How much do you know about Adolescent Depression?

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Differences between Feeling Blue and Depression
Treatments for Depression

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What are the differences between “Feeling Blue” and “Depression”?

Student 3: Feeling Blue might be temporary, like it fixes itself in a few days or crying a little.

Student 1: They will talk about it with their friends.

Student 2: When I am Feeling Blue, I can easily recover through a gaming session, but a person who are depressed might not even have the mood to play the newest game to begin with.

Student 3: Depression might be a long-term thing, like being continually sad.

Student 1: People with Depression might not talk about it and might choose to escape reality rather than facing their problems.

Host: Stephanie, what is the actual differences between “Feeling Blue” and “Depression”?

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Department of Health, Student Health Service
Clinical Psychologist
Ms. Stephanie Lam

Ms. Lam: Feeling Blue is an emotion, whereas Depression is an illness. When we are faced with adversity in life, we might feel sad, disappointed and find it hard to cope, and that is a natural human reaction. Someone feeling depressed is not necessarily suffering from Depression, but if the persistent low mood is severe enough that it causes marked impairment in daily life, like causing one to be unable to go to school, unable to eat, or not wanting to socially interact, that could be an indication toward Depression. In extreme cases, a depressed person might even consider suicide.

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Feeling Blue → Emotion
Depression → Illness
Find it hard to cope
Bad mood
Depressive mood
Severe and Persistent
Marked impairment in daily life
Unable to go to school
Unable to eat
Not wanting to socially interact,
Suicidal Thoughts

Text on screen: Can Depression be treated?

Student 3: I think there is.

Host: How to treat it?

Student 3: Seek help from others, like seeking help from our parents, teachers and friends.

Student 4: We can't rely on our friends to keep our problems or secret, so I would be looking for someone reliable but not personally close to talk to, like a doctor or a social worker.

Host: Is it possible to treat Depression?

Ms. Lam: With appropriate treatment, most patients’ condition will improve. Psychiatrists and psychologists are both professionals who can help patients recover from the illness. Depression can be effectively treated with medication or psychotherapy, or a combination of both. Medication helps by balancing the levels of chemical substances in our brains. Whereas psychotherapy like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) mainly aims at changing a patient's negative beliefs and behavioral patterns, replacing them with healthy, positive ones and finding better ways to manage stress and mood.

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With appropriate treatment, most patients’ condition will improve.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Negative Thoughts
Change Behavioral Patterns
Learn Stress and Emotional Management Skills

Host: Most people are afraid of letting others know that they visit a psychiatrist though. With so many options on the internet, is it possible to self-treat using an online resources?

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Depression Self-help
1 Minute Depression Test
3 Tips for Treating Depression without Medication
Overcoming Depression by Willpower will? (Forum Discussion)

Ms. Lam: Lots of self-help information can be found in the Internet and social media. However, such information may not tailored to individual’s needs. Relying on these self-help approaches without professional treatment can cause serious problem to occur. My advice is still to consult professionals in this case.

Text on screen: Delaying treatment allows symptoms to worsen.

Host: Stephanie, do you have any more important advice to give?

Ms. Lam: For people who suffer from Depression, I hope you understand that suffering from Depression is not a weakness. Actively seek help from professionals to combat Depression is a smart move. The earlier the depressed persons get help, the more likely and faster they can recover.

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Suffer from Depression is not a weakness
The earlier the depressed persons get help, the more likely and faster they can recover.

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Acknowledgment: Sha Tin Government Secondary School participated in the focus group discussion on adolescent depression, the content in the discussion was partially extracted to the video

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Department of Health
Student Health Service