Have you felt so down that you just didn’t care? Have you felt like life just sucks or isn’t fair? Have you tried to cover up your depression by pretending you’re happy? Are you sad but don’t know really why?

What about when life hits us hard? When we’re just not our best, or feelin’ sad or depressed? Or just stressed out? Where do we go then? Do we tell or post about our yucky feelings or sucky times as well as our good? Or do we withdraw or withhold how we are really feeling? What do we do? Ugh! Yuck!

So how do ya know if you’re just bummed or if it’s serious stuff goin’ on? Here are six things you can look for to see if you may be more than just bummed out.

  1. You notice an attitude change

You may get angry at your parents, brother, sister for any little thing they do. You cop an attitude when you’re asked to do something or you give short or sarcastic answers to “dumb” questions. You may feel moody, or grumpy. Your friends or family may tell you that you have changed or are not yourself or that you need an “attitude adjustment”. You may just “want to be left alone”.

  1. Your actions change so much that you stop doing fun stuff

This may include not wanting to hang out with friends as much; you may turn down invites to places you like hanging out at. You may find yourself chilling in your room for a long time, walking slower, avoiding pretty much everybody, not turning in assignments on time or at all, not doing your chores, getting into arguments with your family, friends, or adults in “authority”. You’re just not yourself…you feel restless, snappy, even angry, or just feel like a tired turtle.

  1. You eat a bunch or not much at all

You may find that you snack more than usual or skip meals or eat less and less; or you may be eating crunchy or soft food depending on your mood you which may be about certain thoughts or feelings you are having.

  1. You may be sleeping less or more

You may find it more difficult getting out of bed for school or for family stuff or are sleepy with your eyes barely open or are sleeping in more and more. You might even feel like when you lay down that you toss and turn or maybe you get “bad dreams” or nightmares. Sleep changes can affect your mood and may be related to depression.

  1. You lack motivation or you procrastinate

The typical enthusiasm just is not the same. You avoid homework until the day before it’s due, or you just don’t plan on doing anything with your friends like you used to do or you could care less about making friends at all. You feel like your mom or dad nags you all the time to get your chores done and they may even get mad at you for ignoring them.

  1. You talk about death or feel like the world would be better without you

You feel like if a big giant meteor fell out of the sky and landed on you, you wouldn’t mind. You may figure, “What’s the use?” or “Life sucks and I don’t wanna be here anymore!” “Nobody would even notice if I was gone”. You may even start planning to leave life by giving away your stuff.

NOTE: Some of these signs may show more than depression or something other than depression including but not limited to the following: various types of medical issues, use of or exposure to toxic substances, beginning or increased use or addiction to alcohol and/or other drugs or substances.

Sometimes, friends and family may not understand or they are too close to the situation to be open, honest, or objective with us. This is where we may find ourselves trying to hide the pain or do something to feel better. You may get a stomach ache or feel weird and wonder “What’s wrong with me? Where do I go?” “I’m not crazy just a little down…things ain’t like how I want…I don’t wanna keep feeling this way…so what do I do?

We have found many times teens coming to see us just want to talk and sort out these rough spots in their lives with us. Counselors are not your parents and not your friends either…but hey we help you sort out some serious stuff so you can feel better about yourself. We help you figure things out so you can be your own person.

When it’s time to share “private” matters, go to someone who you can trust who will be able to listen and hold in confidence your hurts and hopefully for you to gain comfort, reassurance that you’re not crazy…to help you feel more okay, cool, or at peace about life.