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Have you or someone you know ever dealt with clinical depression?

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Depression: The Big Questions

How many times have you said things like-
  • "I think I failed the math test-I'm SO depressed."
  • "That movie was way depressing."
  • "He's going through a total depression over breaking up with his girlfriend."

Topics on
The Big Questions
What Is It?
Signs and Symptoms
Manic Depression
What Causes It?
Asking For Help
Getting Treatment
Helping A Friend
Helping A Parent
Suicide and Self-Injury
From the Mentors
DepressionWe all use the word, but what does it mean, exactly? Most people use it to describe someone or something that's sad. But depression also refers to a serious illness that will affect over 19 million Americans this year. Many of you wrote to us with questions about understanding depression and how to deal with feeling depressed.

Jessica, 12, has been feeling really sad and down lately, like everything in her life is going wrong. She comes home from school and cries, and doesn't feel comfortable talking to anyone about her problem.

Logan, 11, told us he's always sad and almost always crying.

Tom, 10, gets in mood swings where he's all mad and argues with everyone, and can't make himself be quiet. The next day, he feels sad and down like everything is his fault, then the next day, mad again.

Keaira, 11, says she feels like she's from somewhere else and doesn't belong on this planet. There's lots of pain building up inside of her because she can't talk to anyone about her problems.

Yep, it's official. Young people can experience serious depression just like adults do. Spend some time with this IML topic to understand what depression is, how it can be treated, how to help yourself or a loved one, and more useful info.

Printables Explore the topic of depression a little deeper with a printable IML Journal page and discussion questions. Also, check out our list of fiction and non-fiction books, and a collection of cool activities to do with a friend or parent.
Our thanks to Robin Shlien, M.A, M.F.T., and Josephine Schiff, M.S.W., L.C.S.W., for their contributions to this topic.

Let's begin by looking at the biggest question about depression: What Is It?

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Depression 101 Quiz
Test yourself with our "Depression 101" Quiz.

Vote Now
My thoughts about depression are best summed up as:
It doesn't seem
        like a big deal.
It's scary and
It's a serious
        problem but it
        can be treated.

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What's The Problem?
What's The Problem?
Depression or
just the blues?

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