Depression Symptoms in High School Classes


Although not widely publicized, it is not uncommon for a high school student to be attending class day after day with signs of depression. Depression may strike at nearly any age, which is why parents of high school students need to know the signs and symptoms of depression.

The biggest hurdle parents, and many teachers, have in believing in high school depression is that they don’t see how a student who seems to have so few worries in life could possibly be depressed. What must be kept in mind is that people of any age may be affected by any level of stress, no matter how small it may seem to others. As well, when brain chemicals themselves are out-of-whack, from any number of situations, symptoms of depression may result.

Teachers usually know their students very well, through powers of observation, but many are not trained to deal with depression in high school students. ADHD kids, slow learners, the discipline problems or brilliant learners are the more common types of ‘out of the ordinary’ students dealt with in high school. Depression is less common although most teachers can tell when one of their students is having some kind of problem. Of course a student suffering from depression may also have teachers that are not interested in resolving those kinds of problems.

Depression in a student in class can manifest itself as apathy. A student who never seems to understand the lessons or never seems to pay attention may be suffering from depression. High school depression can render a student incapable of concentrating on any one thing at a time, as the doom and loneliness of depression takes over their thinking. These students do not deliberately try to ignore the teacher or try not to pay attention. It is just that the depression is overwhelming.

Depression can also manifest itself in students as shyness or false attempts to make friends. Many depressed students will do what ever they can to make temporary friends, including using drugs, smoking and alcohol. Some will join multiple sports in order to be in with certain clicks or to make an attempt to ignore their shyness. It is common for students with depression to be either quiet or very serious types who seem to have few emotions.

Teachers who know they have students suffering from depression usually respond in one of two ways. They may ignore the student’s problems and just assume they are a typical apathetic high schooler, or they may approach the student to have one-on-one conversations. To have a personal conversation is a risky endeavor for any teacher because of the student-teacher line we all hear about. Still, some teachers may attempt a conversation about the depression to get a better idea if that is indeed what the student is suffering from.

For the student with symptoms of depression, a comfortable classroom, where the teacher has spoken to them, is a much happier classroom. Having a verbal relationship with your teacher who is aware of your depression problems will speed recovery and convince most depressed high school students that school can be a positive experience.

Students dealing with depression should not be ignored by the teacher. It will be important to keep the mind of a depressed student active, interested in school and comforted, as they recover from the very real problem of depression. A caring teacher that helps a depressed student be more successful in homework or classroom activities will increase the chances that the student will get over the depression quickly.

Symptoms of depression in a high school student can’t be expected to clear up overnight, but they can be dealt with in a certain fashion that will help in the recovery. Depressed students view school as a negative place they must go to daily. It does not have to be that way once both the teacher and the student realize that symptoms of depression are real but curable for most students.

Mark D. Jordan is a long-time researcher and writer from Pennsylvania. Other useful depression and health information can be read at Depression Relief and Cures and Anxiety Problems