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Depression Show
Third Eye Blind and ITM's Andrea team up to help save lives.
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What Is Depression? | What Is Self-Injury? | How To Help A Friend
Quotes from Third Eye Blind | Teens Writing About Depression
What Is Depression?
From the National Institute of Mental Health

Sure, everybody feels sad or blue now and then. But if you're sad most of the time, and it's giving you problems with

  • your grades or attendance at school
  • your relationships with your family and friends
  • alcohol, drugs, or sex
  • controlling your behavior in other ways

The problem may be DEPRESSION.

The good news is that you can get treatment and feel better soon. Approximately 4% of adolescents get seriously depressed each year. Clinical depression is a serious illness that can affect anybody, including teenagers. It can affect your thoughts, feelings, behavior, and overall health.

Most people with depression can be helped with treatment. But a majority of depressed people never get the help they need. And, when depression isn't treated, it can get worse, last longer, and prevent you from getting the most out of this important time in your life.

So....Listen Up:
Here's how to tell if you or a friend might be depressed.

First, there are two kinds of depressive illness: the sad kind, called major depression, and manic-depression or bipolar disorder, when feeling down and depressed alternates with being speeded-up and sometimes reckless.

You should get evaluated by a professional if you've had five or more of the following symptoms for more than two weeks or if any of these symptoms cause such a big change that you can't keep up your usual routine...

When You're Depressed...

  • You feel sad or cry a lot and it doesn't go away.
  • You feel guilty for no reason; you feel like you're no good; you've lost your confidence.
  • Life seems meaningless or like nothing good is ever going to happen again. You have a negative attitude a lot of the time, or it seems like you have no feelings.
  • You don't feel like doing a lot of the things you used to like - like music, sports, being with friends, going out - and you want to be left alone most of the time.
  • It's hard to make up your mind. You forget lots of things, and it's hard to concentrate.
  • You get irritated often. Little things make you lose your temper; you over-react.
  • Your sleep pattern changes; you start sleeping a lot more or you have trouble falling asleep at night. Or you wake up really early most mornings and can't get back to sleep.
  • Your eating pattern changes; you've lost your appetite or you eat a lot more.
  • You feel restless and tired most of the time.
  • You think about death, or feel like you're dying, or have thoughts about committing suicide.

When You're Manic...

  • You feel high as a kite...like you're "on top of the world."
  • You get unreal ideas about the great things you can do...things that you really can't do.
  • Thoughts go racing through your head, you jump from one subject to another, and you talk a lot.
  • You're a non-stop party, constantly running around.
  • You do too many wild or risky things: with driving, with spending money, with sex, etc.
  • You're so "up" that you don't need much sleep.
  • You're rebellious or irritable and can't get along at home or school, or with your friends.

Talk to Someone...

  • If you are concerned about depression in yourself or a friend, TALK TO SOMEONE about it. There are people who can help you get treatment:
  • a professional at a mental health center or Mental Health Association
  • a trusted family member
  • your family doctor
  • your clergy
  • a school counselor or nurse
  • a social worker
  • a responsible adult

Or, if you don't know where to turn, the telephone directory or information operator should have phone numbers for a local hotline or mental health services or referrals.

Depression can affect people of any age, race, ethnic or economic group.

Let's Get Serious Here!
Having depression doesn't mean that a person is weak, or a failure, or isn't really trying...it means they need treatment.

Most people with depression can be helped with psychotherapy, medicine, or both together.

Short-term psychotherapy, means talking about feelings with a trained professional who can help you change the relationships, thoughts, or behaviors that contribute to depression.

Medication has been developed that effectively treats depression that is severe or disabling. Antidepressant medications are not "uppers" and are not addictive. Sometimes, several types may have to be tried before you and your doctor find the one that works best.

Treatment can help most depressed people start to feel better in just a few weeks.

So remember, when your problems seem too big and you're feeling low for too long, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. There's help out there and you can ask for help. And if you know someone who you think is depressed, you can help: Listen and encourage your friend to ask a parent or responsible adult about treatment. If your friend doesn't ask for help soon, talk to an adult you trust and respect -- especially if your friend mentions suicide.

What You Need to Know About Suicide...
Most people who are depressed do not commit suicide. But depression increases the risk for suicide or suicide attempts. It is not true that people who talk about suicide do not attempt it. Suicidal thoughts, remarks, or attempts are ALWAYS SERIOUS...if any of these happen to you or a friend, you must tell a responsible adult IMMEDIATELY...it's better to be safe than sorry....

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