4 Ways Depression Presents in Men

Depression can happen to anyone, but it might not look the same from person to person.

When our head fills with negative thoughts and feelings of hopelessness, it can make us feel deeply alone. Feeling like no one understands us can cause us to self-isolate, worsening our chances of getting better.

Women are more likely to try confiding in a friend or loved one. They’re also more likely to seek out a therapist. It’s socially accepted that they can articulate their feelings.

Men, however, are less likely to accept, discuss, and seek treatment for depression, despite the large number of men it affects every year. If you’re a man, or are concerned that one of your male loved ones is depressed, the first step is acknowledging it.

Here are four different ways depression presents in men.

Risky and Aggressive Behavior

Men with depressions may be easily angered, irritable, or aggressive. Women are more likely to appear sad. Depression comes with low self-esteem, and one way men typically deal with this is through dramatic displays of masculinity. (Think punching walls, raising their voice over minor frustrations, or starting fights.)

Men’s comfortability with aggression, in general, puts them the most at the risk of suicide. While women are more likely to try non-violent means of taking their own life, men follow through more often because they use violent, quick means.

Suicide can also be accidental when men engage in risky behaviors. Frantic driving, for example, can make a man feel more in charge of his vehicle, until one wrong move spins him off the road.

Filling life with stints of risky excitement is not how to conquer depression. Showing yourself love, care, and well-intentioned maintenance is.

Escapist Mentality

Men are more likely to numb their feelings by abusing drugs and alcohol than women. They may wake up and immediately feel a deep need to drink or smoke to avoid reality. Social time with friends may never be sober, and they may substitute meals for a quick hit.

Depression can affect your appetite by suppressing it or boosting it. Turning to comfort foods to cope and mentally escape can lead to unwanted health problems down the road, especially if binge drinking or smoking is a part of an already unhealthy diet.

Escapism can sometimes be hard to catch. Men may devote an unreasonable amount of time to work, exercising, or getting lost in video games, all to avoid their current reality. While things like exercising and playing sports are great for our health, revolving our lives around them can lead to burnout and stronger, unchecked depressive symptoms.

Avoidant Conversations

Men may avoid talking about their feelings out of fear of being perceived as weak or immature, two traditionally masculine points of view on mental health. The narrative is shifting today, but a person’s ingrained socialization can still be hard to overcome.

While “sadness” is everyone’s first thought of depression, the primary symptoms in men are actually a little different. Headaches, stomach problems, excessive fatigue, and a short temper can all be signs of underlying depression.

Constantly changing the subject or actively seeking distraction can also be indicators. Men are more likely to downplay their symptoms or convince their loved ones that they have it handled.

Resisting Treatment

Asking a man to open up about his depression can be a heavy ask. However, opening up to a professional is different because it’s private. Here, he may be more willing to share.

However, men typically worry that being seen as “depressed” will threaten their career or the respect they have from friends and family. The question is, what’s more respectable? A man who centers his life around his health and well-being, or a man who lets it suffer and bleed over into his relationships?

The choice is yours. Everyone is welcome at my practice. I’m not in the business of making people feel weaker; I’m here to help them find strength.

Depression During the Holidays—Tips for Surviving

For those of us with depression, the weather outside isn’t the only “frightful” thing this time of year. As the days grow darker and we spend more time indoors, our mental health can take a serious hit.

Some mentally well people get a taste of this called the “winter blues”. Others experience a temporary depression called seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Those who suffer from depression year-round can experience symptoms more than usual.

Does this mean the holidays are hopeless? Of course not! It just means we have to implement more coping strategies in the winter than we do other times of the year.

Not sure where to get started? Check out this list of ways to survive depression during the holidays.

1. Up Your Vitamin D Levels

Sunlight reaches our bodies far less during the winter, so our vitamin D levels can go down. Vitamin D deficiencies can lead to fatigue and weaker bones, causing more chronic pain in the body—two things that can contribute to depression.

Restore your vitamin D levels by taking supplements or eating foods that are rich in it. (Fatty fish like salmon or tuna, eggs, mushrooms, and foods fortified with vitamin D like cow’s milk, soy milk, orange juice, and cereal.)

