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Chris Scott

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What can we do about the constant rise of depression and suicide in young adults?

I am seventeen years of age and have recently come out of a large stage of my life where I dealt with a lot of depression. I have dealt with and still deal with people in high school (and even middle school in some cases) that deal with depression every single day and never have anyone that they talk to about their problems.

I have known people that have committed suicide from the weight of depression upon their shoulders throughout their lives, and have heard about these cases all over the world. I, myself, have been driven to the point where I thought that the only way out of my depression was by suicide because there was nothing to help me.

I want to know your opinions and ideas on the subject of depression and suicide in young adults today and what we can do to prevent these problems in the future. Thanks for listening!

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    Oct 14 2011: I realize that I only spoke to my experience, and didn't address the larger question of reversing the upward trend in teen suicides. Here are some of my suggestions in that direction.

    Remove the overwhelming emphasis on competition. Our society is obsessed with the idea of being "Number One". Sports, academics, socially, sexually, the pressure to compete is enormous. Unfortunately, not everyone can be "the best", "the most popular", or whatever. Those who can't or won't compete, are told by society that they have no value. The message is everywhere, and our youth who have not yet found worth withing themselves too often take the message at face value.

    I don't say that no one should compete, only that it needs to be but one facet of a balanced life. We need to start at an earlier age teaching innate worth to our children. We need to teach them to see media and social programming as external and separate from their own inner worth. Having that inner health is the best antidote to the toxins they will be exposed to externally.

    Culturally, we need to redefine "success". It needs to be more be more inclusive. Rather than external, we must strive to create and internal success. Instead of teaching that the football captain must automatically become the alpha, deliver the same message about the drama major, or the kid who really enjoys math, or reading, or whatever.

    These are just a couple of ideas for combating bullying, depression, and suicide among teens.

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