The Big Awkward Depressing Talk.
An important talk in our community needs to be started. This conversation is important to have without making a big fuss, or huge seminars from counselors. This should be a down to earth conversation, for high schoolers and teens all over. Please do note: this a deep talk and can be triggering for some people. This is the talk about Depressed Teens, and furthermore suicidal teens. As someone who has had a history with suicidal thoughts and tendencies I realize what a huge topic this is. I feel as though it’s been represented poorly, and overdone in media. I get that schools are trying but It’s up to me as a writer to get us the representation we deserve and require.
My experience with the “talk” was counselors putting the entire grade level into a room and showing us unoriginal, scripted videos and lecturing us on why we should reach out and how selfish we would be if we didn’t. So, to make this conversation a little less ‘cheesy’ or excessive than you’re used to, I interviewed people who have suffered with these issues. They have requested to stay anonymous, so for their privacy we will can call them Josh and Lynn. I asked them a few questions on struggling with suicidal tendencies and how they cope with issues. When Josh was asked about the root of the thoughts he replied, “For me it really stems from a lot of self-hate. Somedays I just feel useless and without purpose. Some days, I feel like I don’t deserve to be here.” Self-hate has become a prominent issue in today’s youth, especially with the rise in social media use. Everywhere we look, we see who we’re supposed to be, what we are supposed to look like. I really think that we need to take a step back and look at the bigger picture and realize that we’re all just small pieces in a huge puzzle, each of us are unique and beautiful. We might be different, have different morals, and different plans on what to do and where to go, but together we can create something truly beautiful.
When Lynn was asked the root of her tendencies and thoughts, she responded “Somedays for me, life is too much. It feels like a carry around a lot of weight and burdens on my shoulders and I honestly just don’t know what to do with it. Sometimes existing is just mentally draining or exhausting.” Being suicidal does not just stem from one thing. Everyone has different views and paths of life they are on. We can’t just throw suicidal kids all in the same box and treat them all the same way we need to help them and acknowledge their personal pain.
I asked Josh and Lynn “What are some common misconceptions that come with being suicidal?”
Josh stated, “God, there are so many, but a huge one for me is people thinking that suicidal thoughts will just go away.” He added, “I feel as though there will always be some days, where I think about ending it; this is such a heavy thing and huge burden to carry. Of course, some days will be better than others, but they’ll still always be in the back of my mind.”
Lynn answered “I don’t really know if this is a misconception per say, but people remarking that suicide is selfish. For me, it has always felt like more of a last resort. Somedays I really just feel like I’ve had enough. I’m human too, I just hurt. I hurt bad and I hurt deep”
With the big transition from middle school to high school for a lot of freshman, mental health has been rough. I just want you all to know, you’re not alone and people will always be there for you. You are loved and appreciated. Your life has value, and I know we’re all sick of hearing this but it really, truly does get better. If you really do feel alone and have lost all hope you can always call the national suicide help line number at 988, the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. They offer judgment-free help and conversations. I understand that these conversations are hard to have with those you love and somedays you just need to get things off your chest. The 988-help line can help you with that.