Depression is defined as an illness when the feelings of sadness,
hopelessness, and despair persist and interfere with a person’s ability
Though the term 'depression' can describe a
normal human emotion, it also can refer to a mental health illness.
Depressive feelings can range in severity. It is defined as an illness
when the feelings of depression persist and interfere with a child or adolescent's ability to function.
Two of the main causes of depression are:
Children under stress, who experience loss, or who have attention, learning, conduct or anxiety disorders are at a higher risk for depression. Teenage girls are at especially high risk, as are minority youth.
youth often have problems at home. In many cases, the parents are
depressed, as depression tends to run in families.
the past 50 years, depression has become more common and is now
recognized at increasingly younger ages. As the rate of depression
rises, so does the teen suicide rate.
is important to remember that the behavior of depressed children and
teenagers may differ from the behavior of depressed adults. The
characteristics vary, with most children and teens having additional
psychiatric disorders, such as behavior disorders or substance abuse.
Mental health professionals advise parents to be aware of signs of depression in their children.
If one or more of these signs of depression persist, parents should seek help
Frequent sadness, tearfulness, crying
Teens may show their pervasive sadness by wearing black clothes,
writing poetry with morbid themes, or having a preoccupation with music
that has nihilistic themes. They may cry for no apparent reason.
Teens may feel that life is not worth living or worth the effort to
even maintain their appearance or hygiene. They may believe that a
negative situation will never change and be pessimistic about their
Decreased interest in activities; or inability to enjoy previously favorite activities
Teens may become apathetic and drop out of clubs, sports, and other
activities they once enjoyed. Not much seems fun anymore to the
Persistent boredom; low energy
Lack of motivation and lowered energy level is reflected by missed
classes or not going to school. A drop in grade averages can be
equated with loss of concentration and slowed thinking.
Social isolation, poor communication
There is a lack of connection with friends and family. Teens may avoid
family gatherings and events. Teens who used to spend a lot of time
with friends may now spend most of their time alone and without
interests. Teens may not share their feelings with others, believing that they are alone in the world and no one is listening to them or even cares about them.
Low self esteem and guilt
Teens may assume blame for negative events or circumstances. They may
feel like a failure and have negative views about their competence and
self-worth. They feel as if they are not "good enough."
Extreme sensitivity to rejection or failure
Believing that they are unworthy, depressed teens become even more
depressed with every supposed rejection or perceived lack of success.
Increased irritability, anger, or hostility
Depressed teens are often irritable, taking out most of their anger on their family. They may attack others by being critical, sarcastic, or abusive. They may feel they must reject their family before their family rejects them.
Difficulty with relationships
Teens may suddenly have no interest in maintaining friendships. They'll stop calling and visiting their friends.
Frequent complaints of physical illnesses, such as headaches and stomachaches
Teens may complain about lightheadedness or dizziness, being nauseated,
and back pain. Other common complaints include headaches, stomachaches,
vomiting, and menstrual problems.
Frequent absences from school or poor performance in school
Children and teens who cause trouble at home or at school may actually
be depressed but not know it. Because the child may not always seem
sad, parents and teachers may not realize that the behavior problem is
a sign of depression.
Teens may have trouble concentrating on schoolwork, following a conversation, or even watching television.
A major change in eating and/or sleeping patterns
Sleep disturbance may show up as all-night television watching,
difficulty in getting up for school, or sleeping during the day. Loss
of appetite may become anorexia or bulimia. Eating too much may result in weight gain and obesity.
Talk of or efforts to run away from home Running away is usually a cry for help. This may be the first time the parents realize that their child has a problem and needs help.
Thoughts or expressions of suicide or self-destructive behavior
Teens who are depressed may say they want to be dead or may talk about suicide.
Depressed children and teens are at increased risk for committing
suicide. If a child or teen says, "I want to kill myself," or "I'm
going to commit suicide," always take the statement seriously and seek
evaluation from a child and adolescent psychiatrist or other mental
health professional. People often feel uncomfortable talking about
death. However, asking whether he or she is depressed or thinking
about suicide can be helpful. Rather than "putting thoughts in the
child's head," such a question will provide assurance that somebody
cares and will give the young person the chance to talk about problems.
Alcohol and Drug Abuse
Depressed teens may abuse alcohol or other drugs as a way to feel better.
Teens who have difficulty talking about their feelings may show their
emotional tension, physical discomfort, emotional pain, and low
self-esteem with self-injurious behaviors, such as cutting.
Early diagnosis and medical treatment are essential
Depression requires professional help, self-help, and support from family and friends. Comprehensive treatment often includes both individual and family therapy.
There are several ways to get referrals of qualified mental health professionals, including the following:
you will end up with more than one therapist to interview. Call each
one and request to ask the therapist some questions, either by phone or
in person. You may want to inquire about his or her licensing, level
of training, expertise, approach to therapy and medication,
and participation in insurance plans and fees. Such a discussion
should help you sort through your options and choose someone with whom
you believe you and your teen might interact well.