2. Go Outside As Much As Possible

Less sunlight means our days feel shorter and night feels constant. This makes us feel like we’re pushing to stay awake when we’re pretty sure it’s bedtime.

To give your days life again, do as much as you can while the sun’s still out. Wake up before sunrise, run errands during the day, go on an afternoon walk, and eat dinner early. Plus, physcial movement can give you those feel-good endorphins!

3. Get a Light Therapy Box

Some of us don’t have the luxury of picking our own schedules to get outside during the day. For that, we have light therapy!

Light therapy boxes are an affordable and simple way to give yourself a mood boost. To actually help, read or work near the light box so that light enters your eyes directly. Exposure to the skin alone will not help. (This is why tanning beds are not good light therapy alternatives.)

Come up with a schedule to use the box consistently so your body knows when to expect it. (Just like how we expect the sun to last for a certain amount of time during the day.)

Light therapy sessions should last anywhere between 10-30 minutes per day. 

4. Practice Gratitude Whenever You Can

We know from research that practicing gratitude weekly (or even better, daily) has significant benefits for our mental and physical health. Even people with chronic health conditions have reported feeling less bothered by symptoms after a few weeks of it.

How can you practice gratitude in your life?

One way is to get a journal and a pen. At the end of every week (or day), write five things that made you feel happy, excited, peaceful, or understood this week.

After a while, you’ll start noticing the beautiful parts of everyday around you. Life itself will feel more positive because you’re taking the time to sit, notice, and genuinely appreciate it.

Another way is to pick a family member, a friend, or an old mentor that always made you feel special. Maybe they had a knack for cracking jokes during the hard times, or they gave you advice that sank in after you could tell them in person.

Write a handwritten letter properly thanking them for how they contributed to your life. You don’t have to give it to them if you don’t want to. Doing it will at least fill your head with the warm fuzzies you’re craving this time of year. Plus, it reminds you that you’re loved.

If you need more help fighting off dark thoughts in the winter, contact us to start counseling today! It can be nice to have someone in your corner—all year round.

Grieving During the Holidays: Tips for Getting Through It

Grieving is complicated.

You cannot wait for the moments when you can finally feel joy again, but the second you do, you feel guilty for having a good time. The holiday season is full of chances to feel joy and love, but when the ghost of a loved one haunts your mind, it becomes hard to take those chances.

Fortunately, everything heals with time. Your grieving will eventually feel easier, but this holiday season, what can you do?

Here are some tips for getting through it all.

Set Boundaries as Needed

You are under no obligation to attend every holiday party you are invited to. Some help you feel better, while others just feel like energy zappers. Before you RSVP, check if you need a little TLC.

If you feel iffy about attending an event, push yourself to go anyway, expecting that you can leave whenever you want to. Get comfortable saying goodbyes early or turning people down when you know it is what you need. Finding balance is the most important thing.

Acknowledge Your Grief

Your feelings at this time are completely valid, even if they make little sense to you.

Maybe the family is gathering at the home of the deceased loved one for a holiday celebration. If you find yourself having a good time, let it happen. There is no reason to feel wrong or guilty. If anything, you are celebrating their life more by fully enjoying yours in a space they cherished.

You are also allowed to feel lonely and heavy in a room full of partiers, even if it feels out of place. Every emotion is valid.

Holiday parties come with opportunities to numb the pain through substances like alcohol. Avoid these for now, as they will only prolong your mental stress or lead to a public breakdown you may regret.

Plan Ahead to Fill Their Roles

Don’t let the shock of a loved one’s passing take you by surprise more than it has to this year. Plan ahead by delegating their previous roles—like organizing the annual gift exchange or cooking the full dinner spread—to other family members.

This will help keep the holidays moving smoothly without unexpected bursts of grief.

Honor Them with New & Old Traditions

Don’t be afraid to acknowledge the elephant in the room: someone is missing from the family table. Plan to raise a toast to their life, share a moment of silence, or start an activity they would have loved as a new tradition.

