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Ask The Expert: Depression

Updated: Mar 29

Have you ever been sad for long periods of time or have lost interest in activities you used to enjoy? These are common symptoms of experiencing depression. Depression is a common experience for teenagers and young adults. It is reported that 16 percent of US teens (ages 12 to 17) experienced at least one major depressive episode in 2022. Because of this, it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms that come with experiencing depression. Depression can be treated through a variety of ways to help you manage the symptoms or completely overcome them. Read on to have your questions answered by Jean-Claude Guidi, USF medical student resident at the Ybor Youth Clinic!

Q: What is depression? 

A: Depression is much more than just feeling sad for a few days. It's a serious condition that can make you feel hopeless, unmotivated, and like you're totally drained of energy. It can make everyday life feel really difficult, almost like your brain is fighting against you.

Q: What are the symptoms of depression? 

A: Depression can show up in lots of ways. You might stop enjoying things you used to love, have trouble sleeping or eating, feel tired all the time, or have a hard time concentrating. Some people get irritable, angry, or want to be alone more than usual.

Q: How to cope with depression?

A: Even though depression can feel overwhelming, know that you're not alone. Simple things can help you feel better over time. Try to be active (even short walks help!), sleep regularly, eat healthy stuff, and talk to someone you trust, like a friend, family member, teacher or counselor.

Q: What are some resources in my community to help me deal with depression? 

A: Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: If you or someone you know is struggling with depression and there is concern about ending their life, call or text 988 or chat at

Crisis Text Line: Teens can text “HELLO” to 741741 seven days a week, 24 hours a day throughout the U.S. to be connected to a crisis counselor who can provide support and information. 

Teen Line: An anonymous, nonjudgemental space where teens can access peer-to-peer support from highly trained teens supervised by adult mental health proffesionals. 

Psychology Today: An online resource that allows you to find local therapists in your area. 

PCP: Lastly, your primary doctor will always have resources available to help you through difficult times. Feel free to bring up any issues at an appointment. 

Teen Connect Website: Use the searchable directory to look up mental health resources near you or use the connect link to get in contact with teen connect resource navigators that can help find mental health resources for you!

Q: Is there a cure?

A: While there's no instant cure, the good news is depression is treatable! With a combination of the right support, perhaps therapy or sometimes medication, things can absolutely improve.

Q: How long does depression last? 

A: It's different for everyone. Some people have shorter episodes, others have them come and go. The key is not to go through it alone and seek help so those heavy feelings don't stick around longer than they have to.

Q: Are there any medications available? 

A: Yes, some medications can help manage depression. But a doctor is the only one who can decide if meds are right for you – they figure out the best treatment plan after talking to you. If you feel medications may be beneficial, bring it up with your pediatrician at your next appointment. 

Q: Is there a right way to ask for help?

A:  There's no single "right" way! Do what feels comfortable for you. You can say something like, "I've been feeling really down lately, and I need someone to talk to," or "I think I may have depression." Be honest and don't be afraid to ask for what you need.

Q: Is there a right way to ask someone if they are ok?

A: Absolutely! Simply say "Hey, I've noticed you seem a bit different lately. Is everything okay?" Let them know you're there to listen without judgment if they want to talk.

Q: Is it normal to feel “kind of” sad all the time? 

Q: Feeling sad sometimes is totally normal! But, if that sadness doesn't seem to go away or gets in the way of your everyday life, it's time to reach out for some help and see what's going on.

Jean-Claude Guidi DO USF Pediatrics PGY-3

Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

Ybor Youth Clinic  - You can learn more information about making an appointment here!  


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