Depression – Depression is a mental illness that is linked to physical changes that occur in the brain. Depression results from an imbalance of certain chemicals, called neurotransmitters, which are responsible for carrying signals in the brain and nerves. While there is no single cause of depression, there are many common factors that can lead to depression. Such factors as: family history, physical conditions, trauma/stress, and other psychological disorders.
Family History - Depression is one of many illnesses that can be passed on to individuals within a family for generations as a result of genetics. Genetics are responsible for all physical and biological traits, and are always inherited from one's parents.
Physical Conditions - Depression can result from the weakness and stress caused by serious medical conditions like cancer, HIV, or heart disease. Depression can actually increase the severity of such physical conditions, for it weakens the immune system and can make pain harder to tolerate.
Trauma/Stress - Traumatic or stressful experiences can drastically increase ones likelihood of becoming depressed. Changing schools, starting a new job, or dealing with the death of a family member are all extreme changes in ones life that can lead to depression.
Psychological Disorders - When one suffers from other psychological disorders such as anxiety, eating disorders, or substance abuse, depression can arise if these disorders go untreated, as a result of the stress that occurs from living with the illness.
Some Warning Signs of Depression:
Lack of interest in friends or social activities
Drastic changes in ones grades
Thoughts of running away
Alcohol or substance abuse
Fear of death
Changes in eating habits
Grief/Loss- Grief is the feeling that you experience with the death of a loved one. Loss is the feeling that you experience when a significant absence or change occurs in your life, but isn't related to death. However, some losses may actually feel worse than a death, (which are the most misunderstood feelings of all). There are several indications of grief and loss, which include: shock, sadness, anger, guilt and sometimes, no feelings at all.
Shock - Shock is the feeling of surprise where you may wonder “why me?”
Sadness - Sadness is the feeling of sorrow where you will miss the person you have loved so much
Anger - Anger is the feeling of rage, where you may wonder “why did this person have to leave”
Guilt - Guilt is the feeling that you could have done something to change the situation, and you may say “I didn't say enough or do enough when the person was here”
No feelings - Sometimes, when the loss of a loved one is unexpected, you may feel confused and may not even know what to feel, or what to say. These feelings are normal and should not be confused with a dislike for the individual.
What you can do:
1. If you feel overwhelmed by grief or loss, are having difficulties getting back to a normal routine, or considering taking your own life because of your grief or loss, please make an attempt to get help and call 1-877 YOUTHLINE, or call 1-800 SUICIDE
2. Talk to an adult that you trust