In an article I read recently it said that the onset of depression in girls triples during the ages of 12 and 15. This is a startling discovery because I think in a lot of cases that is the time when parent become most distant from their children, and struggle in understanding what their lives are like. the reality is that this is the second most vulnerable time in a girl’s life. The first is of course, when she is a child and relies on her mother and father to fulfill her basic needs of being safe, having shelter, and nourishment. The consequences that follow according with these early life needs not being met are detrimental to the development of self esteem as the child grows up.
The article reveals that doctors aren’t paying close attention to symptoms of depression in teens until they reach 15 or 16. But by that time, the depressive symptoms may in fact be far more sever than they would be had the help come sooner to these teens. In my own life, I know that if I had allowed myself to recognize the depressive symptoms for what they were throughout my life, and been honest about how I felt, I would have been able to get help much earlier, and might be in a better place of recovery right now. Nonetheless, it’s NEVER TOO LATE to seek help for the pain you are feeling.
The affect this article had on me was that it made me realize the responsibility of parents to notice these symptoms in their children and teens. As a parent, b e aware of the growing number of kids and young adults that suffer with anxiety, depression, and mood disorders. The years 10 through 20 and even beyond, are some of the most difficult and confusing years in a girls life. I want to ask parents to be an active part of their daughter’s lives. Talk with her and help her with the challenges and stresses she is facing with growing up.
However, in many cases parents are not able, or interested in being a support to their child and in that case I want to say to anyone, no matter what age they may be, ONLY YOU can choose to get help. Getting involved with a counsiler at school or seeking counselling elsewhere is a great place to start. It gives you someone to talk to. I know first hand that can be scary as hell. I wasn’t someone who wanted to admit I had a problem. But I have to tell you, when I did finally come to see it and admit that, it was the first step towards beating my depression and anxiety.
YOU CAN DO IT!
Be brave! Talk to friends or family or teachers or councilors, or doctors. They are their to help you.
Last year I felt weird having to go get help from the counselling center at the university I attended. It didn’t seem like any of the other kids were feeling like I was. I was weird and strange and had to hide from everyone. Hide who I was. But then, the first thing the counsiler said to me was that their was a reason for the large size of the counselling centers at every university. Depression and other mental illness‘ are common! There were so many other students that were suffering with the same things I was. Despite how I had always felt, I WASN’T ALONE!
That’s the first step. Realizing you have these feelings. But the next step is changing the way you look at mental illness. YOU’RE NOT ALONE! So many people suffer with it just like you. It’s an illness, and there’s no shame in it. I used to be so ashamed of it, and hate myself for the feelings I had, and the fears that came to my mind to debilitate me, until one day my psychiatrist said to me, “if you had a broken leg, would you hide it?”