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Depression Treat it as if you life depended on it.

A Youth's Guide to Suicide Prevention


Being a teen is tough enough when you're healthy, but it can be unbearable for teens with depression.


Depression in youth

People often interpret the symptoms of depression as normal teen behavior. But depression isn't "typical" or "just a phase," and teens can't handle it alone. For some, depression may lead to thoughts of suicide.

Experts believe that at least 95 percent of people who die by suicide have depression or a related depressive illness. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for people 10 to 25 years old. Treating depression is the most effective way to prevent suicide.


What is depression?

Depression is a recognizable and treatable illness.

Depression is an illness of the brain that affects moods, thoughts, feelings, behavior and physical health. Unlike the "blues," depression lasts longer than a couple of weeks. It won't go away with positive thinking or determination.


Anyone can have depression.

Depression is an illness that can happen at any time, even when a person's life seems to be going well. For some teens, stressful situations can trigger depression, such as dealing with pressure to fit in, adjusting to the break-up of a relationship, doing poorly in school, or not feeling wanted at home.

It's important to remember that anyone can suffer from depression. Seek treatment because everyone deserves to be healthy.


What if someone shows symptoms?

Like Diabetes or asthma, depression needs to be treated by a medical professional. If you're concerned about yourself or one of your friends, you need to talk to an adult, such as a parent, coach, school counselor, or youth group leader. These people can help you or your friend see a health care professional for a depression screening. Depression can be successfully treated using medication, therapy or a combination of both.

People who exhibit depression symptoms or warning signs of suicide should see a doctor immediately.


Symptoms of depression

  • Feeling sad, empty or numb
  • Feeling tired all the time
  • Feeling hopeless, helpless or worthless
  • Feeling angry or moody, excessive crying
  • Sleeping more or less than usual
  • Avoiding friends; feeling alone when with friends
  • Loss of interest in things that used to be fun
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering
  • Eating less or eating more than usual
  • Recurring headaches, backaches or stomachaches
  • Alcohol or drug use
  • Thinking about, planning or attempting suicide


Warning signs of suicide

  • Talking, reading or writing about suicide or death
  • Talking about feeling worthless or helpless
  • Saying things like: "I'm going to kill myself,"
    "I were never born," or "I shouldn't have been born"
  • Visiting or calling people to say goodbye
  • Giving things away; returning borrowed items
  • Organizing or cleaning bedroom "for the last time"
  • Self-destructive behavior like self-cutting


If you or someone you know are in
crisis, call 1.800.SUICIDE
(Toll Free in the U.S., 24 hours / 7 days).
More information is available online:


Developed by Suicide Awareness Voices
of Education (SAVE) and the Minnesota
Department of Human Service
Distributed by the Minnesota Department of Health


Save - Suicide Awareness Voices of Education Minnesota Department of Health Minnesota Department of Human Services



© Cass County, MN, 2014