As a young person you are likely to have a whole range of emotional experiences, which can feel really intense. When you can’t lift out of these low feelings and you feel low almost all day and nearly every day and it is getting in the way of you living your life and how you want to live it, then this is sometimes referred to as “depression”.
What causes depression?
Past or recent life events, the way you cope with stress, how you think and behave, genetics, personality and biology have all been identified as playing a part in feeling depressed.
Often depression is caused by someone going through a stressful event or several events one after another.
Events commonly linked to depression include:
Having a family history of depression is thought to increase your chances of experiencing depression. Having a personality type where you are worried lots, having a low self-esteem or patterns of thinking and coping in unhelpful ways (like drinking) might also make some people more likely to experience depression.
If you have been depressed in the past, you might be more likely to become depressed again in times of stress, after a full-on event or perhaps for what seems like no reason at all. The important thing is to look out for the early warning signs, and then to take action and reach out for support as early as possible.
If you are depressed it is easy to feel like no one else understands or has experienced the same thing, but the truth is, lots of people get depressed. It doesn’t mean you are crazy. You aren’t going to be depressed forever. You don’t need to face it alone.
Signs of depression
“I can't get interested or excited in anything”
“I feel sad nearly all day and everyday”
“Every day is an “off” day”
“The stuff I used to enjoy I can't be bothered with now”
“I can’t feel better”
“I’m so shamed out”
“I feel so guilty”
“I deserve this pain”
“I feel nothing anymore... I’m numb”
“I’m not worth anything”
“There’s no hope – nothing is going to get better”
“Just leave me alone”
“No one likes me”
“I might as well be dead”
“What’s the point in even trying”
“I can’t concentrate or make decisions easily”
How to cope with depression