By Alissa Baker
Cougar News Blog
You may have heard about this subject from your friends, the internet, or maybe you even have it yourself. Although there are many articles discussing teen depression, I feel like they are missing a few key features. I want to give people an insight into what depression feels like, what it is, and what it can do to an emotional teen.
You know that feeling you get when you’re sad? Well, that’s what depression is, except you have it for a longer period of time. Many would describe it as a gloomy, mean, or frightening monster hanging on your back, or like a grey cloud always hanging over your head. The most disturbing and realistic description of it is it’s like you fall down this deep, dark hole, and a huge rock is crushing your leg. You try to yell out for help, only realising that nobody can hear you and you are probably going to die there alone without anyone ever noticing.
When someone has depression, it is usually caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, which may have been caused by genetics, early childhood trauma, or the brain’s biology. It is also documented that depression could be passed down by genetics. This mental disorder is not easily fixed; it has to slowly progress over time, and some people never escape it.
Some states of depression only last a couple weeks, then it is all clear. Every now and then it can come back even harder than the first time. States of major depression, also known as manic depression, can be linked to anxiety, where you have stress and panic attacks. It is also linked to bipolar disorder, where the person can spend a period of time energetic and happy, but ending up burning themselves out and feeling majorly depressed afterwards with no signs of the sudden change. This can lead to abuse, self-harming, and suicide.
Many people with depression try to make themselves feel better by going into the grey zone, which is a mental state where you can’t feel any emotions, including sadness, and happiness. It’s like if you walked up into your head and came back down but you forgot all you emotions.
Depression mixed with an emotional teen can get very dire. Many adults may brush it off and say it’s just their hormones and that they should get over it because some people have it worse than them. But depression is a serious thing and negative comments they get from people on the subject can create a storm inside their heart. If they try to bottle the pain and rage up, they will soon explode.
People may get depression mixed up with being “emo.” Although some may have depression, but others may just be trying to act “depressed” to get attention or show that they are different.
If you have depression or someone you know of has depression, I recommend you or your friend talk to a therapist or doctor to help you find the best treatment. Having depression is nothing to be ashamed of and making the decision to get help can be the most difficult step in getting help.
Editor’s Note: This article is the opinion of the Cougar News Blog writer Alissa Baker. It is the fourth in a series of stories about serious issues such as depression, eating disorders, and women’s rights.