Depression can affect anyone
There’s no one cause of depression. And there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Depression impacts different people in different ways — and for different reasons. Learning more about that can help you find support or help someone who needs you.
Depression in children and teens
Growing up isn’t easy — family problems, peer pressure, and issues around sexuality and gender identity can be overwhelming. Ups and downs are normal — but if you know a child or teenager who might be depressed, talk to them about it. And if you’re a young person who’s struggling, find your words and ask a trusted adult for help.
Signs of depression in kids and teens
It can be especially challenging for younger people to talk about depression. Symptoms can be different in kids and teens — so it’s important for adults to know what to look for:
Trouble concentrating or decline in grades
Frequently getting in trouble at school
Being consistently down, negative, and/or irritable
Drug or alcohol use
Talking about suicide in person or on social media
Signs of self-harm (cutting, burning, etc.)
Social isolation, rejecting or losing friends
Talking about or trying to run away from home
Talking to kids about depression
You may have to try more than once. If they shut you out at first, keep trying to start the conversation. Be gentle but persistent about sharing your concerns, and let them know you’re always there to listen.
Honor their feelings. You can’t talk someone out of feeling depressed. Resist the urge to say things like, “things aren’t that bad,” or “you’ll grow out of it,” even if their problems seem silly or small to you.
Trust your instincts. If they say they’re fine but you know something isn’t right, it’s important to get them talking. If not to you, then to another trusted adult, like a teacher, counselor, or pediatrician.
Depression and diversity
Our beliefs, values, language, and lifestyle affect our attitudes about mental health conditions. Our cultural backgrounds help shape the way we talk — or don’t talk — about depression, and whether we feel comfortable seeking help.
For example, diverse groups — like Latinos, African Americans, and members of the LGBTQ community — may face additional stigma, and have different risk factors. Teens and veterans can also have unique needs. It’s important to know that help is available for everyone — and acknowledge that different people need different support.
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