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Teens who display sadness are usually brushed off by grownups, quipped by the idea that these teenagers are just at the state of being lost and trying to find themselves. Little do we know, not all who got lost in the darkness of their thoughts manage to find their way back to their normal lives.

Over a decade ago, 4.5 million cases were reported on a “silent illness” called depression. Due to its social stigma, no one really wants to step up front and get diagnosed with it. As for millennials, some get judged as trying to be “cool” and “angsty” just because of the perception that people diagnosed as such are going through very tough times in their lives. They get wrongly labeled as insane, crazy, anti-social, and all other adjectives that bring no help to the situation.

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Thus, depression is not a laughing matter. It’s not a joke to identify yourself as “depressed” just because you can’t purchase those expensive kicks, the latest tech finds, or those celebrity-endorsed lipsticks.

For every 90 depressives, an estimate of only one-third is expected to seek help, one-third will suffer silently, while the other one-third will bear the symptoms not knowing there’s something wrong.

Since not enough study or monitoring of depression is being done in the Philippines as of the moment, here are 10 warning signs and symptoms to watch out for:

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However, it should be noted that not everyone will experience the same symptoms since it will depend on several factors such as gender, genetics, coping mechanism, support structure, relationship, and culture.

Maintaining a happy environment for people who are subject to such illness can be a big help. Family history or stressful events — death of a loved one, separation, or job loss – and use of certain medicines, overuse of drugs and alcohol, and chronic diseases can also lead to depression.

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As Jean Goulbourn, president of Natasha Goulbourn Foundation (NGF), said: “Depression can hit anyone, but not everyone knows what to do or where to go for assistance.”

NGF is a non-profit organization which helps people be aware of how one can prevent, recognize, and treat depression. They have entered into a partnership with Globe Telecom for the NGF HOPELINE, a portal which enables those in immediate need of assistance to quickly connect on a person-to-person basis with trained and certified responders who assist callers who are undergoing emotional crisis.

Callers will be assisted on what to do and where to undergo diagnosis, treatment, and therapy in the Philippines. NGF HOPELINE may be reached at (02) 804-HOPE (4673), 0917 558 HOPE (4673), and 2919 (toll-free number for all GLOBE and TM subscribers).

You may never know, your brother, sister, or friend may be needing help. It’s never too late to extend a hand. Everyone deserves a happy place to be in.

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