Teens Share What It Feels Like to Be Depressed

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EDITOR’S NOTE: According to a 2014 study, nearly one-third of teens in high school show symptoms of depression. The study also found that Hispanic youth are more likely than white or black youth to report feeling sad or hopeless for extended periods of time; additionally, girls were more likely than boys to report those symptoms. More recently, state data in California has shown that mental health hospitalizations for young people are increasing, especially among Latino youth.

Many teens these days are being bullied or cyber-bullied into depression. Others take on the stress of their families’ financial issues. There are many things that weigh on us.

I have a few friends that I always see smiling and laughing, but in private I’ve seen them cry and tell me how lonely they are. Even though they are depressed, they hide it so others won’t make fun of them or feel sorry for them. Honestly I’m exactly the same.

My life is basically down the drain. I’ve been hiding my depression since the 6th grade. When I was younger, I was always bullied and felt like I was being compared to other people. I had nowhere to go. My friends weren’t really there for me when I needed them. Eventually I got new friends and I got a little better, but my depression and anxiety were still there. They’re still here to this moment. At school I’m usually smiling and happy, but at home when I’m alone I cry until I fall asleep.

I’ve had a couple of anxiety attacks at school, but mostly it happens at home. I feel worthless 80 percent of the time. I’m only okay when I’m with friends who care. Those who think that people with depression are stupid and weak do not know what it feels like to be awake at 3 in the morning, crying because they think they’re worthless. No “normal” person understands what people with depression and anxiety feel. They feel broken and sad.

-Betsy Romero

I have depression and anxiety, and it controls my life. The thought of being alone and forgotten makes me avoid getting help from others, and then I just feel more alone. It is like being trapped in a cage and surrounded by people who laugh at me and watch as I try to get better and cheer up on my own.

I feel forgotten by many of my friends and family. When my anxiety and depression kick in, I just feel like everybody close to me is going to abandon me and find someone happier, more helpful, and more caring than I am. I try to avoid talking to my boyfriend, my best friend, or my sister about it because I don’t want them to add my troubles to their own. I feel like nobody can help me but myself. But it’s hard to do anything when I feel this way.

Depression can happen to anybody at any age, regardless of your race, your sexuality, or your religion. And just because someone smiles a lot and seems happy, that doesn’t mean they couldn’t be depressed. One thing that can help is trying to take better care of yourself and think things through. And it helps to have the support of people who are close to you. It’s hard to pick yourself up, but a little help from somebody special can make a huge difference. You have to try to open up to the people you trust.

-Marianna Romero

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