Hey, I’m Adam
Visit us on Facebook! or email me
“We’ve created a place on the internet for you to ask the questions
you’ve always wanted to ask. So take a look around, then let us know
what you think about it. You might make a really good point about
something, then see what others think about it as well. It’s getting
involved, and sharing ideas about all kinds of subjects.”
I'm Adam. I joined this web site because I really appreciate what In
Search of Me Cafe is trying to do. When I was faced with tough choices
I never really had a lot of people to talk to. Often I was embarrassed
asking for advice on awkward stuff from my friends and family. I think
if there had been an In Search of Me Cafe when I was making tough
decisions it would have really helped me.
enough about why I like this site so much. I have always liked to party
and I love chillin’ with my friends. Obviously partying can lead to
some tough life choices; I had my first alcoholic drink when I was 13.
That may seem pretty young but I grew up in Europe where the legal age
was 16. Yes I know... that’s still underage.
I was underage. It’s easy to drink when your friends drink. Needless to
say, from the first drink till now, I have experienced a lot. Partying
was probably the best tool in learning about me which may seem strange
but I really learned a lot about how I treat my friends and
relationships, how I trust …you name it. Good times and bad I have
gained valuable life lessons. If you ever need to talk about stuff or
you have a question you’re burning to ask or if you just wanna share
stories. Go ahead and holler. I won’t judge and it’s pretty hard to
faze me. I’ll give you my honest opinion and you never know, you may
have an experience that’ll teach me some things too.
Hey, I’m Taran
Visit us on Facebook! or email me
“Every teen has to face the same type of problems and try to figure out who they are. This is a place where you can do that.”
Hey, I’m Maddie
Visit us on Facebook! or email me
“Up until this year I was picked on a lot and it really brings down
your self esteem. Kids don't think about how they're really affecting
other people with their words and eventually the other kids' self
esteem goes down and down and they start to believe what the bullies
are saying. After a while you just start to give up and think, ‘Oh,
what's the point. I suck anyway’ and your grades and everything else
Hey, I’m Chelsi.
Visit me us Facebook! or email me
Each morning I see in my mind what I’m working hard to obtain. I
know I can achieve anything I set my mind on by putting in the time
& effort needed. I believe one can learn from every experience. I
like to ‘take the best and leave the rest’!“
a rule I don’t like talking about myself. However, I want you to know
a little about me, the “teen” likely not much different than you and
thinking a lot of the same things and having similar questions etc.
I try to treat everyone with respect and kindness, just as I would
hope to be treated! Hopefully I can help answer questions you may have
or concerns you don’t want to discuss with an adult… you know
Here’s a bit of what I like to do…. I love
hanging with my friends at the movies or the mall, and staying in with
my family. I love music, sometimes when I’m upset or “heartbroken” I go
in my room and just listen to music. It just lets me cool off and just
not have to think.
Although I’m only 13 on paper, I’m
told I’m much wiser than my years. If there is a problem, I am the
first person anyone calls. I may be nice but, if someone hurts anyone I
know (whether I like ya or not) they are in trouble… haha. They call me
“the haha queen” because I can make any situation funny.
hope after hearing this little bit “about me” you want to ask me your
questions, and if you just want to chat, I’d love to. I like meeting
“And it's now, now or never when we're chasing our dreams.” -Mercy Mercedes
“I'd like to make myself believe that planet Earth turns slowly.” -Owl City
“Do you know what's worth fighting for? When it's not worth dying for?” –Green Day
What my friends have to say About me - Chelsi♥ ……
like talking to you because you can always make me feel good about
myself and make me happy no matter what. I like you as a person because
you really are a great friend and I thank you for being there for me,
and you’re just fun to be with.” -Jessie
hard.. To put into words.. The uncanny ability you have to put a smile
on my face and that’s just online, from reading the nearly poetic
replies. Where as over the phones it’s near impossible to explain the
warmth that washes over me when I hear your voice. For some reason when
I heard you for the first time. Chelsi you inspired my first poem I wrote … -Sean
Hey, I’m Brittany
Visit us on Facebook! or email me
“When people go to parties just to hang out, other people come and
bring drinks or cigarettes, and try to get you to do it. They keep
trying and trying to get you to drink or smoke, and you might be
tempted do it because you want to be known as a cool person.”
Hey, I’m Trent
“I have cousins my same age and younger who are Haitian and Filipino,
which allows me to connect with other cultures. Even with different
styles and different issues, these other teenagers still have some of
the same dramas we have here in America, such as peer pressure.” Hey, I’m Trent
Hey, I’m Forrest
“You can post video blogs on this site -- voice your opinions about
topics here as well as responses to what others are saying in their
blogs. So it kinda builds upon itself.”
Hey, I’m Connor
Hi, I’m Connor Cottle. I’m 17 and a junior at Fernandina Beach
High School in northeast Florida. As an only child, my friends are
really important to me, so I’m either hanging out with them or texting
them when we’re apart.
I spend my free time on the tennis court, the golf course, and at the beach. I volunteer
frequently around my community and enjoy every minute of it.
am also the Lead Youth Advisor of the In Search of Me Café program and
I’m involved because I like how connecting teens all over the world can
help them help themselves.
I’m always around if you need any advice or if you just want to hang out.
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