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Why So Sad?

28 Sep
teen-depression-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q

Why So Sad?

Looking around on Tumblr recently, I noticed a great deal of gloom in many of the posts left by teenagers. I know teens are supposed to be moody and occasionally melancholy, but some of these kids seemed depressed, and it concerned me. Teen depression is a serious problem that affects every facet of a teen’s life. Teen depression can lead to drug and alcohol abuse, self-mutilation, violence and even suicide.

According to suicide.org, a teen takes his or her life every hour and a half. Suicide is the third leading cause of death for young people ages 15 to 24. Approximately 20 percent of teens experience depression before they reach adulthood, and between 10 to 15 percent suffer from symptoms at any given time. Why is there more despair and hopelessness among teens today? I wish I knew the answer.

One thing that surprised me is that only 30 percent of depressed teens are being treated for it. Are parents, teachers and friends not realizing that these kids are depressed?

Important things to know:

➢ A teenage girl is twice as likely to suffer from depression than a boy.
➢ Teens that are abused, neglected or bullied are at risk.
➢ Young people who experienced trauma or disruptions at home, including divorce and deaths of loved ones, are also more likely to develop depression.

If a teen you know shows signs of sadness and hopelessness, he or she may be depressed.
Here are some red flags, visible warning signs that can help you detect if a teen in your life is depressed.

If a young person . . .
➢ has unexplained aches and pains
➢ is sluggish
➢ doesn’t care about their appearance
➢ cries easily
➢ is very angry, irritable and frustrates easily
➢ talks about death and suicide (even jokingly)
…it’s time to wake up! You have a problem on your hands.

Depression can be easily treated, but first you have to understand that there’s a problem, and sometimes teens don’t know how to let you know. They’re counting on you to notice. So if you interact with teenagers, please pay attention. You could save a life.

Below are posts written by teens on Tumblr:

“My whole life is falling apart and no one cares about it.”

girl-teen-sad-depressed-lonely-stressjupiter

“It’s not fair! Instead of crying when I start to panic I get angry now. So freaking angry, and the stupidest shit triggers it. So now I’m the bad guy and I messed everything up again.”

Sad Teens

“I’m so fucking done with looking like this! I’m going to fast 2 or 3 days a week and on the other days I’m going to eat 600 calories or less and do the 30 Day Challenge and the 30 Day Ab Challenge, and I’m going to start running 4 miles. I will lose this weight before Christmas. I don’t care what it takes as long as I won’t be called fat anymore.”

Teen Depression

“I’m literally so shitty someone could easily replace me. Anyway, who gives a fuck?”

Teen Suicide

“Yesssss! I hate school. Life sucks! One more day of humiliating myself.”

Depressed Teen

“When you can only calm yourself by forcing yourself to think of the absolute worst thing that can happen to you, over and over, you know something is wrong with you.”

“Can I live inside Tumblr? : ( My real life sucks and I hate it.”

Sad teen

“I hate being alive so much. It’s one problem after the next and no one has any sympathy for me.”

“I’m a mountain that has been moved.

I’m a river that is all dried up.

I’m an ocean nothing floats on.
I’m sky that nothing wants to fly in.
I’m a sun that doesn’t burn hot.
I’m a moon that never shows it’s face.
I’m a mouth that doesn’t smile.
I’m a word that no one wants to say.”

depressed teenagers

Me: You wanna hear a joke?
 Me: my life.
 Me: *laughs at my shitty life until I breakdown crying.”

teens_depression_substance_abuse

If there is a teen in your life suffering from depression get medical help immediately. Click here for a helpful link.

45 Responses to “Why So Sad?”

  1. Kelnius September 28, 2013 at 9:34 pm #

    What if you know a teenager that is depressed, but can’t convinced them to get help?
    And what if this isn’t a hypothetical question, but a serious situation that I go through every time I talk to this girl I know online, who says that her parents “won’t believe her” if she told them and says that doctors and pills are too expensive (because India doesn’t have socialized medicine) and she thinks people will call her crazy if she seeks help?
    Then, whenever I come up with a good argument, her response is “It’s no need, I’ll be fine”, even though she’s obviously stressed, depressed and feels excluded for being smart.
    Is there anything else I can do or have I done all that I can?

    Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega September 28, 2013 at 11:38 pm #

      What you’re describing is a very tough and serious situation. If you lived nearby her and could speak to her parents that would probably be a good idea, but if she lives in another country and you can only communicate with her online there’s not much more you can do. There may be some form of help for her there, but depressed teens have overwhelming feelings of hopelessness and they’re sometimes blind to solutions. It’s horrible that she feels that her parents will not believe her. It’s very sad, but I think you’ve done everything you can. Check out the link at the end of the post. Maybe you can send her helpful links on teen depression. If she recognizes some of the symptoms as being her own maybe that will encourage her to seek help from a teacher or other authoritative figure if she won’t go to her parents. I hope this has helped you.

      Like

  2. ygm17 September 28, 2013 at 9:51 pm #

    I wrote about how very good friends of ours lost their fifteen year old son this week to suicide. He was a beautiful and vibrant boy, very athletic and popular and yet he took his own life leaving broken hearts and devastated lives behind. I think as parents we have to stay vigilant and keep our children close. I also believe we should do everything we can to help children and teens build resilience – the ability to ‘bounce back’ from negative episodes.

    Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega September 29, 2013 at 12:07 am #

      Oh my, how tragically sad. I feel for those parents. I totally agree with you. Parents need to learn to read the signs of teen depression, which can differ from adult depression in many ways. I also agree that kids need to learn to be more resilient. Thank you for sharing.

      Like

  3. Ben Roach September 28, 2013 at 10:01 pm #

    A really insightful post Vashti. I think people need to start taking teenage depression more seriously. People are always shrugging it off as ‘hormones’ or just ‘teen angst’ and assume they’ll get over it. But it is so much more serious than that.

    Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega September 28, 2013 at 11:45 pm #

      Hi Ben! One out of every ten adolescents and young adults has attempted suicide on at least one occasion. That’s how serious it is! Yes, teens can be dramatic and angsty (is that a word?), but there’s a difference between normal teenage behavior and teen depression. 😦

      Like

    • Zee September 30, 2013 at 2:37 am #

      As a teenager, I shrugged off my own depression as hormones and teenage ‘angst’. My little brother did the same. It’s hard to realise that it’s more than that until you’re too old to put it in that box anymore, or someone else points it out to you.

      Like

      • Vashti Quiroz-Vega September 30, 2013 at 4:03 am #

        Hi Zee. I think that’s a major problem. Teens tend to mask the problem and this makes it a lot more difficult for their loved ones to notice that it’s something more than just teen angst. I too suffered from teen depression and I tried to hide it behind a smile while inside I was a raging volcano. Thank you for sharing.

        Like

  4. Bullying Prevention September 28, 2013 at 10:04 pm #

    Reblogged this on Bullying Prevention.

    Like

  5. Yolanda Isabel Regueira Marin September 28, 2013 at 10:25 pm #

    It’s a terrifying situation existing all over the world … Awareness is the first step but even then sometimes it is hard to pinpoint there is a problem. At least social media is allowing some of these kids to express their feelings. How to combat it. I don’t think anyone has the answer. Life has become so competitive and individuals so self absorbed, that sense of community has been lost in many instances. Good post.

    Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega September 28, 2013 at 11:49 pm #

      Thank you Yolanda. I believe being aware of the warning signs and paying attention to the teens in your life is definitely the key.

      Like

  6. nineteen98spirit September 28, 2013 at 10:48 pm #

    I think this is a really important post. Teen depression is an issue that so little people tend to take seriously, they either don’t believe it is a real illness or don’t think it is as important as some other illnesses may be. I think teens need help to find the positive parts of their life and use those to control their happiness.

    http://www.alicekouzmenkowriting.blogspot.com

    Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega September 28, 2013 at 11:59 pm #

      You’re right Alice. Too many people think it is a phase that the teen is going through and they don’t take it seriously until it’s too late. I believe awareness is the key. Signs and symptoms of depression should be discussed in schools.

      Like

  7. Teagan Kearney September 28, 2013 at 11:36 pm #

    A very insightful post, Vashti, shedding light on a subject which affects so many lives.

    Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega September 28, 2013 at 11:55 pm #

      Thank you Teagan. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people. (bullyingstatistics.org and CDC) We need to raise awareness of this problem and pay closer attention to the teens in our lives.

