Understand Emotions

WHAT IS DEPRESSION?

Clinical depression is not just a passing blue mood. Feeling down about a relationship issue or an upcoming exam is normal. Feeling down for months at a time for no particular reason, however, may be a sign of undiagnosed depression.

If you constantly feel hopeless, sad and depressed, lack energy or feel "weighed down," or take little pleasure in things that used to make you happy, it's time to seek help.

Signs of Depression

Clinical depression is real. Ignoring or hiding from depression will not make it go away and, in fact, can make things worse. Talk to your parent(s) or a trusted adult to get immediate help.

There are signs and signals of clinical depression.

CONSEQUENCES OF DEPRESSION

Depression is a medical condition that can affect the whole body and impact the way one feels, thinks and acts. If left untreated, depression can lead to school failure, alcohol or other substance abuse and even suicide.

YOU FEEL DEPRESSED?

If you have symptoms of clinical depression and have a hard time functioning or handling daily routines, tell a parent or adult immediately.

SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS DEPRESSED

Depressed tweens/teens typically rely on their friends more than their parents or other adults in their lives, so you may find yourself in the position of being the first—or only—person that they talk to about their feelings.

YOU NEED TOOLS

Depression is not your fault, and you didn’t do anything to cause it. However, you do have some control over feeling better. 

Amy Biancolli, who lost both her husband and her sister to suicide, talks about surviving those blows and figuring out how to move on. Loss forces the living to reinvent themselves, to re-tool family dynamics and to find meaning in life and laughter with the loved ones who remain.

Kevin Breel didn't look like a depressed kid: team captain, at every party, funny and confident. But he tells the story of the night he realized that -- to save his own life -- he needed to say four simple words.