Know the Signs of Depression

It is normal to feel sad, lonely, or anxious at times. But sometimes people can feel so sad, hopeless or worthless that they struggle to do every day things like get out of bed or go to school. These may be signs that someone may need help for a mental health problem.

Emotional pain can be hard to spot. And even harder to talk about. Learn the signs of emotional suffering. And reach out. Research shows that the majority of people who get help, get better.

It can be hard to put into words exactly how depression feels—and not all people experience depression the same way. There are, however, some common problems and symptoms that you may experience if you’re depressed:

  • You constantly feel irritable, sad, or angry.
  • Nothing seems fun anymore, and you just don’t see the point of trying.
  • You feel bad about yourself—worthless, guilty, or just “wrong” in some way.
  • You sleep too much or not enough.
  • You have frequent, unexplained headaches or other physical problems.
  • Anything and everything makes you cry.
  • You’ve gained or lost weight without consciously trying to.
  • You just can’t concentrate. Your grades may be plummeting because of it.
  • You feel helpless and hopeless.
  • You’re thinking about death or suicide. (If this is true, talk to someone right away!)

Speaking up and asking for help is a sign of strength. You will be amazed by the support you get simply by asking.

Spotting Depression in Peers

If you have a friend who seems down or troubled, you may suspect depression. But how do you know it’s not just a passing phase or a bad mood? Look for common warning signs of youth depression:

  • Your friend doesn’t want to do the things you guys used to love to do.
  • Your friend starts using alcohol or drugs or hanging with a bad crowd.
  • Your friend stops going to classes and afterschool activities.
  • Your friend talks about being bad, ugly, stupid, or worthless.
  • Your friend starts talking about death or suicide.