01 Dec Bonus YSS: How is the self involved?
What is causing rates of depression to go up?
It could be the pressure people face – social, academic, parental.
It could be media influencing people to be a certain way and then people feel sad or depressed about not living up to that image.
It could be because so many parents are divorcing.
It could be an increase in exposure to trauma whether on the news, media or in real life.
It could be ________________ (you fill in the reason!).
Does the way that you feel about your self contribute to why you feel sad? Or, does the way that you feel about your self make you feel better? Let’s look at the list again.
Pressure: If you feel confident and strong, then you may not care about pressure and may handle it really well.
Media: If you are happy with who you are (body size, looks and all), then the media influences won’t be so demanding on you and you won’t be so sad or upset by them.
Divorce: Yes, divorce is sad and challenging and so many feelings that vary from kid to kid and situation to situation, but the way you manage it will have a huge impact on your feelings around it. It’s totally normal to feel sad when parents divorce, but how much you take it personally and how well you cope with the stress is dependent on your beliefs about your self and your perspective. You need to feel strong and resilient to have that positive perspective.
Exposure to trauma: Knowing who you are helps you make important decisions about how much violence or trauma to expose yourself to through the media. Yes, you could watch every scary movie or news event portraying serial killers, bombers and terrorists, but how does that help you as a person? Making choices that help you feel good and not sad is based on how well you know yourself.
You fill in the blank…. Does knowing who you are and having a stronger sense of self help you to manage the issue that you came up with?
This sub-post asks you to think about how your SELF is involved in not just feeling depressed, but in the way that you manage it. When people feel depressed, it’s very difficult to pull your SELF up and out of it. You need help. Adults can sometimes (but not always) see that they are depressed and so they seek help. But teens don’t have the experience that adults do (because you are not ancient yet) AND teen brains are not functioning at full capacity (scientific fact, not a knock against teens).
So for a teen, feeling depressed not only totally stinks but your skills for managing it may not be as developed as they need to be to pull your self out of it. That’s why building your self is so important. It will help you to build your skills, to stay protected and to be your own best friend.
If you are feeling depressed, take a moment to view depression as an unwanted house guest: it has had its stay – you may have even needed it (to grieve your dog, to handle your parents’ divorce) but now it needs to go. Getting unwanted house guests to leave is not always easy, but in the case of depression it needs to be done. You need to think of depression as something living in your space that has no business being there any more.
A very challenging part of this house cleaning process may be:
Believing that you deserve the help.
That is what building the SELF is all about. It allows you to understand that we ALL deserve to feel healthy, happy and connected.
Imagine you are at the beach watching really young kids build a sandcastle. Can you honestly look at any of them and think, They don’t deserve to be happy and building a sandcastle? Of course not. They are just kids expressing themselves through their play. Don’t forget that you are just like one of those kids. You deserve to have fun and to express yourself.
You deserve it today.
When you stand back and look at your self, what do you see?