People don’t talk about depression out in the open. There’s something that stops people from wanting to talk about what they’re feeling inside. It’s a fear of judgment, of feeling like you’re different from everyone else. It’s a stigma. The stigma of depression has definitely gotten less prevalent over the years, but it still very much exists. For teens who are already struggling with all the changes that come with being a teenager, this stigma of depression only makes things worse for them.
Overcoming the stigma of depression
We live in a society that looks down on feelings of vulnerability. The idea that “boys don’t cry” is still very much instilled in our culture. Because of this stigma, people aren’t getting the treatment they need. In fact, approximately eighty percent of Americans with clinical depression are not being treated.
Working through the stigma of depression can be challenging, because it’s so permeated into our culture. However, there are a few ways you can fight it for your teen and for everyone else you know who may be struggling with depression. These include:
- Letting friends and family know they can reach out: Tell your loved ones that it’s okay to talk about what they’re feeling inside. The best thing for someone struggling with depression is knowing they are not truly isolated from everyone else.
- Don’t identify someone as their illness: Instead of thinking of your teen as “depressed”, think of them as someone struggling with depression. Making it a part of their identity will only worsen how you feel about depression.
- Get your teen help: If you see signs of depression in your teen, you should get them help as soon as possible.
- Be informed: Do your research! By reading more about depression, you can learn that depression is an illness caused by biology, not a character flaw.
blueFire Wilderness can help
blueFire Wilderness, a wilderness therapy program for teens ages 11-17, works with teens struggling with depression, anxiety, substance abuse issues and other emotional and behavioral difficulties.
For more information about blueFire, please call 1-844-413-1999.