Anxiety and Depression

All teenagers experience anxiety and sadness from time to time. We feel anxious before a math test. We feel sad when not selected for a team. We feel lonely if left out of the lunch group. How do I know if I am just a normal teenager that is going through hormone and general life changes or if I have anxiety or depression??

When your anxiety or sadness starts to consistently interfere with your daily activities – take a second look. Anxiety and Depression are the most common mental disorders affecting 13-18 year-old teenagers. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 25% of all teens have anxiety and/or depression with 8% having a severe disorder. What are the signs?

Emotional/Behavioral Signs:
– Feeling Sad, Moody or Irritable
– Feeling Worthless or Blame Yourself – “I’m a Failure”
– Not Interested in Activities – Stop Seeing Friends, Not Playing at Recess or Sports
– Angry Outbursts that are Out of Character
– Having Negative Thoughts that Don’t Go Away
– Having Thoughts of Death or Hurting Yourself

Physical Signs:
– Feeling Tired, No Energy
– Weight Gain or Loss
– Unable to Sleep/Sleeping Too Much
– Headaches, Stomach Aches

Thinking Signs:
– Having Trouble Concentrating
– Forgetting Information
– Difficulty Making Decisions
– School Grades Dropping

What should I do if I think I have anxiety or depression??
1. Talk to your Parents (or an Adult you Trust).
2. Keep Your Body Healthy
3. Try Not to Isolate Yourself

My friend seems really sad all the time – what should I do??
1. Talk to your Friend. Let them know they are not alone.
2. Encourage them to talk to their Parents or a Trusted Adult.
3. Speak Up to an Adult if you think your Friend is Suicidal.

ResourcesChristine FreyTeens