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Last Updated: Monday March 13 2006 17:25 GMT

Coping with depression - a teenager's story

Girl using phone
Depression affects thousands of kids every year and many don't know who to turn to for help. Newsround spoke to one 15-year-old girl who's been struggling with depression since she was 12. But after seeking help from her family, her doctor and a special mental health project she says the future's now looking much brighter:

How did your depression start?

When I was 12 I moved to a new area and I found it quite hard to make new friends. Then I got bullied in school and I felt quite down so I eventually

made the decision to tell someone how I was feeling.

Where did you get support from?

After I told someone they referred me to a mental health project who offered me individual support as well as group work. In the group we do things like art work and media filming as well as just chatting with other young people who might be going through the same thing and support each other.

Why was this project so good?

Because they're there to support you and they listen to you but they're relaxed in the way they do it.

What was it like seeing a GP and telling your Mum and Dad?

The project suggested I see a GP and they came with me and supported me in that. The GP thought it would be a good idea if I told my parents but I was quite scared so the doctor told them. My parents were great about it. They were quite upset but understood a lot.

Would you advise other people to speak out?

At the start it was really hard to tell anyone about it because I didn't think anyone would understand. But after I told someone it helped and it's really important if you are upset and down that you tell someone.

What's it like having depression?

Everyday you can feel something different and it doesn't even have to be day to day it can be hour to hour. One minute you can be feeling really angry, the next you can be feeling lonely the next you can be feeling happy again. It changes all the time. Every day's so different you just don't know what's round the corner. You could make plans to do something but then you just don't feel like doing it. You can just feel like staying in bed all day then the next you feel like getting up and running a marathon.

What's that like to live with?

It's a bit scary because you don't know if you're going to be happy. If you make plans to go out somewhere you don't know if you're going to want to do it because you could just be feeling really down.

What's your message to other kids who think they might have depression?

It's important to tell someone because there are loads of people out there to talk to. And you will come through this, it's not the end of the world!

How're you feeling about the future?

The whole future's looking brighter now I've got support and I've told people. If I hadn't told anybody I could have been stuck with no one to help me out. Now it's like being on a ladder and slowly climbing up!



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