Why Do People Get Depressed?

Sometimes people get seriously depressed after a intense incident, like a divorce in the family, someone you love dying, a stressful home life, violence, or breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend. Other times, depression just happens by itself.

Often teenagers react to the pain of depression by getting into trouble; trouble with alcohol, drugs, or sex; trouble with school or bad grades; problems with family or friends. This is another reason why it's important to get treatment for depression before it leads to other trouble.

Alcohol, Drugs and Depression

A lot of depressed people, including teenagers, also have problems with alcohol and or other drugs. Sometimes the depression comes first and people try drugs as a way to escape or as a way to “medicate” themselves. (In the long run, drugs or alcohol just make things worse.) Other times, the alcohol or other drug use comes first, and depression is caused by:
the drug itself, or

withdrawal from it or,
the problems that substance abuse causes.

Sometimes you can't tell which came first... the important point is that when you have both of these problems, the sooner you get treatment, the better. Either problems can make the other worse and lead to bigger trouble, like addiction or flunking school. You have to be honest about both problems-- first with yourself and then with someone who can help you get into treatment... it's the only way to really get better and stay better.

REMEMBER: You can help yourself, or a family member, or a friend find treatment.

What About Suicide?

Most people who are depressed do not commit suicide. But depression increases the risk for suicide or suicide attempts. It is NOT true that people who talk about suicide do not attempt it. Suicidal thoughts, remarks, or attempts are ALWAYS SERIOUS... if any of these happen to you or a friend, you must tell a responsible adult IMMEDIATELY! (See Suicide page for more information.) ALL talk of suicide should be taken seriously! Ask the person -- "Do you feel like killing yourself?" Just come out and ask -- then let them talk.

Myths About Depression
MYTH: It's normal for teenagers to be moody; Teens don't suffer from "real" depression.

FACT: Depression is more than just being moody. And it can affect people at any age, including teenagers.
MYTH: Telling an adult that a friend might be depressed is betraying a trust. If someone wants help, he or she will get it.

FACT: Depression, which saps energy and self-esteem, interferes with a person's ability or wish to get help. It is an act of true friendship to share your concerns with an adult who can help. No matter what you "promised" to keep secret, your friend's life is more important than a promise.
MYTH: Talking about depression only makes it worse.

FACT: WRONG! Talking about your feelings to someone who can help, like a psychologist, is the first step towards beating depression. Talking to a close friend can also provide you with the support and encouragement you need to talk to your parents or school counselor about getting evaluated for depression. Please ask for help, that shows real courage!

Thanks and appreciation are extended to the National Institute of Mental Health for providing some of the information for this topic.

Worth Checking out... Depression - An Overview

Overcoming Depression: An Overview of Treatment Strategies

“When A Friend is Depressed

Self-Injury - “When You Cant Stop 'Cutting'”

Sexual Abuse and Incest - Often a cause of depression.

Suicide is Forever

Check out: Death in the Family and Divorce in the Family

Recommended Reading: Click to find out more or to order. (Girl, Interrupted -- better than the movie).

Girl, Interrupted
by Susanna Kaysen

Feeling Good
David D. Burns, MD

An Unquiet Mind
Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison

Undoing Depression What Therapy Doesn't Teach You and Medication Can't Give You -by Richard O'Connor -A psychotherapist shows readers how to undo depression by replacing depressive patterns of thinking, relating, and behaving with a new and more effective set of skills. The Noonday Demon - An Atlas of Depression - by Andrew Solomon - Examines depression in personal and scientific terms. Drawing on his own struggles with the illness & interviews with fellow sufferers, doctors and scientists Darkness Visible A Memoir of Madness - by William Styron -This bestseller is Styron's true account of his descent into a crippling and almost suicidal depression. This book is for anyone who has experienced or loved someone depressed.

When Nothing Matters Anymore - A Survival Guide for Depressed Teens *
I n 1994, rock star Kurt Cobain ended his struggle with depression and chemical dependency by taking his own life. His suicide stunned millions of teens around the world who identified with the music of his band, Nirvana. Bev Cobain is Kurt's cousin, and this powerful book is her way of dealing with his death -- and reaching out to teens with lifesaving facts and advice. Bev defines and explains depression, describes the symptoms, and emphasizes that depression is treatable. Teens learn to recognize depression, understand its effects, take better care of themselves, and talk with people who care.

Fatigue Fighter -- Start living your life! Naturally boost your energy levels with an herbal remedy to fight fatigue.

Resources on the Net:

McMan's Depression and Bipolar Web
Very Useful Information on many aspects of depression.

Depression Central

Walkers in Darkness - Walkers,.org -- Support & Information for Mood Disorders

See: When A Friend is Depressed ” to help a friend.

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