ts2It’s spring, and summer is quickly approaching. For most, this is a great time of year that brings newness and excitement. But for others, it is hard to get into a good mood. From time to time we all get the “blues.” We feel sad, lonely, disappointed, or rejected. But for some, these feelings can intensify into a state of depression that is not easy to get out of. Many people believe depression is something that affects only adults, but that is not so either.

Signs and Causes of Depression

Depression can be caused by many different life factors. Death of a family member or friend, conflicts with parents, or issues with friends or school mates can factor into depression. Many times the divorce of parents or the breakup of a relationship plays a part as well.

Sometimes the cause of depression is something that is physiological. As teenagers, we have many hormone changes, body changes, or issues with self-esteem.

There are many signs associated with depression. These signs can include (but are not limited to):

  • Lack of energy
  • Very noticeable fluctuation of weight (in either direction)
  • Increased irritability or sadness, rage, hostility, or frequent crying
  • Change in sleeping habits (sleeping too much or too little)
  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Presence of suicidal thoughts or thoughts of death
  • Loss of concentration
  • Not feeling valued
  • Lack of regard to appearance and hygiene
  • Dangerous and reckless behavior

Is it a bad mood or depression?

extra6It is important to note that just because you may be sad it doesn’t mean you are suffering from depression. Depression is usually characterized by the signs listed above that last more than two weeks. Most of us will have bad moods occasionally, but they’re usually a result of our sinful nature such as selfishness or unrighteous anger. When you find yourself in a bad mood, go to God in study and prayer for help in overcoming the sin that may be causing your bad mood.

If it is simply a bad mood, we need to consider why we are in this mood. There are several things you can do when you are down to cheer yourself up.

  • Find the positive. Even if it seems like something miniscule or insufficient.
  • Pray. Find somewhere quiet, peaceful, and where you are comfortable.
  • Get outside. Look at God’s creation and think about His awesomeness and sovereignty.
  • Make yourself your favorite food and read a book or watch a movie.
  • Count your blessings. Make a list. When you are done, hopefully you’ll not only feel better but you’ll also appreciate what God has done in your life even more.
  • Exercise. Even if you don’t feel like it. Get your blood pumping (usually at least a 30-minute workout), and finish with a nice cool shower.

Treating Depression

If you or someone you know is depressed, it is important you seek help. Sometimes just talking to someone who is willing to listen can help you to refocus your attention on the most important thing––your relationship with God. If you know someone who talks about suicide or dying, don’t take it as a joke even if they are smiling. Suicide is not a joke, and many times thoughts of suicide are brought on by depression. Talk to the person and alert an adult to the situation. You never know when it may save a life! If you are unsure of what to do there are many help lines all over the country that can help. 877-YOUTHLINE (1-877-968-8454) is toll free and can help you find a solution or give advice.

Above all else, remember Jesus loves you and is always there for you. Even when we feel like nobody else cares, He does, and He never leaves us.

“…For He hath said, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Hebrews 13:5

By Sarah Ancheta

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