      Like

  8. J.S. Rogers September 29, 2013 at 12:14 pm #

    Nice work Vashti! I am continually impressed.

    Like

  9. Katie Cross September 30, 2013 at 3:43 am #

    Good for you for bringing this to light. It’s a difficult subject to read, but I think education and talking about it will help people realize that it’s a problem.

    I remember being a teenager, and it was hard then. It has to be so much harder now, as the pressure and issues change. My mother always spoke to me. She kept a really open line of communication, and I think that’s what spared me so much angst. I plan to do that with my children to the best of my ability, and hope that we’re able to work through these hard years together.

    Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega September 30, 2013 at 3:57 am #

      Hi Katie. Thank you. I think you have a great mom. I think keeping an open line of communication with your child is very important. Good for you.

      Like

  10. Rosey September 30, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

    My daughter had a friend whose mother passed from cancer, the girl starting cutting herself. People didn’t think it was serious, just her way of reaching out. I’m thinking oh my gosh, she could DIE!! The girl herself said she ‘knew’ what she was doing and when to stop. No no no no!! Accidents happen, and I bet you she wouldn’t want to die if one did. No one is helping her, even when they’re helping her. And for some reason, cutting yourself has now become sort of Vogue, or trendy on top of it, which does NOT help matters a bit. That girl and my daughter are in different high schools now, and no longer talk. She’s full of hate and mean now, which is such a pity. I feel lost for her.

    And my good friend for many years has a son my daughter’s age (14). His best friend, popular sports guy, just killed himself this year. Everyone loved him, no one even knew he was hurting. They still don’t know what he was hurting about, not even his parents. I guess they never will.

    Teens are so precious. They are also good at hiding things if they want to. It pays to really pay attention. I’m glad you’ve tackled a tough topic and put it up on your blog.

    Thank you for linking to Super Sunday Sync.

    Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega September 30, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

      Hi Rosey! Most kids that cut themselves do it because they believe the physical pain will drown out the emotional pain they are feeling. That is the ultimate call for help. I am shock that none of her family seemed concerned about it. No wonder she became an angry person. If a person doesn’t receive love, and the people that are supposed to love him/her are indifferent self-loathing and anger issues will be the result. I feel for that poor girl.
      Oh my! There seems to be an epidemic of depressed teens! There are always warning signs, red flags. The parents just didn’t notice them. Sometimes the cause of the depression is physiological (chemical imbalance in the brain, hormonal problems) and the kid is confused and doesn’t know what’s happening to him/her. So sad! 😦

      Like

  11. JESS44903 September 30, 2013 at 6:11 pm #

    This is a great article, thanks for sharing.

    Thanks for joining the Link Up this week!

    Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega September 30, 2013 at 6:51 pm #

      Hi Plucky! Thank you and you’re welcome. It was my pleasure to join the Link Up. 😀

      Like

  12. Johnnie Jazz September 30, 2013 at 7:24 pm #

    Vashti, this is a very thought provoking post! It is a crying shame that teenagers are hurting so much and their own parents have failed to recognize the symptoms. I think the only way to resolve this problem is, to talk about it all the time. Parents need to sit down and have a serious chat with their kids about the importance of communicating with them. Unfortunately, some kids are afraid to speak up and choose to suffer in silence. Thank you for sharing this!

    Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega October 1, 2013 at 4:07 pm #

      Hi Johnnie! I agree, parents do need to sit with their kids and establish good communication. I also believe that since suicide is the 3rd highest cause of death among young adults that middle and high schools should teach the warning signs of depression to the kids, and then also teach a nightly class for the parents. If everyone knows what to look for the chances are that many kids and young adults’ lives will be saved.