If you have kids, try to keep up with the same traditions you normally do, like cookie decorating days. Consider adjusting activities so that they are reasonable for you. For example, if you are struggling with spontaneous crying, watch holiday movies from home instead of attending a play or movie theater.

Recruit help in making kids’ holiday season special by passing off some activities to grandparents, siblings, or family friends. This may even make your holiday season feel richer by staying in touch with your support network.

Volunteer at Holiday Drives or Food Banks

Take your mind off of grieving by filling your heart with the love of helping others. The holiday season comes with many opportunities to shop for a family in need, volunteer at a holiday dinner celebration, or collect warm items for people who are homeless.

Repeat Realistic and Not Overly Positive Affirmations to Yourself

Affirmations are powerful ways we can influence our mood for the better and set it for the day ahead. Try some of these this year to meet yourself where you are at:

  • I am not alone.
  • I am allowed to express my emotions freely.
  • I have done my best, and that is enough.
  • I am worthy of care and affection.
  • I am not afraid of having a good life.
  • I will persist.

Sometimes, it just helps to have someone to talk to. Start counseling today for a listening ear that understands and knows that you can (and will) get through this.

Finding the Energy to Get the Depression Help You Need

If you found this article, then odds are you are not a mental health professional. If that’s true, then I have great news: you’re not responsible for healing your depression all on your own!

(Even if you are a mental health professional, you’re still not responsible for doing it all alone. First and foremost, you’re human.)

As humans, we need support from other humans in order to thrive. When feeling depressed, it’s even harder to identify and confidently reach out for support. So let’s start there.

Here are some small ways to find the energy to get the help you need when depressed.

See Depression as a Habit, Not an Illness

Instead of calling the whole day a waste because you went down a depressive spiral, try viewing it as a blip on the radar. Viewing it as a habit rather than a chronic illness can help reframe your thoughts so you can find more motivation, even just a little.

When you have a bad day with your depression, recognize it and accept it. Try not to automatically blame yourself or see the whole week as ruined because of one off day. It’s easier to think about correcting a habit than healing an illness because the next time you recognize a habit, you can be aware of it and take steps to counteract it.

Separate Yourself from Your Depression

Depression feeds us doubts, fears, and negative thoughts that aren’t accurate to who we actually are or what we actually think.

Try to catch yourself in the moment. The next time you have a negative thought, consider separating your internal dialogue into two speakers: you and your depression.

If you think to yourself, “There’s no point in getting out of bed. I’m going back to sleep.” Try responding to that thought directly. “That’s not me talking, that’s my depression talking. There’s plenty of reasons to get out of bed, like getting really good coffee, putting on my favorite sweater, or seeing someone I like talking to.”

Your reasons can be small, but they’re important.

Teaching yourself to replace negative thoughts with positive (or just more realistic) ones takes patience. Give yourself grace when the negative ones slip through. You won’t heal overnight, but replacing one negative thought with a positive one can be the difference between seeking treatment options or staying down in the dumps.

Stay in the Moment by Focusing on Little Details

To fight back against spiraling thoughts, make an effort to focus on little things throughout your day. Mindfulness can go a long way in keeping you present and not delving into a pool of negative thoughts and self talk.

If you’re doing something mindless, like driving, stop your thoughts from doing their own thing by focusing on the drive.

Appreciate the particular color of the leaves around you, try to memorize the order of businesses on your route to work, or wipe the dust off your radio. The more you interact with the world outside your body, the less time your head has to entertain itself with cyclical negative self-talk.

Celebrate Yourself as Often as You Can

Depression can leave you feeling intensely lonely and bad about yourself. As the person who’s been there with you the whole time, you have a pretty good idea of what you are and are not capable of.

Acknowledge it simply—it’s hard to brush your teeth in the morning. It’s not good or bad, it’s just hard.

On the days when you brush your teeth, take a moment to congratulate yourself—really congratulate yourself. Play a song you love and give yourself a pat on the back. Be proud of yourself—small accomplishments are still accomplishments.

