Let’s say you get dumped or someone you love dies - you’ll probably want to curl up in a corner and cry forever. But usually in time, as you talk about it and good things start to happen again, the sadness wears off.
You’ve probably heard people use the word ‘depression’ when they're talking about a time where they felt sad or down. When life gets full on and you’re dealing with stress, disappointments or grief, it's common and normal to go through a rough patch. But what doctors call ‘major depressive disorder' or ‘clinical depression’ doesn’t work like that – it’s when the feelings last for a really long time and get in the way of everyday life.
That said, it’s different for everyone but there are some common symptoms and feelings.
Depression can come from stressful events like a break-up (that happen to you from ‘the outside’). And sometimes you just feel bad inside and you can’t explain or put your finger on why.
Your mood is closely linked to your thoughts and ideas, and all the stuff that’s happened to you and around you. On top of that, your body has chemicals in it that control your mood. Sometimes these chemicals get out of balance. As well as causing low mood, this imbalance can also be triggered by your own negative thinking. They both make things worse, which is why depression is said to ‘feed on itself’.
Different types of depression need different types of treatments.
For mild depression, self-help techniques (like exercise) can be really helpful. But for more severe depression, you’ll need some help from the pros – they’ve got powerful tools like therapy and medication.
Depression can get so bad you can feel that it's not worth going on, or that everyone would be better off without you. If you’re feeling this way, you need to get help right now. And sometimes people who have depression also have a lot of anxiety. You might want to take a look at this info, too.
You’re not alone. If you’re feeling alone, or too embarrassed to have a korero about it, know that depression isn’t something to be ashamed of – 1 in every 7 Kiwi teens is going through it with you.