      Like

  13. Angie September 30, 2013 at 7:51 pm #

    Thanks for sharing – such a difficult subject – you did a great job though. Thanks for networking with us on the CLIMB (the month long networking blog hop)
    Thanks again
    Angie
    http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/

    Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega October 1, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

      Hello Angie. Thank you very much. It was my pleasure to network with you guys on the CLIMB Blog Hop. Have a great day! 😀

      Like

  14. Diana Jackson October 2, 2013 at 7:00 am #

    Very moving and thought provoking Vashti. Having worked with 16-19yr olds for thirteen years before being made redundant this summer I knew first hand how many of my students were feeling. As their personal tutor I was often their first plea for help. Will the graduate tutors, fresh from college to replace us oldies, have they the same empathy and are the students in their care likely to turn to them so readily, sharing their problems with people only a couple of years older than themselves? I’m not so sure…no offense intended to their ability to teach well….It’s a worry

    Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega October 2, 2013 at 1:58 pm #

      Hello Diana. Thank you very much. I understand your point completely. I believe it takes years to shed our natural self-absorbness and learn true empathy. Why is it that so many refuse to see the wisdom and knowledge that comes with time? It’s sad because you seem in tune with your students and we need more teachers like you. You know what they say, “Money talks”. I guess it’s cheaper to hire kids out of college. I know they need to get started somewhere, but instead of getting rid of older, wiser teachers they should leave them so that the younger ones can learn from them.

      Like

  15. Rebecca Lacy October 2, 2013 at 9:53 pm #

    Great article. I re-posted it on FB. I hope my friends who interact with kids read it. Note to self…put it on LinkedIn too!

    Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega October 2, 2013 at 10:24 pm #

      Hi Rebecca! Thank you so much! I’m glad you enjoyed it. It’s an important issue and people need to be made aware. Thank you for sharing it.:)

      Like

  16. Stacey Gannett October 3, 2013 at 6:53 pm #

    What an absolutely beautiful post! It is so sad to see in the news all of the horrible stories of things that teens do to each other, and no wonder kids are depressed. Add to that some parents inability to accept their children as they are with unconditional love…I too was one of those depressed kids, even thought, though not seriously, about suicide. I could just never figure out why I wasn’t good enough or loved and made a vow that I would never allow my kids to feel that sadness, happily I don’t think they do. Thank you for sharing and have a wonderful week!

    Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega October 3, 2013 at 7:13 pm #

      Oh Stacey, I’m so sorry you had to go through that as a child. That’s heart-wrenching. Every child should feel loved and accepted. What a wonderful person you are. Many people that were not given proper attention or love children choose a different path. It’s great that you make your kids feel loved and cared for. That’s very admirable. You have a great week too! 😀

      Like

  17. Angela - My Personal Accent October 11, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

    Vashti,

    I loved your post in that it brought an issue that is so important to light. I have a teen and I see this in her sometimes and many of her friends. It is somewhat disturbing to a parent because no matter what you try to do to make them feel better nothing seems to work. I finally took my daughter to a counselor because she needed a third party nonjudgmental person to talk to her and keep her secrets. A parent I don’t think can completely do that. It has helped her outlook on life a great deal.

    Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega October 11, 2013 at 6:24 pm #

      Hello Angela! I’m happy you liked the post. I believe you did the right thing. Sometimes parents want to help their teen and solve all their problems, but sometimes, like you said, outside help is needed. Good call! 🙂

      Like

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    Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega August 21, 2014 at 9:07 pm #

      Hello! Thank you very much! I’m happy you enjoy my blog and I appreciate the support. 😀

      Like

  19. Prakash Hegade October 25, 2016 at 12:11 pm #

    This is shocking to know about students at teenage to behave so! It’s too early even to think on such things. May be its the life style that puts one to depression at that small age!

    I mean, its time to worry about books, not life! Thank you for the awareness post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega October 25, 2016 at 1:24 pm #

      I see your point, but lets not forget that ‘Depression’ can also be an illness. During adolescence hormones are shifting and adjusting. Usually this is the reason why teens are sometimes moody and irritable and some attitude is perfectly normal, but for some kids there could be an imbalance of chemistry (hormones) that can cause depression. If you add indifference from their parents and teachers, bullying . . . it can push them over the edged.
      You’re right, kids should be happy and carefree with occasional moodiness and attitude and most are, but unfortunately, there are some that do get depressed. The adults around them should know what the warning signs are so that they may get help. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • Prakash Hegade October 25, 2016 at 2:19 pm #

        Those definitely can be the reasons.. I can think of them. The environment surrounding plays a lot major role.

        And this is something new which was not seen in earlier days! Or the numbers are way too high (Might be negligible earlier).

        Like

      • Vashti Quiroz-Vega October 25, 2016 at 2:34 pm #

        Yes, absolutely. The environment can play a role in making things much worse than they already are.

        Liked by 1 person

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