Depression grows as teens struggle with reality

   Teen depression affects many students for many reasons and many ways. It can be caused by tragic events or hormones, but nonetheless, it is a problem in most schools.

   “There are many theories, and no positives. Chemical imbalance in the brain is thought to be the highway in which depression travels. Serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine imbalances are the ways in which depression is caused,” high school counselor Tyler Richardson said.       “Some family genetics provide a predisposition for depression and mental illness. Just like heart disease, and high blood pressure runs in some families.”

   Depression is one of the hardest things to talk about. It’s very personal and it seems as though people don’t want to hear about anything about it.

  In a blog post, “Understanding Depression: It Can Be a Difficult Thing to Talk About, on the Time to Change website, a site dedicated to ending mental health discrimination, blogger Christina recognized how people avoid the subject.

   “When you talk about being depressed, you often see people giving you this look, like they’re not quite sure what to do or say and they might want to run away. You can see them scanning the horizon for all possible escape routes. You feel like maybe you should stop talking,” Christina said.

   Depression can be caused by an event that was unexpected or traumatic.

   “Losing my mom probably was one of the hardest things that I physically had to go through. It completely ruined me for a while until I just recently came to terms with it,” junior Ciara Cooper said.

   When people talk about depression, often times they get shot down.

   “When I was first diagnosed with clinical depression, aged 17, my best friend’s mum told her she should stay away from me. To give her credit, she didn’t listen. But this, my first encounter with the stigma attached to mental illness, was a big shock,” said Christiana, the blogger on Time to Change.

   Depression doesn’t just affect emotions. It can cause a lot of physical ailments as well.

   “It just makes me exhausted, and I want to stay in bed and not do anything other than sleep,” Cooper said.

   “I was a total mess. I lay on the sofa a lot, weeping into a cushion,” Christiana’s Blog said. “All I wanted to do was stare into space and wear a giant jumper and eat crisps.”

   There are many ways to help depression, from therapy to medication.

   “Every case of depression is different. In some cases, medication is required to help students and adults deal with severe depression. For milder forms of depression, allowing a person time to discuss feelings, and things that are bothering them can provide relief. Different theories to battle depression range from exercise to proper nutrition. Some even say herbal supplements can help.  In reality, every one of these thing all combined do help,” Richardson said.

  People deal with depression in many different ways. Some students use work as therapy rather than therapy itself.

   “When I start to get upset, I just kind of tune everything out. I normally just like to listen to my music and not have to deal with anything. But, I like going to work when I’m really upset because it’s such a fast-paced job,” Cooper said. “I don’t/didn’t like sitting in a room with a stranger and telling them my life story. I would much rather talk to someone I know such as a friend or even a family member.”

   Depression is not something to play with.