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Feeling down?
Got the blues? You're not alone.
Everyone gets sad.
Yes, everyone you've ever met.
Some people have sad feelings just once in a while,
and others may have sad feelings pretty often.
More than half of teenagers go through a sad
period at least once a month and plenty of younger kids do, too.

When you're in a sad mood,
it may feel like it will last forever,
but usually feelings of sadness don't last very long
- a few hours or maybe a day or 2.
A deeper, more intense kind of sadness that lasts
a lot longer is called depression (say: dih-preh-shun).
What Is Sadness?
Sadness is a feeling -
it's one of the many normal human emotions,
or moods, we all have.
Sadness is the emotion people feel when they've
lost something important, or when they have been
disappointed about something, or when something sad
has happened to them or to someone else.
When they're lonely, people often feel sad.

When you're sad, the world may seem dark and unfriendly.
You might feel like you have nothing to look forward to.
The hurt deep inside may crush your usually good mood.

Sadness makes you feel like crying, and sometimes the tears
are hard to stop.
Crying often makes you feel better.

Sometimes when your mood is sad,
you just feel like being alone for a little while.
you might want someone to comfort you
just keep you company while you go through the sad feeling.
Talking about what has made you sad usually
helps the sad feeling melt away.

When sadness starts to go away,
it can feel like a heavy blanket is being lifted from your shoulders.
When Is It Natural to Feel Sad?
Feeling sad every once in a while is natural.
Maybe you didn't get something you really wanted.
Maybe you miss somebody.
Maybe somebody you really like doesn't want to be friends,
and you don't feel so great about yourself.
Maybe an illness or condition gets in the way
of doing some things you want to do or
makes you different from your friends.
There are lots of reasons that people feel sadness
Most of the time,
sadness is because of a loss
a difficult change or disappointment
about something, or relationship problems.
Loss and Separation
This is the most common cause of sadness.
It's a very sad thing to lose someone or something that you care about.
There are many kinds of loss.
The death of a relative, friend,
or pet can bring weeks or months of sad feelings.
The kind of sadness you feel from the death
of a loved one has a special name - grief.

Other kinds of loss or separation from important
people can also bring sadness,
like people close to you getting a divorce.
Sometimes it is hard to think straight because you
cannot get your mind off your loss.
Usually, the load of sadness you carry
after a loss will lighten over time,
although for a really big loss,
there may always be a little bit of sadness left.
Changes that involve leaving something
(or someone) behind, like moving to a new
town or changing schools and leaving old friends
can make you feel sad, too.
The arrival of a new
brother or sister
may make you feel sad even though everyone
thinks you should be happy to have a new sibling.
Disappointments like losing a game you hoped to win,
getting a poor grade, or not being invited to
a party can cause sadness.
Sadness is a natural reaction to those things.
How sad a person feels is usually related
to how big or small the loss or disappointment is.
Relationships bring happiness and fun most of the time.
But tension or conflict in important relationships,
relationships that break up, can cause sadness, too.
Many kids fight with family members,
especially their parents, in the struggle
to grow up and gain independence.

People often feel sad when all is not right between
them and their loved ones, or when they get
criticized or yelled at a lot.
They fight about things like money,
clothing, haircuts, school, and friends.
In school, problems with teachers
and grades may cause some sadness as well.
More Stuff That Makes Kids Sad
Other kids, both friends and enemies,
can cause hurt feelings and sadness through fighting,
teasing , peer pressure, not giving you support,
or leaving you out of group activities.
Feeling misunderstood by people close
to you can lead to feelings of sadness.

Sometimes with sadness,
there are other feelings mixed in, too.
When you're sad, you might also feel angry or guilty.
You might feel like blaming others or blaming yourself.
Some kids mistakenly think that sad events like
death, illness, or divorce are all their fault -
but this isn't true.
Kids don't cause these things to happen.
When Is Sadness a Problem?
If a sad feeling goes on for too long,
hurts too deeply, and makes it hard for
you to enjoy the good things about your life,
it's called depression.
Here are some of the signs and symptoms of depression:

feeling empty or numb
feeling hopeless (like there's nothing to look forward to)
feeling guilty or worthless
feeling lonely or unloved
feeling irritable and annoyed a lot (every little thing gets on your nerves)
feeling like things are not fun anymore
having trouble keeping your mind on schoolwork or homework or getting bad grades
having trouble keeping your mind on things like reading or watching TV or not remembering what a book or a TV show was about
having less energy and feeling tired all the time
sleeping too much or not enough
not eating enough and weight loss or eating too much and weight gain
thinking about death or thinking about suicide
spending less time with friends and more time alone
crying a lot, often for no reason
feeling restless (being unable to sit still or relax)
having certain body feelings, like lots of stomachaches, headaches, or chest pain

People who have depression may not know it.
Often it's a parent or teacher who notices
behavior changes like the ones in the list above.
Depression can run in families.
Having a parent who gets depressed makes
it more likely for a kid to become depressed.

When children have depression it is usually
coming from a long period of sadness after the
loss of someone really close, such as a parent;
long-lasting problems at home, including violence,
illness, divorce, or alcohol or drug use; child abuse
or neglect; ra*e; and long-term illness, burns, or accidents.
But sometimes kids may
be depressed for no apparent reason.
Getting Help
Kids, teens, and adults can get depression.
It's very important for people of any age
who have depression to get help.
When they do, they can get better quickly.
Sometimes treatment involves talking to someone
who knows all about depression.
Sometimes medications can help depression heal.
Sometimes both of these things are used.

If you think you have depression or
you just have sadness that simply will not go away,
it is important to talk to an adult about it:
a parent, relative, doctor, teacher,
guidance counselor, coach,
or close adult friend.
This person can help you find the right type of treatment.
Many cities also have mental health hotlines or
suicide hotlines that are listed in the phone book.
There is always somebody to talk to when you
are sad or if you are depressed
- somebody who can help