8 ways for teens, kids to cope with depression

Even if it’s not uncommon for teens and kids to feel sad sometimes, those moments can still feel overwhelming.

The good news is there is a lot you can do to help bust these bummers. Next time you’re feeling down, try some of these tips:

  1. Speak up: Find a trusted friend or adult and tell them what’s on your mind. Staying silent never helps.
  2. Know you aren’t alone. At some point in their lives, at least half of your classmates will feel symptoms of depression. That means there’s a good chance that at least two other kids in your class are feeling the same way as you do right now.
  3. Keep up with friends and fun activities. It might not sound fun, but try to hang out with friends, play sports and join activities. Pushing yourself to stay connected helps.
  4. Do something that makes you feel proud. Even small accomplishments can be mood-boosting. Do your homework, clean your room or help a sibling. Then, notice what a good job you did and feel proud of your awesome work.
  5. Talk back to your sadness. Imagine a friend told you they were sad or had a problem. Think about what you’d say to them – and then say that to your own feelings.
  6. Tell a loved one about scary thoughts and feelings. If you notice yourself thinking a lot about death or dying, talk to a trusted grown-up. They can help.
  7. Don’t skimp on sleep. Being unrested can make it easier to be sad or feel down. About an hour before bedtime, turn off your phone and TV, and try to focus on relaxing.
  8. Reach out for help. Besides your parents, a lot of grown-ups can help you with these feelings. Psychologists, social workers or counselors can help you understand and manage your feelings. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text CONNECT to 741741 for support. Call 911 immediately if you want to hurt yourself.

Stay Informed about Mental Health

CHOC Children’s has made the commitment to take a leadership role in meeting the need for more mental health services in Orange County. Sign up today to keep informed about this important initiative and to receive tips and education from mental health experts.
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