Depression is very real, friends. NEW UNCUT explores the matter

You’re at the age when your hormones are doing the funky dance and getting you all worked up. You’re on an emotional rollercoaster, and it’s only natural growing up. But, before you shrug it off as just hormones, ask yourself: Could I be depressed?

Reading the signs:

You may be depressed long before you even realise it. Here are some of the signs of depression:
Not wanting to spend time with family and friends
Having trouble concentrating on schoolwork
If you start behaving in ways that you wouldn’t normally behave
Violence, rebellion, or wanting to run away
Turning to drugs and alcohol

What causes depression?

There are so many reasons why young people become depressed:
Peer pressure and the not being able to fit in with the ‘cool kids’
Relationship problems
Being pressured by parents to do well at school
Fear of being rejected because of sexual orientation

What do I do if I am depressed?

It is important that you take depression seriously – and get help quickly. Who can you turn to:
Psychological counselling will help you cope with your situation and you will learn how to deal with your depression. Counselling will help in the long run because what you learn will stay with you forever.
Aside from professional treatment, you need to realise that there are people who care, and who are available to talk to. This does not only have to be a family member; it can be a friend, teacher, pastor…
The most important thing is to open up. Talking about the way you feel will help relieve some of the distress caused by those intense emotions you’ve been bottling up.

What do I do if my friend is depressed?

Listen! Listen to what’s troubling them without passing judgment. Hearing them out can make them feel less alone.
Let them know that there are always solutions to problems.
Refer your friend to a professional. Telephone counselling and suicide hotline services are available in most cities and can be found in the telephone book.

Save these numbers:

loveLife PLZ CAL ME

Send a PLZ CAL ME to 083 323 1023 and one of our youth counsellors will call you right back.

The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) Suicide Crisis Line

Call 0800 567 567 or SMS 31393.

Article in NEW UNCUT, available at all loveLife sites nationwide! Send a PLZ CAL ME to 083 323 1023 to find a site near you.