Being a teenager can be difficult. You are facing multiple changes in your body and brain, and that alone can be quite overwhelming.
You are also more self-aware, suddenly conscious of what others think about you, and going through peer pressures, you have not known before. All of this can affect how you think, feel, and behave.
For other teens, there are different stressful situations they might be going through, other than the usual teenage dilemmas of their age.
In the US, for instance, 50 percent of marriages go through a divorce, and the lack of cohesive family units can add more pressure to teens that are already going through a lot.
Emotional ups and downs are natural but added life pressures can be too much.
If you have been depressed for a long time (weeks to months) and there seems to be no “up” in sight, you cannot concentrate or do things you usually enjoy. Then you may want to talk about depression to a trusted adult.
What Is depression?
Depression (major depressive disorder) is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It disrupts the way you feel, think, and act, and can lead to various emotional and physical problems.
It can interfere with your daily routines such as sleeping, eating, or doing your schoolwork.
You may have trouble developing and maintaining successful day-to-day activities and may even lose vigor and motivation for life. Sadly, some succumb to the wrong notion that life is not worth fighting for.
Depression may occur at any age, but symptoms often begin in teens, early 20s, or 30s. It can occur with other psychological disorders, substance abuse, and other medical conditions.
More than just a case of blues, depression is not a weakness, so you cannot just “cry it out” or “snap out of it.” Most depressed people need care and support to improve. It may require long-term therapy.
But do not be discouraged. Most people dealing with depression become better with medication and treatment, or both.
What to do when you are battling depression
Being alone or battling depression on your own is the worst thing to do when you are going through one.
You need a loving, healthy environment of family, friends, and healthy relationships to help you overcome. You may need medical help, treatment, and therapy, to deal with the disorder.
But in this time of the pandemic, connecting with people is harder than usual. The pandemic has aggravated some cases of depression and hopelessness, which is as dangerous as any physical illness.
It is not something you ignore. You have to deal with it head-on and dealing with it means seeking help.
Help can come in many ways. In this article, learn about mobile apps to help you wait out this tragedy that is Covid-19, and fight that turmoil within that is depression.
Let us see what apps can help reduce teenage depression during Covid-19.
NotOK is a free app created for teens by troubled teenagers themselves (a sister and her brother).
The mobile app has a large red button that can be triggered to alert family, close friends, and other trusted individuals if something is not okay.
Users of the mobile app can customize their support group and add up to five people.
When the user presses the digital panic button, a message is sent to the support group along with the user’s current GPS location.
The alert reads: “Hey, I’m not okay! Please call, text, or come find me.”
Depression and anxiety can debilitate victims from seeking help. notOK aims to make this easy with the touch of a button.
And since the user is the one who chose the support group, they will not be overwhelmed with the help that is coming their way.
They can be sure that they will be surrounded by people they feel safe with, which is a crucial thing for people battling with depression.
Trusted contact does not need to download the app to receive the alerts. The app notifies the users trusted contacts that they have been selected as the user’s support group.
When the user feels the need to reach out for help, the user can open the app and tap the large, red “notOK” button.
When the user is in a better situation, the user can also update the support group by pressing the green button.
2. Sanvello App for anxiety, depression, and stress
Sanvello is the top app to combat stress, anxiety, and depression. It has over 3.4 million users worldwide.
Get all the resources you need to better improve your mental health, through self-care help and consulting with professional mentors and therapists.
Sanvello offers you clinically proven CBT-based (cognitive-behavioral therapy) strategies to help with stress, anxiety, depression, and whatever else you can feel.
Sanvello gives clinically validated techniques to help manage moods and thoughts.
It provides daily mood tracking, guided journeys, coping tools, meditations, and progress assessments to help users get relief through bouts of anxiety and depression.
Through the app, users can get peer support in a judgment-free space.
The Sanvello community has a wide variety of topics it covers so that peer insights can safely surround users, to make them feel less alone.
3. Moodpath: Depression and Anxiety Test
Moodpath helps users coping with troubling thoughts and emotions and looking for ways to improve their mental wellbeing. It is a customized mental health partner, assisting people in stress, depression, and anxiety stages.
It provides mental health assessments to help you determine if you need professional help.
Unlike other assessments that ask you to evaluate the past two weeks at once, Moodpath asks users in-the-moment questions every day for 14 days to accurately weigh users’ emotional wellbeing.
The app aims to facilitate conversations with a professional, but users can also pick over 150 activities and tools to work on your mental health, physical and emotional health.
Users can track their mood and journal their process, have a quick overview of their emotional state throughout the day, and reflect on their thoughts and emotions.
They can also receive helpful, supportive insights to understand patterns and triggers, helping users discover which negative behaviors could be related to worse wellbeing.
Users also receive a bi-weekly mental health evaluation that users can share with counselors, therapists, psychologists, and other healthcare professionals.
Users will receive a detailed summary at the end of the program that can also be shared with healthcare professionals. During the screening, users will find useful information about psychology, signs of depression, treatments, and mental health.