Celebrating yourself often and in tiny ways can help you rebuild your confidence and recognize your level of control.

You may have heard the theory that doing something bizarre after locking your door will help you remember you locked it. Do the same for your successes. You’re more likely to remember them if you make the celebration something memorable, too.

Once you find something that works for you, take all that newfound energy and use it to contact our office to start counseling. Together, we can minimize the impact depression has on your life and get back to living the life you truly want.

Teen Depression: The What’s, Why’s, and How’s

Teen Depression information

Every year, the number of teenagers suffering from mild to severe cases of depression continues to escalate. Statistics reveal that 20% of teenagers experience depression before adulthood, and only 30% of the total number of depressed teens get proper treatment. After a significant decline during the 1990s, many psychologists believe that the primary factors that lead to teen depression are pressures from school or home environment, lifestyle, as well as drugs and alcohol.

 

What Is Teen Depression?

It is crucial to understand that teen depression is more than the ordinary moodiness that your child manifests every now and then. Teen depression is considered a serious health condition that influences and impacts every aspect of his or her young life, such as:

  • personal life
  • school life
  • family life
  • social life
  • Work (if applicable)

Depression among teenagers is similar to adult depression as it involves emotional and mental disorders. However, the signs and symptoms in teenagers manifest differently due to the level of hormonal changes, physical body changes, and peer pressure.
Depressed people, including teens, tend to view the world and environment in a negative light. They often feel unloved, worthless, and highly critical of themselves. Most often, minor problems can overwhelm them. The condition will interfere with their regular routine, change their behavior, and lead to suicidal thoughts.
When depression sets in, teenagers tend to isolate themselves from friends, family, and society. It also results in chronic fatigue, insomnia, headaches, irritability, mood swings, and loss of appetite.
As a parent, it is essential to remember that teenage depression is not a growth phase. It is real and can be fatal in the absence of professional treatment, proper management, and support of loved ones. If not treated immediately, it can affect their adult lives.

 

What Causes Teen Depression?

While there is no single knowledge about the real reason why young people experience depression, multiple factors can trigger it. It can be caused by a mix of psychological, biological, and social factors that range from growth hormones to identity crisis.
Now, more than ever, young people are more pressured and stressed compared to previous generations. While modern technology brings convenience, it weakens the face-to-face interactions and activities of the family. It results in getting less physical exercise, less sunshine, and less social or community involvement.
Other factors contributing to chronic stress are an unhealthy diet, environmental toxins, a busy lifestyle, and too much exposure to electronic gadgets. A stressful home or neighborhood environment, violence, and poverty also lead to depressive behavior.

Emotionally unprepared

By nature, teens are not emotionally ready to handle the circumstances surrounding significant changes or challenges. When faced with emotionally draining situations like abuse, divorce of parents, or learning disabilities that affect school performance, a lot of teens tend to withdraw themselves or become rebellious. While a lot of teens can survive the ordeal of the situations, the effects impact their views in life.

Brain differences

Several studies show that the structural component of the adolescent brain differs from the brain of an adult. The level of neurotransmitters in the teens’ brains and the hormonal differences contribute to the development of depression. Neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine play a pivotal role in moods and behavior regulation. Reducing levels of neurotransmitters can trigger depressive behavior and can lead to depression.

Inherited traits

Depression can be hereditary because of its biological component. If your family has a history of depression, there is a great possibility that your child may suffer from this disorder when triggered by a situation or circumstance.

Early childhood trauma

Any type of traumatic life event can leave the child emotionally scarred, causing a long-lasting impression that leads to fear, insecurity, restlessness, and hopelessness. Physical, sexual, and emotional abuses are the most common reasons that develop teen depression.

Learned patterns of pessimistic views

Teens with parents who are negative thinkers are more likely to develop depression. The lack of positive role models to teach them to face problems squarely and think positively to overcome the situations make them incapable of handling them well.

