Undiagnosed Depression

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Undiagnosed Depression

Lauren Gonzalez, Staff

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Being a teenager is rough with emotions and hormones constantly running wild. Sometimes, teens can get into slumps, although it can be difficult to tell the difference between long term sadness or a short term downfall. When adults tell a kid to “keep your head up” or “don’t let the times get you down,” it feels as if they have no idea what they are talking about. In reality, chances are, they do. Four in five teens who are depressed go undiagnosed and untreated for years.

 

Adults sometimes can’t help but put telltale signs of depression in teens past them. They generally group the emotions they see adolescents struggling to carry with “a part of growing up” or teens “just being dramatic”. Mental health is just as important as physical health and just because it is not seen, does not mean depression is not an issue. Teens can make jokes all over social media, but there are real people barely coping with their overwhelming emotions. These depressive episodes can be triggered by family issues, relationships with peers (casually or romantically), reliance on alcohol/substance abuse etc. Since mental health in adolescents goes unchecked by adults, teens can feel as if they have nobody to rely on. This sickening feeling is one that hurts the most, but is not the truth. Each young adult has their peers, whether it be at school, organizations, or even the local church. Many adolescents are looking out for peers that may need help.

 

The peers of adolescents are best to watch for signs of wavering mental health. Fellow teens know what it is like nowadays to be in one of these slumps and go unnoticed. If peers would stop and take a minute every now and then to check on those around, many people would be helped, surely more than the amount that is getting the help they need now.

 

At times, it seems that it could be easier to hide the emotions that one may be experiencing from adults. Parents, teachers, or mentors aren’t always aware of the situations at hand. They can be oblivious too sometimes. It takes a lot of courage to speak up and tell someone about what an individual is going through, but if someone who can be trusted and is responsible is told, hopefully the help necessary is given.

 

There are many steps that can be taken to prevent a young adult from going through the ups and downs of undiagnosed depression alone. Reaching out to peers or going to an adult are the obvious options. Sometimes, due to the lack of information provided to parents and young mentors of young adults, they may not know how to go about the situation. If worse comes to worst, remember that you always need to be there for you.

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