By Tessa Chapin
We’ve all heard of depression, but few people know what depression actually is. Depression isn’t just having a bad day. Depression is an overwhelming feeling of sadness, guilt, irritability, or worthlessness that doesn’t seem to go away. Teens with depression suffer on a day-to day basis.
“The warning signs of depression can look very different depending on the individual,” Lincoln High Case Manager Danielle Pranger said. “I think the common idea many people have is when someone’s depressed they’re sad, they might sleep a lot, they isolate themselves, they don’t want to be around others, they lose interest in activities they once participated in.” “I think on the flip side, some people when they get depressed, culturally or socially in their families being sad is not okay, so they turn to being angry. Then they display a lot of anger, a lot of frustration, maybe verbal aggression, maybe they become physically aggressive, but they also might be depressed. It’s just that showing sadness may not be appropriate for them in their social situation,” Pranger said.
Depression can also cause a loss of energy, reckless behavior, unexplained aches and pains, and concentration problems. Some kids with depression won’t come forward with depression because they’re scared to or they think nobody will be able to help. “Share it with an adult you can trust,” Pranger said. “I think depression is very different from self harm, so someone that’s hurting themselves or maybe thinking about suicide those are symptoms of depression that we would take very seriously, those are things we would want to act on immediately,” she added.
Rather than saving a friendship and saying okay I’ll keep this a secret if someone is self harming or cutting or threatening suicide. you need to go tell an adult, Pranger said. “That would be the more severe part of depression” Here at Lincoln High someone is always willing and able to talk with students who are really feeling depressed “We try and put some supports here in place let them know that we care,” Pranger said. “We also have some really great community programs that come into our building, and we can get students set up with those so they have someone regularly to talk to. We can also set students up with resources in the community outside of the building so we’re able to get them on a path to feeling better,”