Mental health conditions affect around 1 in 10 children and young people; this includes depression, anxiety, and conduct disorder. Mental health conditions are often a direct result of what is happening in a young person’s life, so exams, bullying, relationship breakdowns, and learning to drive can all play a part.
What are the signs of depression?
Many people see teenagers showing signs of depression, and may think they’re just going through a phase or are simply ‘sad’. This being said, it also may be hard for you to know whether you’ve got depression, so don’t wait too long before seeking help and finding out.
Here are some of the signs and if they relate to you, please go and see your GP for support.
- Persistent sadness
- Loss of interest in life
- Tiredness/low energy
- Extreme moodiness, irritability or volatile behaviour
- Lack of interest in school/work
- Losing contact with friends
- Giving up on interests without finding new ones
- Difficulty in concentrating
- Not sleeping enough/sleeping too much
- Not eating enough/eating too much
- Thoughts of self-harm
- Not washing or looking after yourself
- Self-critical and overly worried about your appearance
How to help yourself
Firstly, remember there is no quick fix, and even following these tips doesn’t necessarily mean you will wake up in the morning and feel fine. It is a long process, and these tips are to help make things a bit easier. Remember, just because you’re having troubles does not mean there is anything wrong with you.
- Keep in good physical health
- Eat a balanced diet
- Have freedom and time to be outdoors as well as in
- Be part of a family that gets along well
- School/college support
- Taking part in local activities
If you’re worried about your development and wellbeing, you may not want to speak directly to your parents however if you can talk to them about it you should. Otherwise, there are a few different options if speaking to your mum and dad is a bit too much.
Speaking to your GP means you are able to get professional advice on how you’re feeling. Having health issues don’t always have to be visible.
Your teachers or professors are there to help. They want you to do well in your studies, yes, but more importantly, they want you to be well! Speak to them, and let them know how you’re feeling.
Children and young people’s counselling can be really helpful. If you’re a young person with depression and mental health concerns, talking to a counsellor can help.
Get help from friends
Speaking to your friends about any problems you’re having may seem like a daunting and scary thing to do, but they’re your friends for a reason. If you find yourself becoming more distant, try and explain to them the troubles you’re going through. They may even be going through something similar and also looking for support.
You are not alone! Whether you’re suffering from depression, anxiety or any other mental health conditions, it is important to remember that you’re not the only one and there is help available, in all forms.