Did you know that suicide is the second-highest cause of death among teenagers in our society today? This is majorly linked to a large number of young people with depression. According to Mark Roth, who wrote the article “Teen Depression More Common Than Many Think,” one in five teenagers will have an episode of depression before the end of adolescence. This 20% could be lowered by better education on the subject of depression. Students should be taught all the early signs of depression so that they can notice them in both their friends and themselves. But self-diagnosing isn’t the best idea. If you notice signs in your friend, talk to either them or a trusted adult. Symptoms of depression are not as simple as being “sad.” There are many signs that most people don’t recognize, such as acting angry or carless for a long time, weight change, cutting class, restlessness, headaches, and more. Students aware of these issues can help beat the stigma that inhibits many teens from receiving the help they need.
Next, besides treatment in the form of therapy and medication, teens need a reliable coping system. The best support system for teens would ideally come from understanding friends and, most importantly, supportive parents. Unfortunately, many kids don’t have access to either of these. Right now, counselors are the leading resource that students are told to use. Still, not every student feels comfortable talking to a counselor. If you are struggling with depression and don’t know who to talk to, there are more options. For example, at our school, there is a club known as Superhero Club. So if you need understanding peers to talk to, you should speak with some of their members. Teachers are also a great resource to use. If you don’t like either of these options and want to talk to people more anonymously, you can always call some of the helplines listed at the end of this article. On top of that, there are great websites such as NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), where you can read about people’s personal experiences online! All in all, if you are suffering from depression or another mental illness, it might seem like you are alone. But remember that there are lots of people who understand what you are going through and want to help you.
- (608) 280-2600
- (800) 273-TALK (8255)
- (800) 442-HOPE (4673)
By Maya Severson and Leah Kulas