Let's Get Serious HereHaving depression doesn't mean that a person is weak, or a failure, or isn't really trying...it means they need treatment.
Most people with depression can be helped with psychotherapy, medicine, or both together.
Short-term psychotherapy, means talking about feelings with a trained professional who can help you change the relationships, thoughts, or behaviors that contribute to depression.
Medication has been developed that effectively treats depression that is severe or disabling. Antidepressant medications are not "uppers" and are not addictive. Sometimes, several types may have to be tried before you and your doctor find the one that works best.
Treatment can help most depressed people start to feel better in just a few weeks.
So remember, when your problems seem too big and you're feeling low for too long, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. There's help out there and you can ask for help. And if you know someone who you think is depressed, you can help: Listen and encourage your friend to ask a parent or responsible adult about treatment. If your friend doesn't ask for help soon, talk to an adult you trust and respect -- especially if your friend mentions suicide.
What You Need to Know About Suicide...Most people who are depressed do not commit suicide. But depression increases the risk for suicide or suicide attempts. It is not true that people who talk about suicide do not attempt it. Suicidal thoughts, remarks, or attempts are ALWAYS SERIOUS...if any of these happen to you or a friend, you must tell a responsible adult IMMEDIATELY...it's better to be safe than sorry.... Why Do People Get Depressed? Sometimes people get seriously depressed after something like a divorce in the family, major financial problems, someone you love dying, a messed up home life, or breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend.
Other times - like with other illnesses - depression just happens. Often teenagers react to the pain of depression by getting into trouble: trouble with alcohol, drugs, or sex; trouble with school or bad grades; problems with family or friends. This is another reason why it's important to get treatment for depression before it leads to other trouble.
Depression and Alcohol and Other DrugsA lot of depressed people, especially teenagers, also have problems with alcohol or other drugs. (Alcohol is a drug, too.) Sometimes the depression comes first and people try drugs as a way to escape it. (In the long run, drugs or alcohol just make things worse!) Other times, the alcohol or other drug use comes first, and depression is caused by:
- the drug itself, or
- withdrawal from it, or
- the problems that substance use causes.
Be Able to Tell Fact From FictionMyths about depression often prevent people from doing the right thing. Some common myths are:
Myth 1: It's normal for teenagers to be moody; teens dont suffer from real depression.
FACT: Depression is more than just being moody, and it can affect people at any age, including teenagers.
Myth 2: Telling an adult that a friend might be depressed is betraying a trust. If someone wants help, he or she will get it.
FACT: Depression, which saps energy and self-esteem, interferes with a person's ability or wish to get help. It is an act of true friendship to share your concerns with an adult who can help.
Myth 3: Talking about depression only makes it worse.
FACT: Talking through feelings with a good friend is often a helpful first step. Friendship, concern, and support can provide the encouragement to talk to a parent or other trusted adult about getting evaluated for depression.
NIH Publication No. 01-4162