Teenagers told to be aware of depression symptoms

The Jakarta Post, page 4

15-year-old Adela Fortunada, a freshman at the SMA 47 senior high school in South Jakarta, witnessed her friend repeatedly commit acts of self-harm on year ago. She was shocked at first and when she asked her friend’s why she tried to cut her wrist, she said she was depressed because of many things, such as her love life.

Fearing her stories would be shared publicly, Adela said she had not told others about her friend’s emotional hardship and asked her to let Adela know anytime she felt unhappy or wanted to harm herself.

Health experts say teenagers have to become more aware of depression-like symptoms, especially since they are still developing emotionally and tend to be less resilient than adults in coping with pressures, though the World Health Organization (WHO), which put depression as a focus during World Health Day on April 7, stated that the disease can affect all demographics.

Depression symptoms can come in the form of sleep deprivation, loose of appetite, feelings of guilt or low self-esteem, or feelings of fatigue. Suzy Yusna Dewi, a psychiatrist at the Soeharto Heerdjan Mental Hospital in Grogol, West Jakarta, said teenagers who felt these symptoms should talk with other people about their emotional problems, as it could help prevent them from committing acts of self-harm or even suicide.

Suzy said for teenagers, do not isolate yourself. Spend time with people you think will make you feel better, which can be your close friends or adults like parents, teachers, ustad [Islamic teachers], pastor, or even psychologist.

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