If you’re wondering why you’ve started feeling this way, one (or more) of these sources might be the basis of your depression.
You’re taking oral contraceptives
For starters, here’s a really informative video.
A recent study of one million women found that teenage girls who are on the pill are nearly twice as likely to suffer from depression. And this research excluded women who had a history of mental illness. This means the pill didn’t make their depression worse – it it.
To put this in perspective, the male contraception injection trial was ditched two years ago because a small percentage of men complained of depression and mood swings. Get in line, boys.
You’ve got SAD (seasonal affective disorder)
This is a real thing. Not everybody gets it in winter, and it affects some people more than others. Symptoms include oversleeping, overeating (especially a craving for carbs), tiredness that doesn’t improve with adequate sleep and general feelings of pessimism. Light therapy is the main form of treatment.
You’re a nutrient-deficient vegetarian/vegan
First up, it’s totally possible to have an animal-free diet and be healthy. But it requires a lot more work than most people put into it. Iron and B12 deficiencies are the most common and both reduce the quantity of red blood cells in the body, which leads to feeling exhausted, weak and miserable. For vegans, the B12 supplements usually aren’t enough and they require an injection. Iron deficiency is extremely common in young women, even those who eat meat, because of monthly blood loss. So consider picking up a supplement with your tampons.
You’re in an abusive relationship but don’t realise it
If it’s your first relationship, how are you supposed to know if it’s good or not? That’s why so many teenagers end up being emotionally or physically abused by their partners. The biggest problem with abusive relationships is that you usually don’t realise you’re being abused. This is because your partner manipulates you into thinking you deserve bad treatment, or that you’re the bad one and lucky they put up with you. Sometimes they might acknowledge that what they’ve done is bad, then apologise and swear they’ll never do it again. But they do it again. And again. If your depression started with your relationship, read this article. And there’s a really useful checklist here.
This is a biggie. Stanford Uni describes it as an epidemic.
A study of nearly 28,000 suburban high school students found that each hour of lost sleep causes a 38 per cent increase in feeling sad or hopeless and a 58 per cent increase in suicide attempts. Teens who sleep an average of six hours per night are also three times more likely to suffer from depression. Did you get that? Three times more likely.
“Sleep deprivation and depression go hand in hand among teenagers,” said the study’s author. “Instead of giving them medications, I’d rather give them a chance to sleep better, and more.”
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