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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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.
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Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at Pottermore.com. For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.


Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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How Art Can Help You Take Care Of Yourself

It's time to go on a date with yourself.

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Art is a quintessential part of the human experience: it has something that has been present in human culture beginning from prehistoric times, from when human consciousness first entered the world. It is also something that transcends definition and intertwines with our play of life and the meaning of humanity. Art is an expression of feeling in its most ethereal meaning and "for fun" at its most basic.

Personally, as an Art History minor, art has been a dimension of life for me that I have explored deeply and holds a lot of meaning. Painting is a huge outlet and way to deal with stress for me, and appreciating fine art teaches me about the aspect of history and how all of history is tied together throughout paintings, sculptures, and photographs. It helps me center myself and remind me of the place I hold in this world and the curious aspect personal experience of history. However, art doesn't need to be the stereotypical idea of art: it can be expressed through dance, the learning of a new language, or the coloring of mandalas to ease stress.

The exploration of art and the artistic side of human nature is something that everyone has in them: it's written in our psychology. We have an entire side of our brain that is inclined toward feeling and abstract interpretation, so it's natural to assume that emotion and expression of art are intrinsically intertwined. Thus, experiencing art is a way to personally develop yourself, and can be an unfound way of finding out things about yourself.

Different ways to explore your artistic side can be very easy: as easy as 3rd-grade coloring books, coloring mandalas, or finger-painting. Recently, I participated in a lantern festival and being able to paint a small lantern was an amazing outlet from a stress-filled week and allowed me to express myself through something besides just communication. Writing is also another good way to express emotion and create art: many books are just art pieces, and can be another way to further develop yourself. Additionally, other small fun things like carving pumpkins (spooky season!) or even curating the perfect Instagram profile can be another way to express yourself.

Appreciating the small things in your life as art and self-expression help put you more in touch with yourself, which is easy to lose throughout the mundane cycles of college, work, and life in general. Keeping yourself in harmony and balance might seem like an earthy-crunchy concept, but self-care and self-love are vital in keeping the rest of your life ordered. Being mindful of yourself and your goals is something that I have always have had difficulty with, but working toward learning more about yourself is taking the first step.

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