossible to "snap
out of it". You may feel like life is meaningless or feel
empty, like you have nothing to give. Sometimes these
feelings get so bad you may think it would be easier to
die and may think about hurting yourself.
Being depressed may also affect your eating patterns,
leading to you eating much more or less than usual. You
may also find that you struggle to sleep properly, either
you can't get to sleep or you may wake up a lot, often
early in the morning, and can't get back to sleep.
Concentrating on school or work may be like too much effort,
indeed you may feel so tired and slowed down that you
have no energy for anything!
You may feel restless and unable to settle to do things,
even feeling irritable and aggressive. Things you used
to enjoy, like hanging out with mates, can stop being
as much fun and it may become really hard to see the "bright
side of life".
Young people suffering from depression often feel like
it won't get better or that things won't work out for
them, or they may have other negative thoughts.
Does depression affect a lot of
Oh yes. We reckon up to 1 in 5 people could suffer depression
at some point in their life and in New Zealand it is estimated
that 8 percent of teenagers get it.
What causes it?
Depression can be caused by lots of things. These may
include a chemical imbalance in the brain, or stressful
events in your life such as relationships, exams or really
sad things happening. Sometimes the way we think about
things can make it more difficult for us to deal with
difficult times. Often it is a combination of these things
that lead to depression. The important thing to remember
is that it is not your fault!
So, If you are depressed what
do you do?
Talking to someone is usually the first step. It will
help you feel like someone cares and understands if a
family/whanau member or friend listens to you.
Other useful things that can help
us cope are:
||doing nice things for yourself like having a bubblebath
||playing with a pet
||finding fun things to do (even if it is hard at
||trying to spend time with other people
It is important to take one step at a time and reward
yourself with treats along the way. Learning about what
stresses you out and how to deal with it is always a great
thing to do as well.
Your family/whanau and your friends can help you with
these things but sometimes you may find that you need
to talk to someone who is trained to treat depression.
These people may include your GP or school counsellor
at first but in some cases they can suggest you go and
see specialist people like psychologists, mental health
nurses and social workers, or psychiatrists. These people
are trained to understand depression and the best ways
to treat it effectively.
Sometimes medication might be suggested as a way of helping
your mood and energy levels improve so you can help yourself
more. You may learn new ways to think about your problems
which are helpful in dealing with stressful events.
You may find some of these links useful for more information