Depression explanation

Being sad for a few days might be considered normal because sadness is a typical aspect of being human. However, if a young person’s feelings of melancholy persist for longer than a few weeks and begin to significantly affect their daily activities, they may be experiencing depression.

Depression is characterised by persistent sadness and feeling “down,” to the point of feeling powerless, useless, and without hope. Everything may be affected by depression, including relationships, family, and relationships at school. Early intervention, however, can encourage a full recovery and allow the patient to rediscover their true selves.

Keep in mind that depression is a medical condition that impacts both the brain and hormones. A sign of this condition is a depressed mood. Being depressed is not a sign of weakness. It is not the person’s fault if they are depressed. It’s also extremely genuine. The earlier people receive assistance, the better. See the section below on “Finding Help” for further details.

Anyone who is contemplating suicide or self-harm should get treatment right away from a specialist. They must dial 911, proceed to the closest hospital, or get in touch with a nearby distress centre (see Ontario Health Care Options).

Risk elements

Anyone can experience “clinical” or medical depression. Before the age of 18, one in five young individuals will suffer depression. Although there is no one cause, there are certain recognised risk factors:

  • Dealing with adverse life circumstances, such as academic failure, bullying or assault, an accident injury, witnessing a distressing incident, a severe health condition, or losing a loved one.
  • Going through painful experiences as a youngster
  • Having a relative or other close relative who has struggled with depression
  • Residing in challenging conditions including poverty, unemployment, family strife, or family dissolution
  • Abusing alcohol or narcotics
  • Having a gloomy, negative viewpoint

indications of depression

Depression affects not just how someone feels, but also their thoughts and behaviours. Not just the atmosphere, either. Those who are close to a depressed person may realise something is off. In fact, it’s possible that friends and family will see a problem before a young person does.

Additionally, because mood swings and irritability might be signs of normal teenage growth rather than sadness, depression can be particularly difficult to identify in teens. However, because depression increases the risk of suicide, its symptoms should never be disregarded.

An individual with depression may:

  • Feel more depressed or nervous than usual.
  • Constantly worry, get irritated, or get furious.
  • Find it difficult to deal with even modest daily tasks.
  • Lose interest in activities they once enjoyed

Feeling helpless, unworthy, or guilty

  • Have difficulty falling asleep or sleep more than usual
  • Weep a lot
  • Feel drained of energy or restless
  • Desire to consume more or less food than normal
  • Have difficulties focusing, paying attention, or making judgments
  • Consider suicide and death in general a lot.

Rarely, persons with severe depression may even become detached from reality and experience paranoia, bizarre beliefs, hearing voices, or seeing things that aren’t there.

To assist people in determining whether or not they may have depression, certain internet tools have been created. These are only suggestions. Every test has some error. Whoever has concerns should talk with a health expert, regardless of what these instruments disclose.

Depressive disorder treatment

Since every individual is unique, what functions well for one person could not be effective for another. Whatever the form of therapy used, practising self-help techniques and receiving support from family and friends are still crucial for healing. The most important thing to remember is that depression is curable.

Advisory services or talk therapy

Psychotherapy or psychological counselling, sometimes known as “talk therapy,” is the main treatment for depression or anxiety. It has been demonstrated that a variety of talk therapies are secure and successful in treating depression.

  • Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) can assist us in understanding the relationship between our ideas, behaviour, and emotions. CBT teaches us how to swap out unhelpful, depressed thoughts and behaviours with helpful, happy ones.
  • Interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) aims to enhance interpersonal connections by assisting us in resolving problems that are causing depression.
  • Solution-focused therapy places an emphasis on our own assets and assists us in building a bright future for ourselves by addressing our stressors and issues.


It is possible to utilise antidepressant drugs, frequently in conjunction with talk therapy. They are often only administered in cases of severe depression or when talk therapy isn’t sufficiently effective on its own. These drugs, which alter the chemical equilibrium in the brain, must be administered by a doctor, such as a family practitioner, paediatrician, or psychiatrist. In order to ensure that the patient is receiving the proper prescription and dose for them, the doctor will constantly monitor them while they are taking the drug to look out for any negative effects.

Depression management: Self-help advice

Whatever stage of depression and recovery a person is at, there are things they may do to look after themselves. That entails caring for the body as well as the intellect. You may share the following advice on self-help:

  • Eat well, sleep well, get outside, and exercise! Your entire body-mind system may benefit from all of these simple healthful behaviours.
  • Keep drugs and alcohol off the street. These can seem like a quick fix, but in the long term, they might worsen your situation and keep you from getting well.
  • When and when you can, find measures to lessen your stress. Learn how to meditate or try yoga or tai chi.
  • Record your ideas and emotions in a notebook. Make a point of listing one or two things each day for which you are grateful. It could be beneficial.
  • Be imaginative in your expression. Dance, draw, or create music are a few examples.

Check out the self-help books and websites. One step at a time, with the help of these programmes, you may learn how to manage your depression or make positive changes in your life. For further details about depression, see the section below.

Attending a self-help group in your neighbourhood might be quite beneficial.

Self-help associations

  • Enable you to speak with those who have “been there”
  • Assist you in resolving your issue
  • Encourage people to talk about their experiences with remedies or coping mechanisms.
  • Assist you in overcoming whichever therapy you select

Contact: to find out more about local self-help groups and other services.

helping a friend or relative of the family

You can support a sad individual in a number of important ways:

  • Listen carefully and refrain from passing any judgement.
  • Encourage your friend or family member to seek additional assistance and help them locate it.
  • Suggest accompanying them to appointments.
  • Keep in touch with them frequently and let them know you’re available.
  • Arrange pleasant activities you can do together.
  • Be on the lookout for indications of suicidal behaviour (see Understanding Suicide and Finding Help). Get them to an emergency room at the hospital straight once or dial 911 if there is an urgent risk.

Remember to take care of yourself. Make time for your own physical, emotional, and social requirements for wellbeing, and ask for more help for yourself when necessary.

Getting aid

Search the Ontario Health Care Options directory to find services near you.

Young people may access information and nearby assistance from them, and they provide free professional counselling over the phone or online. Children and teens between the ages of 5 and 20 can contact Kids Help Phone at any time of day or night. Additionally, there are periods when you may talk online; check the website for details.

Speak with the school nurse or counsellor.

Inform your family physician.

You could discover that a young person only needs the support of their family, friends, and primary care physician to feel like themselves again. Psychiatrists, psychologists, mental health nurses, social workers, and counsellors are available in the neighbourhood if not. They can be found in a variety of community health care settings. You can get referred to these mental health professionals by your primary care physician. Or you may connect with someone by contacting one of the neighbourhood organisations listed in the Ontario Health Care Options database.

Show More