Views on Adolescent Depression
This project is a requirement of the GOA Abnormal Psychology Course. Using the process of design thinking, a challenge in the world of mental health was identified, interviews and research were undertaken, and a solution prototype was developed. Below you will find information about the identified area of concern and my proposed solution. Please feel free to provide feedback on this prototype, using questions such as “How might we…”, “What if….?”, “I wonder….”, “I like…”, and “I wish.” Keep the comments positive, please. For more information on the process of Design Thinking, click here.
Do NOT scroll down until you’ve answered the below poll at least once
Everyone’s felt sad at some point of time. Sometimes you’ve been in situations where you’ve felt down about something and it just crushed you. But situations change and pass with time and you can eventually become happy again.
Depression differs from sadness in that though situations may change, the feeling still stays with you. While sadness is a tangible emotion, depression may not feel like anything at all. It might just feel like a consuming emptiness that saps you of energy and prevents you from doing the things you want to do.
Personally, I’ve struggled with depression for around 6 years now. While I wouldn’t say it defines who I am, I certainly feel changed for the worse because of it. It’s a dark, unmistakably omnipresent force that weighs down upon you, never letting you go.
Having worked for a change for myself, I became interested in helping others make a change for themselves. But like many people, I didn’t tell anyone about the pain I was in until two years ago and I feel that if I had sought out help earlier, I would have put myself in a much better place. I don’t want other people to make the same mistakes I made, but there’s such a large stigma surrounding depression and counseling that it’s hard to break this vicious cycle. And that’s where I feel a change in awareness needs to be made.
Learn more about depression:
How many of these people do you think have some sort of mental illness?
Do you have an answer?
Actually, we don’t know the answer to this question. There’s no way to know if someone has depression or any other mental illness just by looking at them. Depression doesn’t necessarily manifest itself obviously upon a person. And when a person does have depression, they can be bogged down by the stigma against depression. A reason why many people with depression don’t seek help is because the stigma surrounding depression causes them to have thoughts and expressions such as:
“Oh, I don’t need help, I’m strong enough. I can do it on my own.”
“I’m weak if I ask for help.”
“People will think I’m crazy if I go to therapy.”
“In my family, I was taught that you should be able to pull yourself up by your bootstraps.”
“I want to handle this on my own.”
“People will think I’m a failure.”
“My problems are not big enough.”
“I don’t know what to do.”
As these warning signs may be hard to spot, it is extremely important that we educate ourselves and those around us to cultivate an environment that will discourage the development of depressive thoughts into much worse things such as suicide.
In order to make a change anywhere, everyone in the community needs to commit to the change. Unfortunately, getting large numbers of people to change at once is extremely challenging. So with that in mind, I believe the best way to create awareness for such a sensitive topic is to start personally. In other words, I propose to start with self reflection in the hopes that, in looking at themselves, people will be more inclined to be aware and change their mindset in order to eliminate the stigma surrounding depression.
I hope the self reflection survey allowed you to at least get started in thinking about the challenges faced by the community. To help you collectively hone your thoughts, please post at least one idea you had in the Padlet below. Thank you for viewing this project, and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask them below.
Other information from:
Meredith Bledsoe, PhD. | Lakeside Counselor