How much do you know about teenage depression? Take the quiz to find out.
1 in 5 teenagers struggle with depression – chances are you, or someone you know suffers from some form of depression. (Admin.)
How are you? The question is asked millions of times on a daily basis. It’s become so popular that the phrase is sometimes a substitute for “Hi” or “Hello”. The question is so ingrained in our society that an answer isn’t even necessary. But, when an answer is prodded, a typical response is “Good” or “Fine”, even if the person is having the worst day of their life. People feel uncomfortable when “real” feelings are announced like, “Not very good, actually. I’ve been suffering from depression lately”, and they would automatically be turned off. Teenagers encounter this issue every single day. Pushed in all directions from societal pressures, familial expectations, the stress of school, and millions of other things, it’s no wonder suicide is the third leading cause of death for people ages 15-24 (Admin.). Due to these unrealistic expectations teenagers are taught to reach, teenagers are more susceptible to depression than adults (Young). But teenagers are pretty good at hiding their emotions, so it wouldn’t seem like it, right? That’s because some teenagers shy away from sharing their issues with friends and family for fear of judgment. There is an unnecessary stigma surrounding depression, specifically among teenagers. But where does it come from and how can we combat it?
Talking to Someone can help:
-only 30% of teenagers are being treated for their depression (Admin.)
–5x more teens in high school & college today have mental health issues than the youth during the Great Depression (Admin.)
–80% of teens can be treated successfully if they seek help (Admin.)
I would know…
What even is STIGMA?
Stigma is a preconceived, negative notion attached to a particular person, thing, or quality. In terms of mental illness, there is a lot of stigma. Some people not suffering from a mental illness don’t quite understand what’s going on with those who do and thus can be judgmental and stereotypical toward the idea of mental illnesses and consequently those suffering from them. Sometimes this can lead the person to treat someone with a mental illness differently, in a negative way for fear that they are dangerous or “crazy”(The Stigma of Mental Illness is Making Us Sicker). Most of the time, though, the person stigmatizing is uninformed and not sufficiently educated about mental illnesses. A majority of the time, when teens suffer from depression, their peers, parents, and adults don’t notice the beginning signs. The problem with teenagers is that they’re often viewed as moody, and parents will say “Oh, he’s just being a teenager” when, in reality, he is suffering from a very real mental issue. Psychology Today states that stigma is the, “biggest barrier to mental health care” in the modern world. This stigma can cause people with mental illnesses to be socially isolated, or even not share their true feelings, further worsening their symptoms.
How to reverse it?
The main thing you can do is talk (Nami). Talk about depression. Talk about therapy. Talk about seeking help. Talk to your friends, your parents, your friends’ parents, anyone – just spread awareness and make depression a less taboo topic. Another thing you can do is offer compassion and empathy to those suffering. Don’t be judgmental, but rather listen to them and offer a hug or an, “I’m here for you”. If you suffer from a mental illness, you can help fight stigma too by refusing to let other’s opinions change the way you carry yourself.
Give Encouraging Words of Wisdom!
Since I am not very tech-savvy and can’t figure out how to make an online forum…add a Post-It to my wall of inspiration! Email me at 19TYLERL@episcopalhighschool.org or leave a comment below with your encouraging words, or anything you want others to hear, and I’ll put it on a pretty sticky note and hang it up with all of the others. I’ll update this page each day with everybody’s beautiful words, which hopefully inspires those struggling to keep pushing forward and also adds pretty decorations to my wall! Look at what we have so far below…
Now, how much do you know about teenage depression, after reading the information? Take the quiz.
If you, or someone you know, is wrestling with suicidal thoughts or depression, use the helpline:
Admin, Author. “Teenage Depression.” Teen Depression, www.teendepression.org/info/teenage-depression/.
Admin. “Why Today’s Teens Are More Depressed Than Ever.” Center For Discovery, Center For Discovery, 24 Sept. 2018, centerfordiscovery.com/blog/todays-teens-depressed-ever/.
Monroe, Jamison. “Teen Depression – Treatment.” Newport Academy, Newport Academy, 25 June 2018, www.newportacademy.com/treatment/teen-depression/.
“NAMI.” Home, www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/October-2017/9-Ways-to-Fight-Mental-Health-Stigma.
“The Stigma of Mental Illness Is Making Us Sicker.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/brick-brick/201405/the-stigma-mental-illness-is-making-us-sicker.
“Understanding Stigma.” Teen Mental Health, teenmentalhealth.org/live/understanding-stigma/.
Young, Karen. “Teens and Depression – Why Teens Are More Vulnerable, and the Risk Factors Parents Need to Know About.” Teens and Depression – Why Teens Are More Vulnerable, and the Risk Factors Parents Need to Know About –, 25 Apr. 2017, www.heysigmund.com/teens-and-depression-risk/.