Teenage Depression

As you may have guessed from reading my blog, I volunteered for nearly two years writing articles for Reach Out, a youth mental health website. They were so kind to invite me as their guest to the Paul Stafford Charity Lunch. The lunch was in honour of both Reach Out and Console.  It was such a great time for a great cause!

Reach Out’s CEO Elaine Geraghty (left) with their Online Communications Officer Naoise Kavanagh (center)
Reach Out’s CEO Elaine Geraghty (left) with their Online Communications Officer Naoise Kavanagh (center)
Roisin who works with online communications (left) with Reach Out’s youth ambassadors Carmel Sayers and Susan Whyte
Roisin who works with online communications (left) with Reach Out’s youth ambassadors Carmel Sayers and Susan Whyte
Nicole Paulie with Fenella Murphy who also works at Reach Out.
Nicole Paulie with Fenella Murphy who also works at Reach Out.

Back in February, the Paul Stafford foundation donated €65,000 to Reach Out (on top of the money they raised for them at the lunch). But – Why is this so important?

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According to the Paul Stafford Foundation, more than 400,000 people in Ireland experience depression at any one time. This is 1/10th of the population. 1 in 3 people will be affected by depression at some point in our lives – either directly, or as a family member. Reach Out reported in their last insights report that of the people who visited their website for information, 53% of them were between the ages of twelve and twenty five, and 75% of the people who visited their site reported experiencing moderate to severe levels of psychological distress (Inspire Ireland, 2012). ReachOut.com is a great resource for our youth, to learn about how to deal with tough times, and cope with the stressful time that is growing up .

If you’re worried about your teenager or young-adult, here are some warning signs to keep an eye out for:

  • Feelings of sadness or hopelessness
  • Irritability, anger, or hostility
  • Frequent crying
  • Withdrawal from both family and friends
  • Loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy
  • Changes in eating and sleeping habits
  • Restlessness and agitation
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Lack of enthusiasm and motivation
  • Fatigue and lack of energy
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

If you’re unsure if an adolescent in your life is depressed or just “being a teenager,” consider how long the symptoms have been present, how severe they are, and how different the teen is acting from his or her usual self. While some “growing pains” are to be expected as teenagers grapple with the challenges of growing up, dramatic, long-lasting changes in personality, mood, or behavior are red flags of a deeper problem (Smith, Barston & Segal, 2013).

For more tips on teen depression (whether you’re a teen or a parent), check outReachOut.com and HelpGuide.org.

Resources

Inspire Ireland. (2012). Inspire ireland insights report 2012. Retrieved from Inspire Ireland website: http://www.inspireireland.ie/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Inspire-Insights-Report-2012.pdf

Smith, M., Barston, S., & Segal, J. (2013, Aug). Teen depression: A guide for parents. Retrieved from http://www.helpguide.org/mental/depression_teen.htm

Nicole Paulie is a Counselling Psychologist, and co-author of “How to be Happy and Healthy – The seven natural elements of mental health.” She provides therapy in the Dublin city area. Contact us to learn more or to book an appointment.

Teenage Depression & The ReachOut Charity Lunch
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