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Depression in Young People

Depression in young people


We all feel sad, worried or moody sometimes, but depression is more than this. Depression is when people experience these feelings intensely for weeks, months or even longer. Some young people describe it as ‘a deep hole that you feel you can't climb out of' or ‘a dense dark cloud that surrounds you'. Depression affects how you think, feel and act. It can impact on your relationships and makes it more difficult to manage daily life.


One in 16 young Australians currently has depression; this might be your friend, cousin, neighbour or maybe you. Depression develops in different ways and for different reasons. Usually it is due to a combination of factors that might include family history, difficult life events or ongoing stress.


Everyone experiences depression in a unique way, but there are some symptoms that are common. Symptoms of depression include intense sadness, guilt or irritability. People may feel restless or unable to stop thinking about a particular thing that is on their mind. This can mean that they stop going out, begin to withdraw from friends and family, or have trouble getting things done at work or school. It can also be hard to see things from a realistic or helpful perspective. Common thoughts might include ‘I am a failure', ‘nothing good ever happens to me', or ‘life is not worth living'. Recovery might be hard for people to imagine when they are depressed, but with the right treatment and support, most people recover and can get on with enjoying work, study, friendships and achieving their goals.


There is a range of treatments to help young people recover from depression. Getting support from your local doctor or health professional, or from online programs, can make a difference.  Some people also find their symptoms are relieved with lifestyle changes like getting regular exercise or spending more time with friends and family. The important thing is finding the right health professional and the right treatment for an individual's needs.


beyondblue can offer you, and those around you, information and ideas about how to talk about depression, what help is available and how to support someone you care about who is struggling. There is information online ( or you can contact the beyondblue Support Service by phone 24/7 on 1300 22 4636 or online at web chat (3pm – midnight) or email responses within 24 hours.


You can talk to an adult you trust, like a teacher, the school counsellor, or a family member. There is always someone who can help you.