What is Depression?
Depression is caused by an imbalance of chemicals in the brain. People with depression have decreased levels of serotonin, a feel-good chemical produced in the brain which affects our mood and happiness.
Symptoms of depression commonly start to show around the age of 15, however it is possible for younger teens to also experience symptoms. External factors such as school stress, peer pressure, and family relationships can influence a teen’s mood and be a factor in depression.
Signs and Symptoms
- Feeling of sadness
- Over-tiredness and oversleeping
- Withdrawn from family, friends and social events
- Decreased academic performance
- Loss of interest in normal activities
- Trouble concentrating
- Thoughts of worthlessness, death and suicide
- Agitated and restless
- Self-harm, drug and alcohol use
Treatment and Management
Depression can be treated through regular therapy and counselling sessions. These sessions often include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy—a form of mindful thinking that makes a person more aware of their feelings, thoughts and actions, and helps them to rationalize situations.
Feature image D. Zampiron