A Teenager’s Guide To Surviving Depression

Posted by simran nanda in #LetsTalk, Mental Health
April 5, 2017

Depression can make you feel like you’re hollow from the inside. It’s the part of your problems you can’t easily talk about. It’s the emptiness you feel while you just stare at walls for hours, it’s the untimely breakdowns, it’s convincing yourself to concentrate when focusing on one single thing seems impossible, it’s strength to get up and start afresh when let alone leaving the bed, blinking seems like a task too and it’s the courage to ask for help when talking seems like an uphill battle.

Depression can take away your will to live. How does a teenager survive the complexities of this problem, along with the pressure to score well in exams, to concentrate and face the perpetual criticism of adults?

Here are a few things that can help you:

1. It’s okay to not be okay. Depression does not make you abnormal.

The first step is coming to terms with the fact that being depressed does not make you ‘desperate’, ‘an attention seeker’ or a ‘retard’. It’s a phase of life which is challenging and if you feel you’re too weak right now, trust me, you’ll get the strength to overcome it over the period of time. So for now,don’t be too hard on yourself.

2. Talk about it only when you’re ready to.

Take your time. You must never feel burdened to let it all out because people around you constantly keep on asking you if you’re okay or if you need help. At the same time, if you feel like seeking help immediately will help you, talk about it with people who have always been there for you. Everyone has a different pace so you decide when you’re ready to seek help.

3. It’s okay if your parents do not understand the struggle within you.

You might be mistaken for being lazy, lethargic, using this as an excuse to get away with responsibilities and much more. At times, a conversation with parents help teenagers get better as their parents turn out to be supportive but many would not regard mental health as a serious problem as it is many a times taken as a taboo in our society to talk about mental health issues. Turn to a trustworthy friend instead. Just because they don’t understand you, doesn’t mean that they don’t love you. Our parents belong to a different generation, some adapt with the openness of talking about issues of importance others stay rigid to their old beliefs.

4. Your mental well being is more important than your grades.

I know, you need an exceptional percentage to get admission to the college of your choice and in today’s world the competition is touching peaks and you feel like you’ll be left behind in this race to success. Relax. Don’t be too hard on yourself. When you feel like it’s impossible to study any longer, take a nap, listen to music, watch a TV series, hit the gym or do anything to make yourself feel better. At this point of time in your life this might sound unreal but trust me, your grades don’t matter as much as your well being does.

5. Find that one thing that makes you happy.

Be a little selfish. Take out time for yourself and do that one thing that makes you happy. It can be something as simple as reading a book, painting, listening to music or as adventurous as travelling. I know you feel burdened by your own thoughts. Try to distract yourself from the sadness and enjoy a few moments of happiness.

6.Believe in yourself. Time heals everything.

You feel like this is the end of the world and life just can’t get worse with your thoughts overpowering you, never ending exams, the pressure to perform well and trying to discover what went so wrong that you ended up in the state you are. It’s overwhelming. Take one step at a time. Look at yourself in the mirror everyday and tell yourself that you’re strong, you’ll survive, you’ll get better because trust me, time heals everything. And if you feel like you can’t take it anymore, seek help. It does not make you weak to reach out to someone and talk about the issues you face.

7. Breathe. Just breathe. You’re much stronger than you think you are.