Depression is Not Just a Feeling


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It took me a while to fully understand that depression is not just a feeling. Depression is a medical illness. It is not just a sadness you can shake off but a weight that holds you down. says that about 20% percent of all teens experience depression before they reach adulthood. Unfortunately, I happened to be one of these teens along with many others. Throughout my 17 years, I have met many people who have battled depression before adulthood. Both my mom and dad dealt with it in their teen years and continue to struggle with it today along with many other adults. Quite a few of my friends, past and present, have battled with depression. You do not always see what is going on with someone. Half the people I have talked to or used to be friends with have no idea that all my life I have been battling depression. I do not go around telling everyone because I do not believe it is something to brag about.

Back in November, I was hospitalized for two weeks for my depression. It was an eye opening experience. Being a young adult, I was terrified of getting the help I needed. I was scared of judgement and what my family and friends would think, but when I finally got to the hospital I realized that it did not matter what others think but rather that I was where I needed to be. The support was unreal, every kid there I could relate to in one way or another. The staff helped greatly along with the kids. Of course, at the time it was the last place I wanted to be. I did not have my phone, I had to share a room, I even missed Thanksgiving, but in the end I got through it and it did help me, whether I wanted to believe it or not. 

My depression was taking over my life. It was affecting my home, social, and school life. I was at the point where I could not even get out of bed. To overcome this, I was taught skills. At the time, I did not believe any of it would work and it was all pointless. When you are in the mindset that I was in, everything does seem pointless. Although as time went on and I got better, everything did not feel pointless anymore. Many teens look to these skills as I did. You have to realize that, for these to work, you have to want them and believe that they will work. Some skills to practice are taking deep breaths, realizing that you are here now and not in the past, taking a break, and lastly simply just being with friends and family.

Medication can also help with depression. It may take a little while to find the right one, but there will be one for you. I had to go through three medications to find the right one for me. I first started on Zoloft; the Zoloft unfortunately made my depression worse. I then proceeded to take the same one my mom took. I finally ended on Lexapro, which I am still currently taking. It’s helped me greatly and hopefully it will continue to. As you can interpret, depression does not just go away. If you deal with it now, you most likely will have the rest of your life. If you learn skills and get treated, it may make it easier. Depression can not just happen after a tragic event but it can also be passed down through genetics. You’d be surprised at how many people develop depression through genetics. For example, my mom also deals with depression and she is on medication for it. The doctors had me try the medication as, because of genetics, it may work on me like it did my mom. also states that around 30% of teens deal with untreated depression. Many teens are scared to ask for help and that goes to show that depression isn’t taken seriously enough in young adults. As a person who battles depression, I was one of these teens for the longest time. It is scary how desperate you feel for help yet the last thing you want to do is ask. It is okay to ask, though. Do not be scared to ask a friend, teacher, or family member for help. As scary as it may seem, it is worth it in the end. You are not alone.