…I wouldn’t want her to deal with depression on her own.

Did you know that, according to the A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia in 2011 (you can find the article at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002486/), adolescent girls are twice as likely to experience depression than adolescent boys?  This is one scary statistic.  So, why do young girls become depressed?

Depression is described as being sad, discouraged, and un-motivated.  It can also be a loss of self-worth and a lack of interest in things you used to enjoy.  There are many varied factors that can cause a young girl to be depressed.  The A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia says that depression can be caused by maturing and changing hormones or all different kinds of stress/disturbing events like physical or sexual abuse, bullying, learning disabilities, conflicts with your parents, failing in school, breaking up with your significant other or the death of someone close to you.  You are more likely to become depressed because of one of these events if you feel helpless or are too critical of yourself or if it runs in your family.  A lot of young people with depression also experience other mental health issues like anxiety, an eating disorder, ADHD, or Bi-Polar disorder.

It is extremely important to let someone in on what you’re feeling if you are experiencing depression.  It is ok to feel depressed and it is out of your control.  You don’t need to feel ashamed to tell a relative, teacher, doctor, friend’s parent, or friend that you trust.  Once you tell someone, you have started the process of healing.  You don’t have to face depression alone.  Remember that.  Also, I want you to know that it can get better.

There are several ways to treat true depression (by true depression, I mean the kind that consumes your life and you can’t simply will it away).  You can seek supportive care from your doctor, talk therapy (this is also something to be embraced and not feel ashamed of), or in some cases, you can be prescribed anti-depressant medications.

Depression, like any mental health disorder, does not make you “crazy”.  Many people experience a mental health disorder during the course of their life.  You are not alone and there is support out there for you.

A great resource is the National Institute of Mental Health website.  Here is the web address for their support page:

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/getting-help-locate-services/index.shtml

Thank you to the A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia found on the website for the U.S. National Library of Medicine for the facts about adolescent depression.

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