 

Why Your Teenage Child Is at Risk

Certain factors contribute to teen depression. As a parent, you need to be more observant and knowledgeable about this medical disorder to ensure that your child is not at risk.
Here are some of the known facts and factors that contribute to the development of depression among teens:

  • Neglected and abused teens
  • More female teens suffer from depression than male teens
  • Teens who went through traumatic experiences or disruptions at home like family crisis, death, or divorce of parents
  • Adolescents with chronic physical condition or illnesses
  • Anxiety, ADHD, learning disorder, anxiety, and other mental health issues
  • Teens with substance abuse or mental problems that are not treated properly
  • Young people whose family has a history of mental illness or depression
  • Having difficulty in acknowledging their sexual orientation (whether gay, lesbian, bisexual, asexual)
  • Lack of emotional and social support
  • Living in an unsafe, impoverished, or violent household/environment
  • Bullied by peers
  • Trouble in adjusting socially
  • Academic problems
  • Too much exposure on social media
  • Smartphone or game addiction to escape problems

 

How Would You Know if Your Teenage Child Is Experiencing Depression?

During the adolescence period, it is normal for teens to experience intermittent changes of moods and emotions. These happen because of hormonal changes, causing them to be sad or moody. The emotional episodes can last up to several days, affecting their normal sleep and eating routine, concentration, and productivity level.
While moodiness or sadness can be part of the early manifestation of teenage depression, knowing how to tell the difference is vital. Depression is far beyond the usual swings of emotions, blues, or acting out. It is a strong feeling of despair, melancholy, hopelessness, anger, or discouragement that can destroy the essence of the youngster’s personality. Rebelliousness and unhealthy attitudes can be indications of this disorder. Some ‘act out’ in their attempt to manage or cope with the pain or emptiness that they are experiencing.
As a parent, differentiating the normal growing pains from symptoms of depression can be difficult. During this journey of awareness and seeking enlightenment, your unconditional love, support, and guidance can help your teenage child get back their lives on track.
You need to start observing and taking notes of the following:

  • How long the behavior or emotion lasts? If your child’s sadness or overly-tired behavior lasts for over two weeks, it can be depression.
  • How strong are the emotions? It is crucial to observe if the overwhelming emotions come and go or present all the time for as long you or your child remember.
  • How big is the impact? You need to gauge the effects of the behavior or emotion on his/her physical health and wellbeing, relationships, school works, and daily activities.

Taking these factors into consideration will help you intervene and help your teenage child fight depression and prevent long-term consequences. Early intervention and treatment of the symptoms of teenage depression are important to help his/her handle challenges and problems.

 

What Are the Warning Signs and Symptoms of Teenage Depression?

Knowing how to spot the early signs of depression is important. Here are some of the most common physical, emotional, behavioral, and mental symptoms to watch out for:

Physical symptoms

  • low energy
  • lethargy
  • unmotivated
  • sluggishness or less active in physical activities
  • sudden change in weight and eating appetite
  • sleeping troubles which include oversleeping, insomnia, or staying in bed longer
  • unexplained or vague headaches or stomach aches
  • not caring about his/her physical appearance

Behavioral and emotional symptoms

  • disinterest in activities that he/she enjoyed doing in the past (hobbies, sports, parties)
  • irritability, moodiness, sadness, or tearful episodes while saying she/he feels numb or empty
  • persistent thinking of negative things, including suicidal thoughts, death, or hurting oneself, so watch out when your child start saying ‘I can’t do it anymore’ or ‘I want to die’
  • sudden decision to stop going to social events or seeing friends
  • angry outbursts that are uncalled for
  • low self-esteem
  • spending more time alone
  • running away from home
  • panic and anxiety
  • persistent restlessness that leads to acting out or fidgeting
  • self-mutilation
  • feeling guilty and worthless
  • sensitivity to criticism
  • nothing gives him/her true pleasure or fun
  • everything and anything can make him/her cry all of a sudden
  • exhibiting criminal behaviors like shoplifting or DUI
  • apathy
  • irresponsible behaviors
  • compulsive overeating or loss of interest in eating
  • promiscuous sexual engagement

Thinking (mental) symptoms

  • trouble in concentrating, focusing, or organizing
  • forgetfulness and trouble in remembering details or information
  • difficulty in making sound decisions
  • problems in school (not paying attention during classes, low grades, getting into trouble)
  • pessimistic views about life and the world

 

Why Is it Important to Recognize the Early Symptoms of Teenage Depression?

