Wednesday, June 29, 2011
What if. . .
. . .instead of feeling sorry or scared for young people who experience "depression," we instead said to them "Congratulations! Welcome to being human."
I perused MedHelp's Teen Depression Forum, and couldn't find much evidence of a disease called depression. I read much of sadness, confusion, and downright grief.
One young woman wrote that her mother died, she's struggling with realizing she's bisexual, and that she just moved to a new town. She took the depression tests on every website she could find and now wonders whether she should seek help (read: get a prescription).
Another said she felt that the world was in a depression. Could it be that she's right?
One girl says she's always been depressed. This one sounds suspiciously like "real depression," but no, at the end of her list of symptoms of feeling bad for no reason she blithely mentions her father was 16 when she was born and she's always sore and bruised from his giving her nuggies and other things of that sort. I don't recall nuggies and "things of that sort" leaving bruises, do you?
One boy says he's tired all the time and wonders if he needs medication. Maybe he's just tired.
Many kids say they have no friends because they're shy or feel different, their grades have gotten worse, they aren't as social as they think they ought to be, like to be alone (horrors!), or have no clue what they want to Be When They Grow Up. Here's an interesting thing: not liking to text message or get on Facebook is seen a personal weakness or character flaw. Perhaps it's a 21st century form of shyness. Is this something teens need medication for?
I'm sorry (sort of) for beating a dead horse, but I've simply had enough.
There is a cure for all of these ills, though it won't make the growing pains of adolescence go away:
Kindness, community, and acknowledgment of reality.
Image note: Corot The Letter 1865 Art historians say Corot found the "melancholic woman" to be his ideal.