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  • Writer's pictureJean Queen

The What's and the Why's of Depression

What is depression?


There are a number of what are referred to as mood disorders identified in a manual called the DSM 5 or (Diagnostic Statistical Manual 5.) The most common is Major Depressive Disorder. 1 in 6 young people aged 16-24 have symptoms of a common mental disorder such as depression or an anxiety disorder. Whereas 1 in 8 children have a diagnosable mental health disorder – that’s roughly 3 children in every classroom.



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Depression effects the way we think, feel and how we function. Symptoms vary and depression is not just about feeling sad. It can affect the way we are able to concentrate which can make work and education difficult. It can also affect the way we feel, leaving us tired and lethargic. It can cause us to sleep too much or not enough. Depression can leave us feeling hopeless that nothing will ever get better and not able to enjoy things we used to like being with friends, hobbies etc.


In extreme cases it can lead us to having thoughts to harm ourselves. Remember however difficult things seem there is help out there and different treatments to help you feel better.


What causes depression?

Depression does not discriminate and can affect anyone, in fact, it is thought that most of us will be affected by a mental health problem at some point in our lives. There is no one cause, but is usually affected by different things including;


  • Genetics- if someone in our family has suffered, we are more likely to.

  • Personality traits such as being a perfectionist.

  • Chemical imbalances in the brain.

  • Personal experiences such as the death of a loved one, being bullied, parents separating.

  • Depression can also be triggered if a change happens suddenly in your life.


What are the symptoms?

Symptoms or signs may include


• Feeling sad or irritable

• Problems sleeping

• Can’t remember things

• Nothing is much fun anymore

• Feeling guilty or to blame all the time

• Problems at home

• Eating too much or too little

• Can’t concentrate

• Feeling bad about yourself

• Problems at school

• Feeling restless or on edge

• Can’t make your mind up

• Feeling hopeless

• Problems with family



Treatments for depression

There are various different treatments recommend and backed by research. This includes cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), family therapy, and interpersonal therapy (IPT). These can be delivered online, face to face, or in groups. Sometimes medication can be helpful and this would be something to discuss with your GP.


For a more detailed description please refer to the NICE guidelines (see below)


If you need someone to talk to please call

Samaritans 116 123

Childline 0800 1111

Young Minds If you need urgent help text YM to 85258


Please note @therapyforteens is not a crisis service.

If you feel like you might attempt suicide, or may have seriously harmed yourself, you need to seek urgent medical help.


Please: Contact your GP, NHS 111 or A and E

If you can't do this by yourself, ask someone to help you.

Mental health emergencies are serious. You're not wasting anyone's time.

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