Often, teens do not realize that they are depressed. What they know is that self-criticism is a normal reaction when they see themselves as a loser, a quitter, a failure, or a bad student.
Their misbehavior can be seen as just having a bad attitude or a bad day. Sometimes, people around the teen think that she/he is not putting enough effort or not trying hard to succeed. Because of this impression, your child tends to keep his/her distance and stop communicating. The thought of ‘Why should I bother?’ leads to skipping classes or running away.
Underlying problems can intensify the teen’s inner pain or feeling of not being worthy. Those who are suffering from eating disorders, harming themselves, or going through extreme mood changes are attempting to cope with unresolved emotional problems that trigger their depression. The only way to treat the other issues is to treat the symptoms of teen depression.

 

How to Help Your Teenage Child Overcome Depression?

Teen depression does not go away on its own but requires the professional intervention of a health professional. It is vital to show your child that you are with him/her every step away. It is also best to seek guidance to help you deal with the problem effectively. Knowing what to do is essential to the resolution of teenage depression.
You may consider visiting the following people/institutions to enlighten you about mental health issues.

  • Your family doctor or GP
  • School counselor
  • Psychologist or psychiatrist
  • Local mental health services
  • Local community health centers

Armed with knowledge and awareness of teen depression, it is crucial to act immediately. Teen depression can be very damaging, so don’t wait until the symptoms are worse. Addressing the problem is the key to helping your child manage depression.
Your teenage child will not seek help by their own volition but needs your help to get treatment. However, it is not easy to talk about your concerns. Expect at some point that she/he will deny that something is wrong and refuse to get treatment. During this crucial moment, it is necessary to be firm about your decision and show some tough love.

  • Encourage your teen to talk about his/her feelings and thoughts or share what he/she is going through.
  • Avoid asking a lot of questions because some teens do not like being patronized or cornered.
  • Listen with empathy, resisting the urge to lecture, pass judgment, or criticize.
  • Make him/her feel that you are there to listen and support unconditionally.
  • When your child shuts you up or avoids discussion, do not give up easily. You need to understand that sharing emotions can be very tough and painful. It is not easy to express what he/he is feeling, so respect his/her comfort level but gently encourage the child to open up when he/she is ready.·
  • Acknowledge the validity of your child’s feelings, fears, and thoughts. Avoid downplaying the emotions, no matter how irrational or silly they are. Let your teenage child knows that you are taking his/her emotions seriously and giving the assurance and support he/she needs to overcome the condition.

 

How Will You Know if it Is Time to Seek Professional Help?

If you suspect that your child is suffering from teen depression, seeking the help of a therapist or health professional is the next step. It is also a must-do when the depressive behavior is getting worse.
Finding the right people and the right treatment is vital to the alleviation of symptoms of teenage depression. For proper diagnosis of the problem, a psychologist or psychiatrist will perform the evaluation, taking into account the family history, relationships with peers, and school performance. The evaluation may involve asking a series of questions about their moods, thoughts, actions, and behaviors.

Psychological and behavioral evaluation

To qualify for major depressive disorder (MDD), there should be at least two major displays of depressive episodes within two weeks. The episodes should include 5 of the following signs or symptoms:

  • Depressed mood most of the day
  • Psychomotor retardation or visible agitation
  • Fatigue
  • Excessive sleepiness or insomnia
  • Significant weight loss or weight gain
  • Diminished interest in a lot of activities
  • Reduced ability to concentrate or think
  • Recurring thoughts of suicide or death
  • Feelings of excessive guilt and worthlessness

Physical evaluation

A thorough medical checkup is also necessary to rule out underlying medical conditions or diseases that contribute to teen depression. Conditions like hypothyroidism can cause tiredness, low energy level, or depressed mood.

 

How to Treat Teen Depression?

