It’s normal for young people to feel sad or have mood swings. These years are challenging. You are often between being too old to enjoy the things you used to do – and too young to do the things you want. Everything is changing.
Depression in young people can be hard to spot. People who are depressed may:
- Feel sad, tearful, moody or irritable
- Feel ‘empty’ or ‘numb’, this is often worse in the morning
- No longer find joy in the things that once made them happy
- Have angry outbursts
- Feel worthless or guilty, and blame themselves. They may say things like, ‘it’s all my fault’ or ‘I’m a failure’
- Stop seeing friends
- Have negative thoughts that don’t go away, including thoughts about hurting or killing themselves. They may think or say things like, ‘life’s not worth living’ or ‘I can’t do this anymore’.
Depression can also cause physical symptoms like:
- tiredness, low in energy and motivation
- changes in appetite or weight
- vague or unexplained physical problems – for example, stomach aches and headaches
- sleeping problems – for example, difficulty getting or staying asleep
People with depression often have difficulty concentrating, making decisions, solving problems, or remembering information.
To identify depression you usually need to be seen by a professional who is trained.