Teenage Depression Misunderstood by Adults

Charlotte Van Den Heuvel, Staff Writer, Journalism I

Many people, specifically adults, do not understand teenage depression, but depression rates have been rising and people need to start to be more open-minded.

Suicide rates have been rising as well, which is a result of the depression rates rising among teenagers, and I believe this is because of all the negative stereotypes about mental illness.

A common misconception with mental illness, such as depression, is that people who suffer from it are weak-minded or insane, and because of these stereotypes, students are afraid to talk about their struggles.

This ultimately causes students to not get the help they need, and it also causes teenagers to feel as if they are weird or different for feeling the way they feel.

So not only do teenagers not feel comfortable sharing their struggles, but they actually feel worse than they did before because they believe they aren’t supposed to have the feelings that they endure daily.

In reality, many teenage students struggle with mental illness and could easily be helped if there wasn’t a negative connotation around the word “depression.”

To make matters worse, some people’s depression stems from past traumas and they are somehow led to believe that it is their fault, so they never tell anyone what happened to them because of guilt, which causes the depression or traumatic experience to worsen and can ultimately lead to suicide or self-harm.

Many people like to ask why the depression and suicide rates are rising, but little do they know that they are really causing the rates to rise by not being understanding with these new issues.

I believe that if there is anything that can help to improve these rates, people need to start to be more understanding and compassionate, and we need to start talking about these topics more both in school and at home.

Kids often look up to adults such as parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers, and more, but when adults have a strong negative opinion on the subject, kids are afraid to open up about what they are going through in fear of disappointing their loved one.

Adults need to start thinking about the topic in a different perspective, they need to start seeing it in the way of  “would I rather express my opinion and lose my loved one, or would I rather stay open minded in hopes that they would tell me if something is wrong” because that is how we will keep people alive in our day and time.