If your child or teenager is experiencing depression, do not necessarily make the jump to assume that they have Bipolar Disorder, when they may simply be experiencing unipolar depression. If you have a child experiencing depression, you can share this article with them and discuss it with them. If you have a teenager experiencing depression, you can show them this article and give it to them for the references to websites at the end in case they need to reach out for help.

Depression makes you feel sad or hopeless. If you have depression, you may seem less confident or lose interest in things you used to enjoy. You may have trouble focusing, or seem grouchy or angry. You may not want to go to school. Your eating habits may change. You may have aches and pains. Depression is a serious illness, and it is not your fault if you are depressed.

Depression can be caused by an imbalance of chemicals in the brain. It can also be triggered by stressful events, such as losing a parent or other loved one, or the breakup of a relationship, or abuse, or a physical illness. Depression also can run in families.

Depression can be treated with psychological therapy or counseling. It can also be treated with medicines called Antidepressants, or both therapy and medication. Counseling is usually used for mild or moderate depression. Counseling and medicine together are used for worse depression.

Antidepressants aren’t addictive. They balance the chemicals in the brain. , but they do not cause a 'high' feeling. But since your body would get used to having this medicine, you might have side effects like headache or dizziness if the medicine is stopped too quickly.

Depression sometimes causes people to want to kill themselves (suicide). It helps to talk about suicide and wanting to hurt yourself. If you cannot talk to your parents about wanting to commit suicide or wanting to hurt yourself, here are some websites where you can go for more information and help with depression and/or suicide:

American Academy of Family Physicians Web site: http://familydoctor.org

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Web site: http://www.aacap.orgTelephone: 1-202-966-7300

American Psychiatric Association Web site: http://www.psych.orgTelephone: 1-888-35-PSYCH (1-888-357-7924)

American Psychological Association Web site: http://www.apa.orgTelephone: 1-800-374-2721

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance Web site: http://www.dbsalliance.orgTelephone: 1-800-826-3632

Girls and Boys Town Hotline Web site: http://www.girlsandboystown.org/hotline/articleshavingbipolar.phpTelephone: 1-800-448-3000

Mental Health America Web site: http://www.nmha.orgTelephone: 1-800-969-6MHA (1-800-969-6642)

National Alliance on Mental Illness Web site: http://www.nami.orgTelephone: 1-800-950-NAMI (1-800-950-6264)

National Institute of Mental Health Web site: http://www.nimh.nih.govTelephone: 1-866-615-6464