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Depression is more than sad feelings that last for a few days. If you feel excessive fatigue, reduced motivation and trouble getting out of bed in the morning for two weeks or more, then you may be suffering from depression. Depression and Anxiety often occur together, creating even more suffering in one’s life.

Symptoms of depression may include

  • overwhelming feelings of sadness or grief
  • feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness
  • difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • unexplained headaches or stomachaches
  • excessive fatigue
  • eating more or less than usual
  • sleeping more or less than usual
  • loss of interest in activities one used to enjoy
  • thoughts of suicide

Depression can be difficult to recognize in youth because adolescent mood swings or irritability are a normal occurrence. However, if you notice a definite change in your teen’s behaviour, spending more time alone, excessive tearfulness, or a dramatic change in school performance, it may be time to get help.

As with anxiety, depression can be very isolating and debilitating. It is hard to reach out for help, as many people feel ashamed that they can not cope on their own. However, most people can not overcome depression alone. Reaching out for help is a sign of strength and the first step to feeling better. Depression is a mental illness, not a sign of weakness.