After determining the severity of teen depression, the health expert will recommend treatment to help your child. It may involve psychotherapy, medications, or a combination of the two. For severe depression, it may require confinement in a psychiatric unit to manage the symptoms.

  • Talk therapy. Talk therapy is a type of intervention to overcome depression. It is conducted by a licensed therapist or counselor to help your teenage child change his/her thinking patterns, boost self-esteem and self-acceptance, build confidence to handle stressors and life’s struggles, and adopt more positive emotions. This is best for managing mild to moderate cases of teen depression.
  • Psychotherapy. It is a more advanced intervention to treat depression in youths. It may include the ‘three T’s for depression’- interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT), cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT).
  • Medications. Administering antidepressants to alleviate the symptoms can be helpful, but monitoring is important. Several studies link these types of medication to suicidal thoughts or behaviors.

 

How to Support Your Teenage Child Through Treatment?

Love and support are two factors that make a whole world of difference for teenagers during the low points of their lives. As a parent, it is essential to be your child’s rock and strength during the depression treatment. As much as possible, involve him/her in exploring the treatment options. Get your teen’s input about his/her preferred option and discuss the pros and cons before making a decision.
Be understanding and patient, remembering that your teenage child is not acting out on purpose but seeking help to overcome the negative emotions and thoughts helps you put everything in proper perspective.
Stay involved during the treatment by making sure that all instructions are followed, proper dosage of prescribed medication is given on schedule, and all therapy sessions are attended. Keep track of the changes in your child’s physical, emotional, social, and behavioral engagement.
Celebrate small victories and always be prepared for possible setbacks. The road to recovery can be difficult and bumpy, but going through the rough road is the only key to help your child overcome teenage depression with flying colors.

Why Someone Suffering From Depression Can’t Just ‘Get Over It’

When talking about depression, a lot of people forget that depression is an illness that requires proper attention and treatment. If you’re depressed, it can be incredibly frustrating to hear things like “Just get over it”, “You’re being really dramatic”, “You have to be strong”, “Learn to deal with it”, “Happiness is a choice”. You might start to think of things like ‘Why can’t I just get over it’? We can stop ourselves from doing destructive things like putting our hand in a fire, but when it comes to depression, it’s a bit difficult to just ‘stop’. There are a number of reasons why ‘get over it’ statements like this don’t help. Here are some of the best reasons why.

  1. It’s an illness– Depression is an illness, an illness that you have little control over, just like any other illness. Nobody tells people with broken bones to get over their pain. So why should depressed people be forced to ‘get over’ theirs? Always remember that your pain is valid, and as long as you’re getting help by speaking to a mental health professional, you’re on the path to healing.

  2. The brain is in control– Studies have shown that people experiencing depression have symptoms controlled by an unconscious emotional process that is usually beyond their control. Remember that depression is an incredibly complex disease caused by a combination of biological, psychological, and sociological factors.

  3. The symptoms can be debilitating– Depressed people exhibit both physical and emotional symptoms. These symptoms include things like nausea, headaches, restlessness, fatigue, and insomnia.

  4. You can’t wish it away– Nobody likes being depressed. Just because you want to feel better doesn’t mean you can wave a wand and get rid of it. You can desire to feel better, but until you work with a therapist, there is no magical route to getting better.

  5. You can’t always pretend– People always act like depressed people should plaster a huge smile on their face and pretend like everything is perfect. You can’t just shove your emotions down and pretend like they don’t exist. The mind keeps replaying them. This is its way of reminding you that you have an ongoing issue that needs to be handled by a professional.

  6. Depression isn’t ‘one size fits all’– People experience depression in different ways and exhibit different symptoms. Just because they can go about their daily activities efficiently doesn’t mean they’re not ill. Don’t compare yourself to other people. Depression changes everything and there’s no universal treatment. A therapist can help you find a treatment perfectly suited to you.

Depression is real and painful. Just because you can’t see or touch it doesn’t make it any less real. If you suffer from depression or know someone who does, working with a therapist is a good start to overcoming your depression. I am available to help. Contact me to book a therapy session.