As a sheltered (read: homeschooled) kid most of my life, I did not deal with teenage drama at all. My best friend was my mother; my favorite thing to do as a teen was painting. Even in college, I preferred to take most of my classes online so that I could finish everything earlier than the others and graduate quickly. Although I would have loved to spend all my life at home, I knew that I already “overstayed” at 21 years old, so I moved out and got a job in another city as a junior advertising executive.
A few months later, Mom called me, crying. I thought something terrible happened to them, but I eventually learned that she was shedding tears of joy.
“Honey, I’m pregnant. You’re about to have a baby sister,” she informed me.
I was so shocked that I could not speak immediately. Mom was already 42 years old. Sure, she was youthful-looking, but she was still too old to be expecting again. When I told her about what I thought, she laughed and told me it was a miracle. Despite my initial reaction, I was happy to know that they would have another person to look after.
Six months later, Camilla was born. She was the cutest baby I had ever seen. That’s saying something, considering I had always thought that I held that crown for a long time, but I willingly gave it up to my sister as soon as I saw her smile. I tried to go home as much as I could to help Mom out and watch Camilla grow up.
Different Kid, Different Education System
Since Camilla was technically a miracle baby, my parents were overly protective of her. They planned to set up a playground in the backyard so that Camilla would not think of asking to go to the park and play with the other kids. They also wanted to homeschool her, considering I turned out to be a decent adult despite my lack of social exposure.
The unforeseen flaw in my parents’ plan was that they allowed Camilla to watch nursery rhymes with real kids playing or singing in parks or nursery schools in the background. As soon as Camilla could talk, therefore, she said, “I want to go to school like them.”
Did my parents listen to her? Not immediately, no. They thought it was a phase and moved on with the homeschooling idea. They also deleted all those clips and replaced them with animated ones for good measure. However, every year, Camilla would ask when she could go to school like other kids her age and draw pictures depicting that.
My sister’s desire to go to a regular school became more persistent when she finished middle school. She argued, “I am almost 18 years old. I want to experience a normal life. I want to attend a prom, go to a football game, and have friends.” She would talk about it every day in the first couple of weeks of summer. The more my parents said no, the more her mood became dull, to the extent that she refused to leave her room. Worse, her drawings became darker and more vivid, and that scared my parents.
When Mom called to tell me what happened at home, she painted the picture as a rebellious phase. But I countered, “Is it possible that Camilla’s dealing with depression? After all, she’s been wanting to go to school for a while now, but you still haven’t allowed her to do that.”
“No, that can’t be true. Teenagers don’t get depressed – they only get rebellious.”
Uh-oh, I thought, Mom’s still not #woke. So, I talked to her extensively about validating – and hopefully fixing – teenage depression.
What age group has the highest depression rate?
Young adults (aged 18 and 25) have the highest depression rate.
How do I know if my teenager is mentally ill?
You can tell that your teenager is mentally ill if:
- They excessively worry about everything.
- They refuse to socialize with anyone – even family members.
- They get too sensitive and insecure whenever they hear constructive criticism.
- They always feel sad and worthless.
Is it normal for teenagers to have mood swings?
Yes, it is normal for teenagers to have mood swings, considering they are dealing with hormonal changes as their physical features develop.
What is the leading cause of depression among youths?
Bullying is the primary cause of depression among youths, although it appears in various forms.
Does puberty make you feel depressed?
Yes, puberty can make you feel depressed. The reason is that hormonal changes can intensify a person’s emotions, thus possibly turning sadness into depression.
What are the leading causes of teenage stress?
- Demanding academic schedule
- Negative self-talk
- Physical changes
- Peer pressure
- Family problems
- Safety issues
- Parental divorce
- Chronic medical condition
How does stress affect teenage life?
Stress can make a teenager overeat to cope with their issues. Instead of resolving them, though, this habit may cause the development of diabetes, obesity, and other medical illnesses, which may stress them out further.
In other cases, stress is the primary trigger factor for a broad range of mental disorders. The more stressed a teenager feels, the more severe the mental symptoms may become.
What percentage of high school students are stressed?
Approximately 50% of high school students complain about stress.
What can trigger stress?
- Extreme social or peer pressure
- Biological or physiological changes
- Moving to a new place
- Lack of control over some issues
- Overwhelming responsibilities
What are the five emotional signs of stress?
- Poor decision-making abilities
- Losing track of thoughts and activities
- Feeling irritable all the time
- Experiencing apathy
How do I know if I am stressed?
- Small changes make you anxious.
- You feel frustrated quickly.
- You need to be in control is stronger than ever.
- You cannot set aside your worries.
- You always feel worthless or pitiful.
What are the three causes of stress?
- Chronic diseases
- Traumatic incidents
- Relationship issues
What are the four signs of stress?
- Feeling out of sorts
- Unexplainable physical pains
- Changing appetite
- Sleep issues
How can I avoid stress in my life?
- Watch what you eat.
- Stop abusing substances.
- Decide on a workout program.
- Take a break whenever you need it.
- Practice mindfulness.
- Sleep as much as possible.
- Avoid taking failures too seriously.
How do I relieve stress and anxiety?
- Learn breathing techniques.
- Change your lifestyle.
- Seek fun activities.
- Downplay awful situations.
That conversation I initiated with Mom pushed her to have a heart-to-heart talk with Camilla. The first thing they did was go to a psychologist’s office to see if she really had depression and what they could do to treat it. I turned out to be spot-on, and my sister proceeded with therapy for the rest of the summer. Then, when the psychologist recommended a change of scenery for Camilla, my parents finally agreed to let her go to the local junior high, as long as they would drive her to and from school instead of taking the bus. It was not 100% freedom, but my sister took it as a win, and her mood continued to improve after that.