Want tips and insights for overcoming teen depression and anxiety? Read on for a helpful guide for teenagers.
When you’re dealing with depression and anxiety, you can feel like there is a huge rain cloud hanging over your head. Even things that you used to enjoy become a boring chore. Plus you find that very few things bring joy into your life anymore.
If you’re suffering from these symptoms, you can feel helpless. Sometimes, you find yourself wanting to stay in bed and neglect your responsibilities. This can lead to judgment from others – and added pressure.
However, there are things that you can do to try to overcome your depression and anxiety. For example, if you can identify what triggers your worst moments – so you are proactively prepared to deal with these triggers effectively.
With this in mind, here are 7 helpful steps to support you in overcoming overcoming teen depression and anxiety.
Sometimes, your depression doesn’t have a cause. In fact, for most people it is simply a result of a chemical imbalance in the brain, that needs to be treated with medication and other types of therapy. However, this isn’t always the case.
Perhaps there are issues that lead to you feeling this way, like bullying at school or the loss of a loved one. Whatever it may be, it’s important to try and identify what you think is the main cause of your issues, and try to rectify it.
Speaking to those around you can help if you want to deal with your triggers effectively. Telling your parents or teachers that certain things are making you feel worse can help them to work with you to create a better environment.
Identifying the issues, and working on dealing with them on a personal level, is an important part of overcoming teen depression and anxiety. However, sometimes you just need the help of a mental health specialist, and they could put you on the right path.
Book an appointment, and try to note down how you’ve been feeling a few days before you go in. This will help you to explain your symptoms properly, as it can be hard to remember all of these things if you feel under pressure in the doctor’s office.
It may be a good idea to get in touch with a practice that specializes in teen depression treatment, as they will be more well-equipped to help you with your mental health. Remember, there’s nothing ‘wrong’ with you for seeking out some extra support.
When you’re dealing with an overwhelming feeling of sadness, it can be tempting to turn to drinking or drugs or food addiction to help to either numb yourself, or to feel a brief happiness or euphoria. Of course, it’s natural to seek such a release when you have depression.
However, substance abuse does just that: it provides a release. It will only mask the problems; it won’t get rid of them. In fact, you could find that you come out of the other side of a binge feeling even worse, and alcohol is, of course, merely a depressant that will bring you down further.
As many note, drinking alcohol (and taking drugs) can also put a lot of strain on your relationships with others, which could make your depression worse. You’ll be in a cycle that is difficult to escape, so avoid using substances as a ‘treatment’.
When you have issues with your mental health, you can feel like a bit of an outsider. Perhaps you believe that your depression will make you embarrassing to your family, or that they won’t want to spend time with you anymore because something is ‘wrong’ with you.
However, remember this statistic: 300 million people across the globe are said to suffer with depression, and there are probably a lot more than that who haven’t spoken out yet. It’s a common problem to face, and you shouldn’t feel strange because of it.
Remember, people love you and they want to spend time with you, no matter what your depression would lead you to think. If you’re committed to overcoming teen depression, you must ignore the negative voices as much as you can, and not isolate yourself from the people that care about you the most.
OK, so telling somebody with depression to just go out there and find their passion for life again has never cured anybody before. However, if you’re going to be able to battle the illness, then you need to try and push yourself to do things that you love again.
Think about the hobbies that you had before, and the things that used to bring you joy. Although going and doing these things won’t be the sole factor that fixes your depression, it will be what you need to do alongside any other treatments that you’re having.
Try to think about why they brought you joy, and how much you enjoyed them. The ultimate aim of any depression treatment is to make these things fun again, so keep them in mind as a goal to attain. Getting out there and giving them a go again won’t hurt, will it?
A lot of us know that feeling, when your depression is at its worst and you feel like you really don’t want to leave the house. Whilst you do just have to stay in bed and put Netflix on sometimes, trying to battle this is a good idea in the long-run.
Going for a walk around the block may not seem like a big deal. Going to the store may not seem like a big deal. But if you wouldn’t have usually been able to do it when your depression was all-consuming, then you’ve achieved something, and that’s good.
Going on a jog, or going out on your bike for a while, will help you to clear your head, and it can give you a release when you need one. Exercise releases dopamine and serotonin, which are both proven to increase your mood (so this is definitely worth a try)!
Depression can have a wide range of effects on your body. Some people want to eat every bit of junk food that they can find, and others will go without meals altogether. Some people will oversleep – and others will stay awake worrying and stressing about things.
Whilst it can be hard to control this, looking after your body is one of the first steps that you should take to look after your mind. Eat a healthy, balanced diet, and try not to sleep for too long, even if you do spend a day lying in bed.
If you’re worried or stressed about things and it’s preventing you from sleeping, then speak to your therapist about it, and try to find coping mechanisms that work out for you. Perhaps you’d benefit from writing things down, or learning to meditate, or distracting your mind with a good book.
One thing that you should remember more than anything else is that everybody has to start somewhere when it comes to conquering – or simply learning to live with – their depression. The journey doesn’t look the same for everybody.
However, we all need to make sure that we celebrate the small things. Perhaps you got up and had a shower when you were in a major depressive episode, or you even just managed to wash your face. It sounds like a tiny thing, but for most of us, it does have significance.
No matter how you cope with your depression, the most important thing is that you’re making an effort for your future; in particular, you’re making an effort for your own happiness. And don’t worry, you will get there, so keep on trying your best!
Hi I’m Karen Salmansohn, founder of NotSalmon. My mission is to offer you easy-to-understand insights and tools to empower you to bloom into your happiest, highest potential self. I use playful analogies, feisty humor, and stylish graphics to distill big ideas – going as far back as ancient wisdom from Aristotle, Buddhism and Darwin to the latest research studies from Cognitive Therapy, Neuro Linquistic Programming, Neuroscience, Positive Psychology, Quantum Physics, Nutritional Studies – and then some.