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you can remove this if you don't have a conscience. i assure you i will not hunt you down.
skin by: Jane
Monday, June 04, 2007 @ Monday, June 04, 2007

Depression

Depression is very common in the United States,affecting more than 17 million people each year. Depression affects people regardless of their color, race , economic status, or age - a teen can become depressed, just as an older person can.

Depression isn't the same as feeling 'blue' or 'down in the dumps'. Being human means having some ups and downs. Any teen dealing with the stresses of life might have a reason to feel sad every once in a while. It is when a depressive mood continues for weeks, months, or even longer that it becomes a serious condition, because it starts to affect a person's ability to function in the world.

No one has any conclusive evidence to probe why certain people get depressed. Research suggests that in some cases it may be hereditary: someone with a family member who has or had depression may be more prone yo having depression herself. But as with many psychological problems, genes aren't the only factor. A person's environment and the events that take place around her can also play a big part. For example, a very difficult loss, such as the death of a close family member or friend,can sometimes lead to depression. For some teenagers, a negative, stressful, or unhappy family atmosphere can affect the way they feel about themselves and lead to depression. In others, learning disabilities, hormonal changes, or physical illness can set the stage for depression.

Substance abuse can also lead to severe unhappiness and depression. The things that lead to depression may be different for each person, but a biochemical mix-up in the brain is often present.

Depression comes in different forms, but the two types that most commonly affect teens are clinical depression, also referred to as major depression, and dysthymia. Whatever the doctors call it, the name given to depression isn't important for people who have it.It's their feelings and how their lives are affected that is most important.

Teens who are clinically depressed may also show other warning signs or symptoms. They may have increased problems at school due to skipped classes and a lack of interest or motivation. They also may express feelings of angeror indifference by rejecting authority and start drinking heavily or taking drugs.

Dysthymia is a less severe form of depression that lasts for an extended period of time. A teen who has dysthymia experiences two or more of the following symptoms most of the time for at least two years : lack of appetite or overeating, inability to sleep or sleeping too much, lack of energy or fatigue, low self-esteem and feelings of hopelessness.

Any type of depression can make a teenager feel isolated, scared, and very unhappy. A depressed teenager probably has no idea of what is wrong with him/her. Fortunately for teenagers with depression, there are professionals who can help. In fact, about 80% of people who get help for their depression have a better quality of life : they function better and enjoy themselves in a way that they were not able to before. Treatment for depression can include counselling, medication, or a combination of both.

If you are depressed ( or have a friend whom you think is depressed) , do not wait and hope that it will go away on its own. Instead, talk to an adult you trust about how you feel. If you can, start with a parent, who will probably be supportive and want to help you feel better. Opening up to parents or other trusted adults is important, because it means that they can help get you the right kind of treatment.

Depression - and the suffering that goes with depression - is real. Depression does not make a person 'crazy'. Just as things can go wrong in all other organs of the body, things can go wrong in the most important organ of all : the brain. Luckily, most teenagers who get help for their depression go on to have fulfilling, happy teen and adult years - and most importantly, to enjoy life and feel better about themselves.