4. Wysa: Stress, Depression & Anxiety Therapy Chatbot
Wysa is an emotionally intelligent, AI-powered chatbot that can react to emotions users express.
Wysa is a mood tracker, a mindfulness mentor, anxiety aid, and a mood-boosting chatbot buddy.
It is loaded with daily spiritual meditation that boosts mental health and is also an excellent opportunity to connect with family while doing meditation.
It has a mood tracker, fun chats, useful techniques, meditation guide, and mindfulness audios, and mental health evaluation for depression and anxiety.
Users can also pour their hearts out to Wysa under anonymity, where conversations are kept private.
It currently has 500,000 users worldwide. It has a variety of tools and techniques to help alleviate stress and depression through fun, conversational challenges.
For added support, users can get guidance from real human coaches like a professional psychologist or therapist who will take users to advanced coaching and counseling.
TalkLife links users to real people around the world who will listen without judgment and provide support for users battling depression.
Users can find friendly advice and be connected to a large community acting as an extended support group for people with depression, anxiety, eating disorders, mental health issues, and those combating self-harm.
It may be tough to speak to family and friends about depression and other issues.
TalkLife is a great way to speak to people who are going through essentially the same challenges.
It is a safe place to talk about anything: mental wellbeing, depression, self-harm, mood disorders, mental illnesses, emotional struggles, pressures at work or school, family problems, and the like.
If you want to talk about it, somebody probably does, too.
6. Flow – Depression
Flow-Depression is a free personal guide to help users identify, manage, and improve mental health.
Flow represents a new chapter in depression understanding and treatment based on modern psychology and neuroscience research.
Users can also download the app to use the Flow neural stimulator headset for depression treatment.
But even without the Flow headset, users can still go through the complete treatment program that the app provides.
The Flow program has more than 50 sessions divided into 7 courses into various topics like exercise, meditation, sleep, nutrition.
It also includes a depression test.
7. Abide App
Abide is a powerful faith-based meditation app by Crosswalk that won Top Meditation Apps of 2019 by TechCrunch.
It is a meditation app to help users reduce stress and sleep better. It provides various bedtime stories to help users find deep rest.
It also includes morning meditations to motivate users and fuel their minds for a new day.
Abide has millions of people meditating on it every day. It is easy to use, and the daily guided meditations come in lengths of 2, 5, 10, and 15 minutes.
Topics include overcoming depression, avoiding worry, managing stress, sleep, and insomnia, discovering purpose, finding happiness, recovering from addiction, forgiveness, parenting, relationship challenges, finances, health issues, and more.
Conclusion: Bounce back from depression amid the pandemic
If you are one of those struggling and battling depression, know you are not alone.
The need to reach out is great, and as hard as that may seem for you, you will find such relief in simply telling someone what you are going through.
Ultimately, mobile apps can never replace human relationships, but mobile apps can fill the gap between people right now.
These mobile apps can help you connect with communities that do not think what you are going through is trivial.
You can connect with professionals who can guide you with reliable recommendations to overcome depression.
You cannot lose the fight within you. Remind yourself that this pandemic and all the things that weigh you down is temporary and subject to change.
Things will get better if you do not give up. You must keep bouncing back every time you fall to bouts of depression.
Keep your stress levels manageable and do your best to avoid stress with self – care, strong support group, and avoiding what triggers depression for you.
Yes, it is good to be up to date but if it triggers your anxiety, ask your support team to help you filter through information channels to stay informed without being overwhelmed.
Change your perspective too. Choose to look at discomforts from a perspective of benefit.
For example, despite social distancing, see that your friends are just a call away. School may be suspended in your area, but it is to preserve your life.
Also, make sure to keep your daily routine amid the pandemic. Get up as you would on a regular day. Look good and feel good. Help in chores, start home projects, bond with your family, start a blog, or learn new digital skills, and keep yourself productive.
The uncertainty of the situation may be stressful, but if you maintain a productive daily routine, it can help you combat stress that can lead to depression.
Ultimately, you need to keep your mind and emotions in check. Initially, it is okay not to be okay to admit moments of stress, anxiety, and depression. But to never get out of not being okay is not good.
Bouts of depression should be opportunities of breakthrough, no matter how big or small the victories may be. Getting out of bed is a great start. Celebrate that.
Getting yourself into a morning routine can be another victory. Celebrate that too. Celebrate both the little and big steps you do to move forward from a place of not being okay to be better.
That is the goal, that you are well—physically, emotionally, and mentally. Bounce back from depression by reaching out to someone today.
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Mayleen Meñez worked for seven years in TV and Radio production, and also as a Graphic Artist/Editor. Finding her true passion, she devoted 15 years to NGO and community development work, where she experienced being a coordinator and teacher, traveling both in the Philippines and countries in Asia. She homeschools her three kids and reinvents Filipino dishes in her spare time. Writing has always been a hobby and pursuit, and she recently added content writing with Softvire Australia and Softvire New Zealand up her sleeve, while preparing for her next adventure in the nations.