December 4, 2019
A lot of the time, it feels like you cannot breathe. No one seems to understand. No one seems to understand you. Life just seems to keep going all around you, but you feel heavy and worthless. Sometimes it just feels like the weight of the world is crushing you. And sometimes, if you drink or get high or whatever, that weight isn’t so heavy for a little while. But that can bring a whole new set of problems. It can feel so lonely.
But you are not alone.
According to recent data, over 13 percent of the population in the U.S. ages 13-24 experienced a major depressive episode in 2017. The figures were over 18 percent at certain age levels. This means that if you take ten students from any class, one or two of them have had a major depressive episode in the past year. And those are just the ones that are reported. That is a significant amount of the population. And that also means that you are not alone.
There are a lot of labels thrown around about depression, including ‘major depressive episodes.’ But the thing that matters most is what you are feeling and what you are going through. After all, it is easy to talk about statistics and numbers, but you are not a statistic or a number. You are unique. Your life is unique, and what makes you feel like this is also unique.
While some people sit around arguing whether the high rates of depression we are seeing are environmental or hereditary or both, you feel dead inside, and you may not even care why. Depression can be caused by trauma, loss, abuse, medical issues (including prescription drugs,) substance abuse, and more. Depression can also follow good life events, like making the team, getting that scholarship, getting into the school you wanted, a new job, etc. Or it could just be good old-fashioned genetics: if your mom, dad, sibling, aunt, grandparent or someone else was prone to depression, it could be their gift to you.
Depression can be impacted by our relationships, especially with family. Or our families may impact our relationships. Just because we are born or adopted into our families doesn’t mean they will automatically understand us. They may never get who we are or why we think the way we do, or why we feel this way. Even the most compassionate, supportive, and loving families can make our lives more difficult.
However, most families have dysfunction in them, some worse than others. In many families, this dysfunction is self-medicated with drugs or alcohol. Sound familiar? You might have more in common with your family than you first thought. However, this can often lead to less effective communication, leaving you even more lonely, surrounded by those who love you.
We don’t usually get to choose our families, but we can choose who we are. You may think that being so young, you expect the adults to know everything and solve all of the problems. But you are the only one who can truly solve your problems. You are the only one who knows everything that is going on inside of you, and you are the only one who sees your family from your perspective. You may not even be old enough to drive or to vote, but you are old enough to choose your own path in life. And chances are that you will be the inspiration for your family to learn more about depression, substance use, and how to communicate and function better.
While clinical depression requires appropriate medical care, you can get involved in a program that teaches you how to deal with life. How to deal with stress, school, work, family, and more. You can learn coping techniques and learn how to handle whatever life throws at you without getting high or drunk or whatever. You can learn how to communicate better, and how to look at your emotions differently. You may go into the program feeling like the underdog, but you will come out ahead of the game because you will know how to cope with whatever comes your way.
Not only that, but you can drag your family into this, too. They can learn the same skills you are learning. Let’s face it, you’ll probably be better at it, but at least you can try to help them out. They may never fully understand you, and that’s okay. But at least all of you can learn to communicate better and open up a dialogue about what you are going through. You can give your family a chance to heal and grow a little closer together.
Maybe you have felt like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. But in this moment, you have a chance to flip it upside down. You can learn to be on top of your world and conquer the inner dialogue that comes with depression. You can learn how to manage everything life sends your way. You can learn to communicate better with your family and all of your relationships. You can learn to be your best self.
Take control of your life again by contacting Potomac Programs at 1-855-809-0409 right now. You know where you are at, now take the step to be where you want to be.