Teenage Depression

Adolescence is intense. And it’s no wonder that statistics indicate 1 in 8 teens experiences depression at some point.

If you’re reading this, then you’re either know a potentially depressed teen or you are a potentially depressed teen. But those are two extraordinarily different audiences. To that end, on this page, you’ll find two different sections.

If you are concerned about a teen you know who may be struggling with depression, then right right along.

And if you are a teen struggling with depression, then follow this link to the bottom of this article where I have a special message for you.

teenage depression by nikkotine

What to Do If a Teen You Know is Struggling With Depression

It can be difficult to distinguish between normal adolescent behaviors and out-and-out depression. A certain amount of alienation and hormone-enhanced ups and downs come with the territory of being a teen.

However, there are a ton of warning signals that can indicate a deeper problem than typical adolescent alienation. Here are some potential signs of teenage depression:

  • Withdrawal from loved ones, friends and activities
  • Sullen, downward-looking body language
  • Lethargic behavior, oversleeping, difficulty getting out of bed
  • Crying, weeping, emotional outbursts
  • Irregular eating habits

Note well: none of these potential warning signs absolutely indicates your teen is fighting depression. But if you seen a combination of several of these factors, then it’s good to be watchful.Teen depression sea fantasy by evereden

If a teen you know is exhibiting clear signs of depression, here are some pointers for how to approach the situation.

First off, no matter what teens may say or how they may act, the best thing you can do is spend time with them.

Particularly when a teen is battling depression, it can be hard to get them to acquiesce to spending more time with you. Whether you’re a parent or a concerned friend, your most important job is to help the teen know that you’re there for them and that you love them.

Beyond the most important base level of spending as much time with the teen as you can, you can also learn everything you can about healing depression naturally so you can provide gentle advice and ideas for things they can incorporate into their life to feel better.

Drug and alcohol abuse commonly accompanies teen depression. You can provide a counterbalance to these negative means of managing feelings by encouraging the teen to eat healthy foods, exercise, take up some type of spiritual practice or give some form of community service.

Diet is a particularly powerful point of leverage for helping teens who are struggling with depression. The teenage body undergoes a huge array of major changes as hormones flow in increased volumes through the bloodstream. Every common physical change that accompanies adolescence hints at the volatility of the teenage body. And so, every piece of food that a teenager eats either supports or undermines the health of that stressed body.

Much of the acne that teens notoriously suffer from could be mitigated and even eliminated by simple dietary changes like eliminating processed foods, eating more fresh fruits and vegetables and decreasing dairy and meat intake.

Helping a teen learn more about health and nutrition can absolutely help them deal with the depression they may be experiencing.

Finally, recognize that feelings of sadness, frustration, anger and hopelessness are valid responses to the world teenagers encounter.

It’s tough being a teen.

You want to be fully independent so you can do what you want when you want to do it, and yet there’s so much you don’t yet know about yourself and the world. Our systems of education, economics and government don’t always understand the adolescent predicament. As an adult, you can reach out to your teen and let them know that yes, the world is sometimes pretty crazy and you’re there to laugh and learn with them.

Teen Depression

A Message Directly for Teens Regarding Depression

Hey. I’m directing this message to any teenagers who are currently battling with depression. I just want to share some of my personal story with you in the hopes that it helps you know that no matter how tough your life may be right now, things can absolutely get better.

When I was a teenager, I lived in a nondescript suburban setting attending public schools and doing the things normal teens are supposed to do. School, extracurricular activities, spending time with friends, learning about the opposite sex, sports, doing stuff for fun, family activities. You know the drill.

However, in addition to the usual stuff that comes with adolescence, I also got to deal with an alcoholic father and an abusive household. There were some good times, but there were also some bad times. And those bad times took root within my sense of self-worth, and I slowly but steadily started hating myself.

I didn’t let too much of my self-hatred out for others to become aware of, though even if I had I doubt that my family would have had enough extra energy to care. And so, I felt isolated and alone. Even though I had friends I could spend time with whom I really loved, and even though there were teachers who supported me and believed in me, I fought an inner battle that very few people actually realized was going on.

The world can seem incredibly cruel and pointless. Depending on what you focus on, there’s plenty that’s messed up and screwed up and awful. And it’s important to acknowledge that, yes, that stuff is real and there are some really tough things about being alive on Earth.

On the other hand, there are also some amazing things that make living worthwhile.

And I want to encourage you to cling to the hope that things can get better, because they can.

If you’re reading this, then you’re most likely one of the luckiest people on earth. You have access to the Internet, which means you can learn about almost anything you want to study. You can meet people from all over the planet. You can express yourself and receive recognition for your talents.

I was suicidal at a couple different times when I was a teenager. Thankfully, I made it through without killing myself. And often, now, I look around and can’t believe how awesome life is. Being an adult is absolutely amazing. I wish I could go back in time and talk to my 15-year-old self sometimes and let myself know that it’s going to be better than I can even imagine.

That there’s so much to live for.

That the pain won’t last forever, but the good times will grow and expand.

So that’s the first thing I wanted to tell you–things get better, life gets better, and you will make it through the tough times if you just hang in there.Teenage Depression

But there’s another thing I wanted to say here while I have your attention. When I was 16 or 17, the intensity of my depression pushed me to learn as much as I could about happiness. I wanted to study happiness and figure out what sorts of things led to it.

A couple teachers were particularly helpful in connecting me with certain books or movies or ideas that ended up being super interesting and inspiring. And one of those things that I started learning about was personal development. The idea that I could set goals, eliminate old negative beliefs about myself and live a better life.

I became fascinated with health.

I stopped eating junk food and started eating healthier and healthier–and I noticed that eating healthier had a huge impact on my feelings.

I felt better physically, and I also felt better emotionally.

So here’s my challenge to you: if you’re a teen and you’re feeling depressed, I challenge you to become a master of human happiness. Let the pain you’re feeling drive you to ferocious curiosity. Why do people suffer, and what creates joy and happiness?

Across my 20′s, I studied health, nutrition, spirituality, psychology, economics, communication, relationships, art and nature. I learned so much. And I found what I was looking for. I found the answers that have led me forward through the tough times. And I have figured out happiness. That doesn’t mean I’m happy all the time, of course. It just means that I can hang in there when things feel off because I know that happiness is inevitable if I do, think, say and feel certain things.

Lord Buddha, Natural Cures for Depression

I want you to live, and I want you to thrive.

So take my challenge: figure out everything you can about what happiness is and how you can become a master of it. Learn everything you can about everything that’s seemingly related to human happiness. (And the truth is that no subject lies beyond the scope of human happiness when you really start digging in. Happiness is everywhere if you start looking for it.)

Most importantly of all, hang in there.

Never give up.

No matter how bad it gets, keep fighting. Life is worth it, and if you stick it through the tough times, I guarantee you that you’ll land in certain moments where you realize that if you had ended your life, you would have made an unbelievably major mistake.

Even though we’ve never met, I wish you all the happiness in the world.