Depression explanation for a teenager

Hi everyone,

I’m trying to explain it to my teenager (13, F) what mental depression means and what she should do to help and comfort someone who’s suffering from said illness. I’m dealing with a rather stubborn and independent kid, but she likes to read a lot - it doesn’t matter if it’s on the web or a book. We had countless discussions about it, but I still feel like I can’t get quite there and explain it properly.

So, any good resources for her to read about the whole thing? We’ve already looked at , but it doesn’t help a lot. The things there are… um… VERY general to say the least.

(EDIT) My better half is affected by depression. Not me and not the kid.


Perhaps reading through some depression forums would help. I don’t think most people that haven’t experienced it can understand. People equate depression with sadness - they know they get sad when something bad happens, but don’t understand how you can be sad with no trigger. They also don’t get how debilitating it is. How it effects your whole life.

I think if you have them read actual posts from people that are depressed - they will see the recurring themes.

I haven’t really looked into any books - so not sure what good ones are out there.

Good luck.

Depression is like being that little Zoloft egg dude from the old commercials. :smiley:

But seriously, depression is not just sadness. It can express itself as anhedonia or blunted affect, meaning it’s harder to feel anything at all. You just feel kinda flat.

A book called Mind Over Mood was highly recommended by a ‘friend’, if you know what I mean. Might be a bit too much for a young teen, though - Beyond the Blues seems more aimed at that demographic.

ETA: didn’t see your clarification, should still be useful for explaining the disease itself and its manifestations, though.


Adventures in Depression

While this blogger is best known for being funny, she explains depression more clearly in a few hundred words and some drawings than most books could manage.

That is pretty good :slight_smile:

This comic strip always seemed like a pretty good analogy, I thought.

Whelp…there’s another thread I killed. :frowning:

Thanks everyone! Looking into it… I’ll probably keep posting on progress.
Again, much appreciated.