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Teenage Depression - It Happens!

Posted on 20th November 2015

Photo credit: Ellie Bridgwater

Depression sounds like the kind of problem that only applies to middle aged people but believe it or not people our age can get depression too. If you don’t know what depression is, the NHS website says it’s a mental illness when "you feel persistently sad for weeks or months". Even more basically put, it’s when you feel really unhappy and lonely.

It’s actually quite easy for you and I to get depression as a lot of us have started College for the first time, and we haven’t had to do a new (and potentially scary) transition since the one from primary to secondary. That transition would have been a lot easier, because we were spoon-fed, but in College it’s not the same as we’re adults and we get treated as such. Consequently, it’s easy to feel sad and lonely, because the independence of College life can be hard for some.

But do not fear, you’re certainly not the only one that feels that way, The Mental Health Foundation says that one in four people will experience a mental health problem over the course of a year.

The most important thing to remember if you’re feeling down is that you can find help. The most effective method is by talking about it - don’t bottle it all up. Find at least one trusted person to talk to. Also, keeping a healthy lifestyle (diet, exercise and sleep) has a massive effect on your mental wellbeing. Having a favourite hobby that will keep you busy or just simply relaxing also works. Overall, being optimistic and just focusing on the good in you should do the trick.

At College, if you or someone you know is feeling off, you could speak to your Personal Tutor or Director of Studies about it, they’re qualified to help. You might have heard of the Well-Being Centre where you can get counselling or just drop in any lunchtime, no appointment required. It’s all confidential and it certainly isn’t taboo and it really helps. Also, a very helpful site to visit is time-to-change.org.uk. You could learn about how to help yourself or your friend.

Samir Sangar (Studying AS Biology, Chemistry, English Language and Law)