Labeling Teens With Depression Is Doing More Harm Than Good
Start writing a post

Mental health is a big topic in today's climate. Never before has anxiety and depression been at such the forefront of the news. There is something to be said about the increase in both these things in recent years, especially in the third-world teen population.

Today, I am voicing a claim that I see virtually no one else making: you're not happy because you don't truly want to be.

Now, let's get something out of the way. I'm not saying that dealing with depression is just a matter of "cheering up" or "smiling more". In seventh grade, I got awarded "best smile" by my peers.

The thing is, I wasn't happy at all.

I had recently moved to the United States from France and had a hard time dealing with my identity, real friendships, and soon, a pretty severe lack of sleep. I wasn't happy, but I knew how to smile. I also knew how to make others happy, but that's not a good combo. I ended up falling into depression soon after, which lasted for a couple of years after that.

What I'll be talking about is two-fold. First, of the malicious comfort that comes with depression. Second, that you're not actually ready to truly always be happy.

I've seen teenagers get diagnosed with depression and make it a part of their identity. I've seen kids taking antidepressants thinking that that's the only thing they'll ever know. Now, I don't have anything against medication. Sometimes, that's actually what someone needs to help them get back on their feet. However, virtually every teenager deals with intense sadness at some point or another. Labels have power, and putting the label "depressed" on a teen can be extremely harmful. Instead of letting them know what they're feeling can be dealt with and isn't permanent, it makes them feel as if it's become part of their identity, part of who they are.

You're Not Happy Because You Don't Really Want To Be

Now, some of you may have frowned reading this last paragraph. "It's not as easy as just 'dealing with it'" you might think. I understand. I used to have the same reaction. Although depression is brutal, it can keep a person by giving them a messed up sense of uniqueness. It tells you that no one will ever understand what you're going through, and no one ever will. That what you're feeling is unique, and that no one can save you from it. It's a malicious comfort that can keep someone depressed longer.

I know because it kept me there for a while.

Breaking out of depression requires effort, real effort. For some people, that might mean seeking therapy and taking medications, as well as adopting some drastic life changes. For others, it might simply mean getting off social media and taking care of themselves for a while.

This brings me to my next point. You don't actually want to always, truly be happy. Think about it. If you mom, dad, or siblings died today, would you want to be happy when you got the phone call? If you learned that your significant other was cheating on you for an entire year, would you want to be happy the instant you learn about it? Do you want to work towards being able to not feel any sadness or anger during any of these scenarios? No, of course not. You might want to be able to be happy in the long run, but not to be laughing in the face of the death of a loved one.

What you want is happiness on demand. And that is, in my opinion, an incorrect view of what happiness really is.

We see vlogs of people going on vacation in the Bahamas, talking about doing what makes you happy and living your best life. We see successful artists or entrepreneurs talking about doing what makes you happy. We see what "being happy" means when everyone expects one to be happy. But we never talk about what happiness means during our darkest times.

I'll tell you what worked for me. First, I had to stop thinking I was unique. Sure, depression is different for everyone, but it's also really not. There are more than seven billion humans currently living on this earth, and billions more that have lived and are now dead. There are thousands and thousands of people who've been through what I've been through, and even more who've been through worst.

Among those people, some were wiser that I will ever be. So I started reading, as well as listening. I slowly stopped thinking that my state was permanent, and decided to accept that I had to take some of the blame for my condition. I'm not saying that it was quick, but that, no matter how long it took, that it worked.

Think of this article what you will. My point is, you're not ready to be always, truly happy. No one is. But you can at least start. Get out of the comfort of depression. Chances are, you're not that unique. And if you truly want help, then...

That's a good thing.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Robert Bye on Unsplash

I live by New York City and I am so excited for all of the summer adventures.

Keep Reading... Show less

The invention of photography

The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.


The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Exposing Kids To Nature Is The Best Way To Get Their Creative Juices Flowing

Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers


Whenever you are feeling low and anxious, just simply GO OUTSIDE and embrace nature! According to a new research study published in Frontiers in Psychology, being connected to nature and physically touching animals and flowers enable children to be happier and altruistic in nature. Not only does nature exert a bountiful force on adults, but it also serves as a therapeutic antidote to children, especially during their developmental years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series


Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?


Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments