It’s normal to feel sad, lonely or anxious at times. But sometimes people can feel so sad, hopeless or worthless that they struggle to do every day things like get out of bed or go to school. These may be signs that someone needs help for a mental health problem.
Emotional pain can be hard to spot, and even harder to talk about. It’s important to learn the signs of emotional suffering and reach out. Research shows that the majority of people who get help get better.
It can be hard to put into words exactly how depression feels—and not all people experience depression the same way. There are, however, some common problems and symptoms associated with depression:
- Constantly feeling irritable, sad or angry
- Nothing seems fun anymore, and you just don’t see the point of trying
- Feeling bad about yourself—worthless, guilty, or just “wrong” in some way
- Sleeping too much or not enough
- Frequently having unexplained headaches or other physical problems
- Anything and everything makes you cry
- Gaining or losing weight without consciously trying to
- Difficulty concentrating and your grades plummeting because of it
- Feeling helpless and hopeless
- Thinking about death or suicide – if this is true, talk to someone right away!
Speaking up and asking for help is a sign of strength. You’ll be amazed by the support you get simply by asking. For mental health resources, please review our Resources page.
Spotting Depression in Peers
If you have a friend who seems down or troubled, you may suspect depression. But how do you know it’s not just a passing phase or a bad mood? Look for common warning signs :
- Your friend doesn’t want to do the things you guys used to love to do.
- Your friend starts using alcohol or drugs or hanging with a bad crowd.
- Your friend stops going to classes and after-school activities.
- Your friend talks about being bad, ugly, stupid or worthless.
- Your friend starts talking about death or suicide.