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Depressive Disorder in Adolescents


A depressive disorder is a medical condition that causes feelings of sadness or hopelessness that do not go away. These feelings last longer than usual It is more than feeling down in the dumps. Depressive disorders cause you to lose interest in things and sometimes the people you used to enjoy. These feelings interfere with your daily life. Do not wait for your feelings to go away. A depressive disorder can be treated. Treatment can help you feel better.


Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

  • You feel like you could harm yourself or someone else.

You or someone close to you should call your therapist or doctor if:

  • Your symptoms do not improve.
  • You cannot make it to your next appointment.
  • You have new symptoms.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Talk to your parent or an adult:

If you feel like you cannot talk to your parents, talk to a school nurse or counselor. Tell someone about your feelings and thoughts. Tell him or her if you feel like you might harm yourself. Tell him or her if you are being bullied by someone.

Talk with your friends:

Your friends can listen and understand how you feel. Your friends can support you.

Contact a crisis hotline:

There are many crisis hotlines with someone available to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

  • Call the crisis hotline at 1-800-273-8255. Text "GO" to 741741 if you are not comfortable talking to someone you know.
  • Find the number for a crisis hotline in your area and keep it with you at all times.

Things that may help improve your mood:

  • Eat healthy foods.
  • Do physical activity every day, such as walking or running.
  • Get out in the daylight.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Focus on positive things, even the small things.
  • Keep a journal.
  • Use music or art to be creative.
  • Hang out with positive people.
  • Do not use alcohol or drugs.

Follow up with your therapist or doctor as directed:

Take your journal. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.