You go through a lot of changes during your high school years. Some of these changes may weigh heavily on your mind and you may feel extended periods of stress and strain. Occasional stress is completely normal and a little time for relaxation may be all you need. But how do you know when your feelings are more serious than normal everyday "blues"?
Depression is a common illness, which can be identified by such symptoms as long periods of sadness or irritability, withdrawal from activities and friends you used to enjoy, changes in your sleep patterns, low energy, feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness, changes in appetite, or recurrent thoughts about death or dying. Most people feel one or two of these symptoms when life gets tough, which is completely normal. But if these feelings persist for more than two weeks, you should go see your high school counselor, doctor, or another trusted adult right away. It may be difficult to seek help at first, but depression is a real illness that needs careful treatment, just like any other illness.