Drowning in Pain But Nobody Knows: A Look at Teen Depression
Teen Suicide and Depression
After watching an interview with the 26 years old, and in my opinion, extremely brave daughter of the Archbishop of Canterbury talking about her struggles and experience with depression and thoughts of suicide; I found myself asking the question why? Why would someone who is born into a previlege family with the best that life can offer, be depressed? Why are so many young people depressed to the point of wanting to end a life that has barely just begun? In search of an answer, I decided to do some research and write a poem.
My poem touches on some of the issues young people are facing in our society and money is no protection when It comes to anxiety, depression and suicide.
My poem, " Nobody Knows" also touches on the shocking way some youngsters try to cope with emotional pain, intense anger and frustration by self harming. Although the act of deliberately harming the body, known as 'cutting,' is not meant as a suicide attempt, it is none-the-less an extremely unhealthy way of coping for some.
Suicide is reported to be the third leading cause of death in young people between the ages of 15 to 24. Ten teenagers out of 100,000 take a decision to end their lives. Approximately 20% of teens experience depression before they reach adulthood with10 to 15 per cent exhibiting symptoms at any one time. Sadly, the number of depressed teenagers who receive treatment for depression is only 30 per cent. Teenage depression is serious, it affects million of teenagers, but unfortunately only a small per cent will get professional help with teenage depression.
Childhood should be the most carefree and happiest time of our lives, yet so many children and young adults are desperately unhappy, so much so that many are resorting to taking their own lives. Why...why are so many teenagers and young people depressed.
Teen depression is not some sort of character weakness, or something that can be overcome by the sheer force of willpower. It is not the typical teen moodiness, it can have serious consequences and requires long term treatment such as medication and psychological counseling.
Those at risk include:
Teenage girls experience depression twice as much as male, however, teenage boys are more successful at committing suicide
Teens who are abused and neglected are at risk
Adolescents who have chronic illness or other physical conditions
Children with family history of depression or mental illness. (Studies show between 20 to 50 percent of teenagers who are suffering from depression have a family member with depression or some other mental disorder).
Teens with untreated mental or substance abuse problems. (Two thirds of teens with major depression also struggle with another mood disorder such as dysthymia, anxiety, antisocial behaviors, or substance abuse).
Young people who experience trauma or disruption at home, including divorce and death of parents.
Some of the Warning Signs
Feeling down or sad, crying for no reason
Feeling tired, listless unable to do simple tasks
Lack of interest in activities that once gave much pleasure
Changes in appearance, due to lack of interest in hygiene and grooming
Spending more time alone, characterized by having trouble with relationships and turning away from friends
Feeling irritable, angry, or anxious
Inability to concentrate or make decisions
Obvious changes in weight or appetite
Changes in sleep patterns
Feeling of worthlessness and guilt
Aches and pains with no obvious cause
Overly sensitive about rejection or failure
Running away from home
Poor school performance or missing school
Speaking or moving more slowly than normal
Hallucinations or delusions
Thinking about death or suicide, or not interested about the future
A Chicago study in 2010, found that five times as many high school and college student are dealing with anxiety and other mental health issues as youth of the same age who were studied in the Great Depression era. So where are today's parents going wrong?
High expectation can lead to disappointment, Many well meaning and overprotective parents have left their children with few real-world coping skills, without these skills youngsters become anxious said an adolescent medicine specialist.
Students point to the pressure to succeed in this fast paced world, and pressure to be financially successful as some of the causes of teen depression.
Many young people today have an unrealistic feeling that they need a huge amount of money to be considered a success, this can lead to feelings of inadequacies which can cause anxiety and depression. Some believe that the only value in getting an education is to make a lot of money.
Most children are brought up in a culture of “you can do anything you put your mine to do” while this can be motivating to some, it can also give false expectations resulting in distress when the result is failure.
Teenagers often have to deal with peer pressure, academic expectation and changing body image.
Today's teens and young people generally want to be popular, to be seen as 'perfect'; this can have much to do with how much money their parents make, as much as how thin and skinny the teenager looks and feel which can result in body image and eating issues, as they try to 'fit in'.
Another day seen through bloodshot eyes
Struggles to face another sunrise
Can't find the will to get out of bed
An Inner voice chants better off dead
Precarious is her hold on life
Decisively soft skin touches knife
Through sting of pain she assume control
Compulsion devouring her soul
One more day of agony to claim
Deep down inside, she's dying of shame
Cut; she must, to forget her sorrows
Dying inside, yet nobody knows
Darkness reigns behind the smile she fake
The dam of tears refuses to break
Long silent screams that no one can hear
Reaps bitter bile too much to bare
They say she is odd, named her misfit
Get a grip girl, and get over it
You must show allegiance to the brand
To be permitted here in gangland
Invariable, small minds the same
Follow like Sheep to play in the game
Square pegs made to fit into round hole
Masking the pain is taking it's toll
Incessant, the noise inside her head
Weird.. freak.. peculiar ..words she heard
Her name graffitied on classroom wall
The bullies orchestrating her fall
Harder she strives, could do nothing right
Ought to wave white flag and quit the fight
But something inside refuse to die
A small voice whispers defy...defy