Is depression with teenagers a result of chemical imbalance? If it is, then why are there still cultures where it is an unknown problem? Could it be an unfortunate sequence of bad events that are the root of the depression? The teenager’s family could be going through a series of unpleasant changes. These changes won’t lead to depression, if they are dealt with positively however. Depression occurs when a teenager learns to deal with events in a negative fashion.
What teens are told can be the cause depression. If they are told over and over again that they are bad, useless or stupid, then consequently they believe those things, and become highly susceptible to depression.Again, this will only happen if they don’t have the luxury of having someone in their life who can teach them a positive attitude towards dealing with such problems.
If an important relationship breaks up, then this may present a challenge. Again, attitude is everything. Only with a negative attitude, will a teenager suffer depression at the hands of such a relationship break up.
Sometimes these problems run in families. People suffering from depression could have children affected by the same problem. This happens because they, the parents, having suffered from depression, have a predominantly negative outlook towards life, which is then passed on to their children.
It can, however, alternatively happen that a parent, who once suffered from depression, can not only solve their own depression, but also understand and thus alter their negative outlook towards life; converting themselves into a life-lover. In this case it is unlikely that they will pass any negativity onto their children.
In addition, illness, academic or sporting failure, and bereavement can provoke depression. Also in this case everything depends on their attitude. If the teenager had a mentor who deals positively with the uncertainties of life, they too will consequently learn to do the same, and will thus be unlikely to develop depression.
Failing exams or making mistakes can make you feel stupid. It lowers your self-esteem and level of pride in yourself. This doesn’t happen because we really are of lesser value. It happens because we are artificially and intentionally made to believe that our worth is directly connected to our grades.
Even worse than this, our flawed educational system creates the impression that we have no worth inside ourselves, but rather only if someone else decides that we have. It’s an unnecessary and poisonous emotional dependence, which can only contribute to depression with teenagers.
Actually, the idea of giving a defined value, low or high, to a human being is utterly nonsensical. It is worth getting hold of Carl Rogers‘s works if you are interested in the psychological damage that schooling can induce.
Depression with teenagers: “You are a puppet in my hands!”
I want to illustrate here one more SPD. An SPD, Social Patterned Defect, is a psychological problem, which society fails to identify as such. It’s also a widely spread one.As with the other ones I have so far described on this site, this too is a factor contributing to depression with teenagers.
Let’s start with a metaphor.Imagine a puppet theatre, where the puppets are controlled by strings.
The show is about to begin, the curtain is raised. There is one puppet, and she has only two strings attached. One of the strings has a paper sign on it, saying “Punishments”. The other string has another sign on it, saying “Rewards”. There is just one solitary difference between this puppet and all the others.
The puppeteer doesn’t know it, but she is a thinking puppet. She has feelings. She needs trust to be happy. This puppet is scared, and depressed.
The punishments and rewards pedagogy is an SPD
If you are controlled by the threat of punishment, and the offer of rewards, then you develop an image of yourself as a puppet in someone else’s hands. You end up feeling used instead of loved.
This becomes a psychological problem for the victim of the punishments and rewards, as well as for the educator who employs this sort of pedagogy. It’s also an SPD, Social Patterned Defect, because it’s very common, and because society fails to recognize it as a problem.
In the home page I introduce the concept of SPD, and in another page I discussed a well-known SPD, alienation.It has to be said that the punishments and rewards system is very old and finds strength in the human superstition of fear, another SPD.
Many teenagers simply absorb the idea of being puppets in someone else’s hands, a negative and inhumane concept, and live with it all of their lives. Only a few subconsciously reject this idea and develop a conflict that can consequently manifest into depression.
So, depression with teenagers has among its various causes the negative self-image imposed on them by the manipulation of the punishments and rewards system.
Where to go now?
- Back to the home page, Depression teens: a scary problem with an easy solution.
- From Depression with teenagers: reasons for teenage depression to Depressed teenagers: causes for teenage depression. I’ll talk about depression with teenagers caused by a relative who suffered from depression, and about the influence of bad events.