Clinical Depression

Health Corner

The prevalence of clinical depression is on the rise throughout the world during this time of COVID-19. People all over the world have been struggling and are mostly under the fear of the unknown. Depression is not a myth, but it is very real. One of the most affected populations is teens and adolescents; often their depressive symptoms get masked since we think that their melancholy is due to their mood swings, hormonal imbalances, or teenage rebellion. Teenagers and adolescents deal with feelings of insecurity, fear of body image, hopelessness, anger, intense frustration, or sadness. According to a study published by the World Health Organization (WHO, 2015), over 350 million people suffer from depression, making it the leading cause of disability and suicide.

Depression can cause insomnia (difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep), which is one of the major sleep disorders we see in adolescents and teens. Symptoms of depression may range from loss of self-worth, feeling sad and hopeless, low energy in doing chores, anger and frustration, weight loss or weight gain, or even suicidal thoughts. Depressed teens may sulk, act out, get in trouble at school, express negativity, and feel misunderstood by others. One study suggests that as many as six students in a classroom may be struggling with depression at any given time (Huberty, 2012).

Depression is real, but so is God’s favor upon us. The Word of God tells us to “be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, He it is that doth go with thee; He will not fail thee, nor thee” (Deuteronomy 31:6, KJV). God, who promised thus, is faithful. Let us also not forget that a church-going teen or an adolescent growing up in a Christian home can also feel depressed. Nevertheless, we need to reiterate to the stressed minds that Christ who is in us is greater than the devil who is in the world. One of the powerful lies the enemy tries to infuse in both young and adult minds is the feeling of worthlessness. Those lies can entangle human minds unless it is resisted in prayer and by using the Word of God.

The most important step to fight depression is to identify the symptoms and to treat them. Through continued support and prayer, we can help adolescents and teens fight depression and suicidal tendencies.

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