By Sidney Harada and Christel Aldana, Eighth Grade
October is a month where we get to celebrate many entertaining events, but what many people don’t know is that October is Depression Awareness Month. Teens tend to be affected by depression because they usually face many different struggles and changes going on in their lives. Depression has many different symptoms. Some signs of teen depression include: poor performance in school, isolation, lack of enthusiasm, anger, poor self-esteem, changes in eating or sleeping patterns, and suicidal thoughts or actions.
Depression is serious and if left untreated, can worsen and become life-threatening. Sometimes teen depression lead to suicidal thoughts. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), “Each year in America an estimate of 5,000 young people, ages 15 to 24, kill themselves.” Suicide is the third leading cause of death in teens. Very few teenagers decide to let an adult know. According to our counselor, Ms. Pedroso, “Do not be afraid to ask for help”. If you are a suicidal teen, do not be scared to talk to an adult to receive assistance. Suicide is a real problem and should not be left unhandled.
An eighth grader stated, “I have MDD, which is Major Depression Disorder, I was diagnosed in the beginning of 6th grade. It is genetic in my case since my dad has an anxiety disorder.” If someone has a family member with major depression, they have a greater risk of developing depression compared to the average person. She continues, “I was bullied, mostly by my own friends. I’m also anorexic because of the impact of bullying on me. Only my closest friends know about this because I feel as if people can judge you or pity you if you confess. Currently, I’m in a really good place and have friends who help me through it”.
Depression has definitely become more public and attended to in recent years. According to Ms. Pedroso, more teens have looked for help, but teen depression has not had major growth in numbers. Teens tend to go through a lot of struggles. Now, teenage depression is taken more seriously and people are more open to talk about it.
Being a teenager can be rough. There are changes taking place in your body and brain that can affect how you learn, think, and behave. Our counselor gave some advice to teens with depression, “There are adults in teens’ lives that are willing to listen. Feelings do not change fast, they took time to develop, they will take time to feel better. There is nothing wrong with you if you have depression. The larger the amount of people that help you, the better it will be”.
Here are some hotlines to call if you have depression or suicidal thoughts: