Depression Kills Teen

Depression Kills Teen

Does that get your attention?
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"On this date (insert one you'll soon never forget), student X (insert a teen you never suspected) committed suicide."

-A news station that never even knew this person personally

I could have googled an inspiring quote to start off my article. In fact, I think many people would have preferred it that way. But the harsh reality is that teens are dying. Cause of death: Depression.

In a report on a suicide victim, from Blue Springs, Missouri, on April 7th, 2016, mother of sixteen-year-old Sara Prideaux, speaks out about not seeing the warning signs of depression. Her daughter was a star student with a bright future who laughed a lot and enjoyed being around friends. Never would she have thought that her daughter would take her own life.

I, myself, have suffered from depression. All throughout high school, I was severely depressed. Period. However, anyone that knows me would call me a liar. Even at that time, I called myself a liar. I had great grades and I was involved in a number of activities. It could not be me, the girl with the bubbly personality, and the bright smile. And this is the problem. Often more times than not, depression is one of the hardest illnesses to detect. Parents think their teen is just "going through a phase" or fail to accept the reality that something may be troubled in an area other than behavior or never get the chance to realize the presence of the fatal illness before it's too late.

The first problem is the hiding. In high school, I overloaded as a way to conceal the tragedy and the stress. And it worked. Much like the case of Sara Prideaux and many others, no one knew I was depressed, I kept myself busy and best of all, I could keep lying to myself about the state of my heart. I had to address the lies I told myself such as "it's okay" and "I can take on another thing." And when I told my mother, she had to overcome the lies that said "my daughter is abnormal" or " I'm a bad parent." The best thing to do about this disease is to confront it head on. No more hiding.

We need more support. I felt like dying and no one knew. To look at me, no one would have ever known. To talk to me, the problem would never have surfaced and so many people will read this and say "Well why didn't you tell me?" or "I would have been there for you." However, there is a fear in telling people the dark thoughts that accompany depression. What will people say about me? How will they react knowing I've contemplated ending my life? No one will ever know the amount of courage it takes to confide in someone. As a community, we need to make it more acceptable to discuss and act on helping people who may not understand what is going on in their own head.

The story needs to change. We are hearing this story and seeing this headline too much. Depression has claimed too many lives and the numbers continue to escalate. For people like me, spotting depression can be difficult. However, few people invest the time to investigate just an "okay". The best thing we can do is talk more. Sometimes, it doesn't take much to potentially save someone's life. And I am guilty of this myself. I could stop for one second out of my day to think of someone else. I could suggest to someone to get help rather than ignoring the signs. I could claim back a victim of depression with one simple acknowledgment.

"Even the darkest nights will end and the sun will rise" -Les Miserables. Fortunately, I never needed a headline. I got help. I spoke with my school counselor and with the support of my mother and friends sought treatment for my depression. I also turned to my God, who is always here for me because this is a spiritual war. I have seen the way darkness descends and I can confidently say that today I dwell in light. So understand that depression can be a lonely disease but you never have to face it alone. If you're facing depression, talk to someone, talk to God. Don't just be another headline victim.

With Love,

Tamera Renee Adams

Below are some links for help with depression/suicide. If you feel you need help or know someone that needs help, please take that step:

  1. www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
  2. www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/dealing-withdepression.html
  3. www.webmd.com/depression/guide/depresssion-support

For more information on the Blue Springs Suicides:

http://fox4kc.com/2016/04/07/attempted-suicide-sur...

Cover Image Credit: Linkedin

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.
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Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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10 TV Shows You Need To Watch On Hulu

Hulu is slept on

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I have recently moved to watch shows and movies on Hulu and Netflix. Hulu has a lot of great shows and movies to offer that aren't on Netflix. While Netflix is still great, Hulu is definitely starting to grow on me. Here are some shows that I have watched or have started watching on Hulu that I think are pretty great!

1. 11.22.63

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If you love James Franco and Stephen King, you'll love this show. The first episode is a bit long, but all the other episodes are only 45 minutes. The plot line is pretty interesting. I also like that it doesn't tell you everything, it shows it to you and you piece things together.

2. The Act

The fact that this show is based on a true story is just insane. The acting is really great, especially if you watch actual videos of Gypsy, Joey King does a great job.

3. Castle Rock

Another Stephen King masterpiece. This show is riveting and really makes you think about what the truth is in the context of the story, and brings in some ethical questions.

4. Future Man

I've only recently started this but it's pretty interesting and funny.

5. The O.C.

The O.C. (TV Series 2003–2007) - IMDb

www.imdb.com

This show was great. Sometimes it was a bit annoying, but it is a classic show from the early 2000s. You really become invested in all the characters and your opinion may change on some characters because they grow and develop throughout the show.

6. The Handmaid's Tale

If you've read the book, you should definitely watch the show.

7. Obsession: Dark Desires

https://www.hulu.com/

I just love true crime stories and this really dives deep into crime stories and the darkest parts of humanity.

8. Intervention

This show can be really sad or frustrating, but I think it's good for people to see the reality of addiction.

9. Smallville

Smallville (2001-2011)

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I also started this one very recently and I've always wanted to watch it. It can be cheesy but it's pretty entertaining.

10. Brooklyn Nine-Nine

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This is a great show if you want to laugh. I love all of the characters and everything they bring to the table.

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