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I AM in Iowa Adolescents Making Choices to Control Their Future Teen:Health, Relationship, Body and Sexuality
Oct 16

Dealing with Depression and Anxiety

Posted By iamincontrol | October 16, 2014

sad teenage girl
By Emily

Dealing with depression and anxiety can be a daunting task, especially as a teenager.  You already have so much going on with school, work, extra-curriculars and anything else you might be involved in.  And then you have this nagging feeling.  It could be sadness, anger, fear, tiredness or any other combination of feelings.  Mine started slowly. It just seemed like I was having an off day, which turned into an off week, then an off month until finally I realized something was wrong.  I didn’t want to say anything about it because it’s not like I was sick. I didn’t need to go to the doctor.  I just needed to get out of my funk.  Things I used to enjoy doing were now things I shied away from.  Hanging out with my friends now became a chore.  I wanted to stay home and not do anything.  I couldn’t figure out exactly what was bothering me or why I had started to feel this way, but it was affecting my entire life.

The moment I knew I needed to do something about it was when my mom asked me if I was feeling okay. I broke down and told her I wasn’t, but I didn’t know why.  She said it was okay, and we would figure it out together.  I started by going to see a counselor and talking about things.  It was embarrassing at first having to see a counselor.  I thought that meant that I was crazy.  I didn’t want anyone to know what I was doing, but I continued to go.  Once I started to open up, it helped me to feel like myself again.  We tried some medications, but I wasn’t too fond of them.  I ended up being diagnosed with a mild-anxiety disorder and ADHD, which helped to explain my depression.  I started working with my teachers more closely to get help on things that I normally would have just let go.  I continued to see a counselor on a regular basis, which helped me talk through things I felt I couldn’t talk to anyone else about.  I also started to work out.  I wasn’t doing anything crazy, just doing physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day.  That could mean walking to your friend’s house or riding your bike, just something to get you going.

It’s been a lot of years since all this happened.  I still deal with anxiety and depression every day, but the difference is that now I have the tools to deal with it.  I have a very good support system that includes my family, friends, counselors and anyone else that can help me.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help!  Depression and anxiety are nothing to be ashamed of.  You can do it, just believe in yourself and your own strength!