Depression can be hard to endure. It can range from an underlying feeling of low and continuous tiredness and anxiety to feeling desperate, trapped, hopeless, and alone. Sadly, many children and adolescents suffering from depression inadvertently make matters worse by adopting unhealthy coping mechanisms. Here are five of the more common:

Withdrawal

Many people suffering from depression will choose to withdraw from social interactions. You may find yourself deciding not to go on that outing you’d arranged with your friends or choosing to stay in your bedroom rather than watching television with your family.

Withdrawal is a common coping mechanism for depression but isn’t a healthy solution. Forcing yourself to socialize, while difficult, can improve your mood. Stay in touch with your friends and family and, if possible, talk to them about how you’re feeling.

Overeating

Some people who are suffering from depression turn to comfort food as a coping mechanism. The main symptom of depressive overeating is eating more than is necessary but never feeling satisfied.

If you are eating for comfort rather than to ease hunger, it makes sense that you will never feel that you’ve eaten enough. Symptoms of chronic overeating are:

  • Struggling to stop eating
  • Frequently eating large qualities, often quite quickly
  • Feeling emotionally distanced or numb while eating
  • Feeling disgusted, depressed or guilty after overeating

People who overeat to treat their depression can often benefit from the types of therapy that Ignite Teen Treatment offers. However, it is also common for people to reduce their eating and lose weight, too.

Excessive gaming

Some people cope with depression by playing excessively on video games. This might appear to ease their symptoms in the short term, mainly because gaming can take your mind off your negative thoughts. However, gaming when suffering from mental health issues can increase your risk of gaming addiction. For a child or teen suffering from depression, developing a gaming obsession might feel like light relief, but it can develop into a very real problem that may require treatment.

Sleeping through the day

Depression can lead to sudden and drastic changes in sleep patterns. Some people who are depressed can be tempted to stay in bed and sleep all day, particularly if they’re struggling to sleep at night. Sleeping may seem like a wonderful escape from the symptoms of depression, but it is actually another symptom in itself, of the same illness. Sleeping all day can help feed the cycle of staying up all night. Night times can be considerably lonelier and you’re likely to feel more depressed as a result of a nocturnal lifestyle.

Spending money

Shopping to feel better is better known as “retail therapy.” Some people who are suffering from depression turn to spending money to find temporary relief from their symptoms. Buying products will not cure depression in the long term. Furthermore, spending more than you can afford, and perhaps even getting into debt, is likely to make matters worse. A person struggling with depression may find their symptoms worsen as a result of money worries or guilt about impulsive spending.