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Your Mind

Click on a drop down section below to learn more information about the topic in that section.

SUICIDE

If you feel like hurting or killing yourself, get help now. Please talk to a trusted adult or go to the closest emergency room. There are also confidential hotlines for teens who have suicidal feelings. These hotlines are free and the counselors are trained to give you resources and advice so that you can get further help.

You can call:



How do I bring up my suicidal thoughts with my healthcare provider?
If you’re concerned about suicide, tell your healthcare provider: “I’ve been thinking about hurting/killing myself. I need help.” We won't judge you or think differently of you. In fact, we'll be relieved that you recognize you need help and we're trained to help you feel better.


If I'm thinking about suicide, is there anything that will help me feel better?
There are many things you can do to feel better and to solve the problems that lead to suicidal thoughts. The best thing you can do is get help from a therapist, who is trained to help you figure out what is bothering you and help you cope with your problems. There are many kinds of therapy, and you may either go by yourself or with your family. For some teens, therapists might recommend medication to help you feel less sad or depressed.


There are other things you can do to help yourself feel better, including:

  • Getting regular exercise
  • Eating well and getting enough sleep
  • Spending time with close friends and family and others who care about you
  • Having a hobby such as sports, music, writing, art, etc.
  • Helping others (for example, volunteering at a local food bank)


Using drugs or alcohol to try to make yourself feel better is NOT a good solution. There’s a higher risk of acting on suicidal thoughts when under the influence of alcohol/drugs.


How can I help a friend who feels suicidal?
It can be very frightening when a friend tells you that they are feeling very depressed or even suicidal. They might ask you not to tell anyone that they’re feeling this way, but the most important thing to remember is that you shouldn’t try to deal with a friend’s suicidal feelings by yourself. Talk to a trusted adult right away. Even if you think your friend might be angry with you for telling, your friend needs professional help.

Dealing with problems may feel overwhelming at times, but hurting yourself is never the answer. If you ever feel like you might harm yourself, tell someone right away or go to the closest emergency room."
DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY

Feelings of depression and anxiety are common in life, but the feelings can be especially difficult during the teen years. It is normal to have sad or anxious feelings for short periods of time. However, persistent sad, anxious, or helpless feelings need to be addressed quickly because they can be devastating and help is available.

Please seek help if you have recurrent periods of sadness or crying, major changes in your appetite such as not eating or over eating, significant anger, being worried or nervous, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, thinking about death or wanting to commit suicide. It is also important to seek help if you have consistent trouble sleeping, focusing at school or at home, making a decision or are unable to enjoy things you usually enjoy and not wanting to spend time with friends.

Anxiety and depression are highly treatable! So don't keep feeling depressed and anxious when we can help. As with most problems, the earlier it is diagnosed, the easier it is to treat. But it is never to late to ask for help.

What can I expect if I tell my provider about my depression or anxiety?
First of all, we routinely screen all teenagers for depression at your well-patient visits using a nine-question survey called the PHQ-9. We also have a seven question survey that will help us understand how serious your anxiety is called a GAD-7. Answer those screening tools honestly during your visit. We treat plenty of people for depression and anxiety so your answers aren't going to shock us or make us think any differently of you. We're just here to help and your honest answers help us know how to help you best.

During your visit, you should also tell your provider if you have or experience the following: recurring fears and worries about routine parts of every day life, changes in behavior (such as irritability), avoiding activities, school, or social interactions, dropping grades or school avoidance, trouble sleeping or concentrating, substance use or other risky behaviors, chronic physical complaints, such as fatigue, headaches, or stomachaches. These are signs of anxiety.

You should also tell your provider if you have or experience the following signs of depression: not enjoying things that used to make you happy, a significant change in weight or eating (either up or down), sleeping too little at night or too much during the day, no longer wanting to be with family or friends, a lack of energy or feeling unable to do simple tasks, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, trouble focusing or making choices, not caring about what happens in the future, aches and pains when nothing is really wrong, frequent thoughts of death or suicide. 

To learn more about depression and anxiety, trusted resources include:

STRESS

Stress is the uncomfortable feeling you get when you're worried, scared, angry, frustrated, or overwhelmed. It is caused by emotions, but it also affects your mood and body. Life as a teen can be tough and there are so many pressures teens face that it can be overwhelming.

Learning to handle stress in appropriate ways is part of learning how to be an adult. However, if stress is overwhelming, please talk to a trusted adult or make an appointment with your healthcare provider.

Stress comes from many different places: your parents, your friends, yourself, watching parents argue, figuring out how to be independent, feeling pressure to get good grades, thinking about the future, being pressured to do something you know is bad for you, not feeling good enough at sports, worrying about how your body’s changing, dealing with sexual feelings, worrying about neighborhood or world problems, feeling guilty, etc. With a list that long, no wonder you feel stress!

Fortunately, there are also many ways to help you manage stress:

  • Identify and then address the problem
  • Avoid stress when possible
  • Let some things go
  • Exercise
  • Active relaxation through deep breathing, yoga, or meditation
  • Eat well
  • Sleep well
  • Find like art, music, talking, journaling, and prayer to release emotional tension


All of these ideas can lower stress without doing any harm. None are quick fixes, but they will lead you toward a healthy and successful life.

Ready to reduce your stress? Create a plan for yourself by following this guide. Just check off the ideas you think would work best for you and then start doing them!

 

All information on this page was pulled from the following sites:

Children's Clinic
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