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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 18 2011: I am 17 as well and currently battling with this issue. Anger is the process of being eaten from the inside. Depression is when anger has nothing left to eat. I have always had contempt for the world around me, but lately it has grown to the point where it is almost unbearable.

    Suicide, to put it plainly, is giving up. As harsh as it sounds, that is the truth. We must be strong and understand that life has to go on. I think often about suicide. I write about a lot in lyrics and poems. Though I never considered it as a legitimate option, it still has a presence in my mind.

    The most effective way I combat my depression is by living my life with a vengeance. I try to make every day an adventure and constantly change my routine. Sadly I am alone in this concept because most of the people I know like to "play it safe". I am not impulsive, but rather when I die and my life shall flash before my eyes, I want to make it worth watching.

    Another issue I have to deal with is that my "living life with a vengeance" philosophy often manifests itself as self-destructive behaviors. I hope one day I can resolve that before it is too late
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      Oct 18 2011: Dylan, thank you for sharing so honestly. You shared how you experience life with such eloquence.

      I'm glad to hear you write lyrics and poetry, because you certainly have a writer within! I hope you continue to refine this craft. I believe you have a gift. Who knows - it may be your calling, and why you feel so deeply. That said, I know what it is to live life with a vengeance. I recall a time when I, too, included self destructive behaviors in my description of living life fully. I thought it was a way to experience life in all it's glory, until it occurred to me that self destruction is not living -- and I didn't want to die. I stopped most behaviors that created needless or negative drama in my life, or made me feel badly afterwards. I asked for support from people close to me - and receiving it made me feel more alive than ever. I still have some vices, but since then - I was 24 - my life has been the true adventure, because I authentically feel who I am at all times. I've lost many friends, needlessly, over the years due to their self destructive behavior. It's my hope you leave those behaviors in the past - sooner, rather than later. The real adventure is on the other side of them! I promise it's true!

      You have so much to offer the world. I hope you're around for a very long time. I'm going to keep my eyes peeled for your name on a best seller one day!
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        Oct 18 2011: I think this is an excellent advice and I would encourage every adolescent experiencing anxiety, fear, depression, or anger to write, scribble, draw, sculpt, paint. These certainly are time- and energy-consuming hobbies, but whenever you feel bad, they can help you channel your emotions and express them in whichever way you choose. When I draw, time just flies by and I feel "whole", because there is me, there is the paper, my pencil, and this vision of a picture which is about to materialize on the paper. I never experienced real depressions, but like most of the young people, I had my share of hard times as well, and drawing always helped. Plus, I was proud of my drawings and of the fact that I, the teenager, could actually create something no one else had ever created.

        Do you post your poems somewhere online, for example on deviantART? Readers' comments can be very encouraging and help work up your emotions.
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      Oct 18 2011: It just flashed my mind while reading, thats why I write it down.
      Do you keep a diary?
      If not it may work for you.
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      Oct 18 2011: I agree with what you say Dylan..."Suicide, to put it plainly, is giving up". You sound like a very insightful young person Dylan. I agree that life is an adventure, and I have been known to push the envelope at times, so you are not alone:>) I observe that a lot of people in our world like to play it "safe". My perception of life is as an adventurous exploration, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I want my life to be "worth watching" and worth living as well:>) Keep writing and sharing what is in your heart and mind...it is very valuable:>)
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        Oct 19 2011: I like that, Mark.

        Also, anger is not only a prerequisite to depression, it is also an expression of feeling victimized or out of control. Or it can simply be related to testosterone levels. If anger is directed at those who have wronged you, have something you don't, or situations you cannot control - such as being a square peg in a round hole in a system you feel stuck in, or authority figures you don't agree with, yet must obey - change your reality or stop giving them power. I realize this is easier said than done, but it is that simple.

        Sometimes anger serves too. It can be a catalyst for creativity and expression if channeled well, and not turned inward or towards someone else.
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        Oct 19 2011: Good point Mark,
        It's always good to consider another perception. Perhaps it is an individual's perception in any given moment? Life and death can both be challenging, and I agree with you that anything we struggle against is probably going to be much more challenging. Struggling, wrestling with, or fighting against something is resistance to what "is", and usually causes the challenge to be more difficult.

        I remember 35 years ago, when I contemplated ending my life. I was diagnosed with degenerative disc dis-ease...a progressive degeneration in the spine, which generally causes pain and disability.
        I was only 30 years of age...why me?...how can this happen to me?....What will my life be like if I am totally disabled? Poor me!!!

        I was on pain meds, in traction, wore a neck brace, and was unable to do very much because of pain. After wallowing in pity for awhile, I decided to live, and if I was going to live, it was going to be with gusto!!! Once I could answer the question "why me", with "why NOT me", I could move past the speed bump:>) I took control of my physical and emotional health.

        I sometimes felt like a fish in the big ocean, getting pummelled by the sea, caught in the kelp beds, caught on the fisherman's hook, threatened by bigger fish. I learned to swim with strength, and I learned that I could swim confidently through the kelp beds...I learned how to swim around the fisherman's hook and bigger fish. Life felt like a system I was stuck in, as Linda insightfully says, until I changed my perception of life.

        We need to stop giving situations or people power over us. We need to take control of our lives, and I also agree that anger can be a catalyst for creativity when channeled appropriately. I read a great little book back then, that helped change my thinking/feeling about myself and the role I play in the life experience..."Pulling your own strings", by Wayne Dyer.
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        Oct 19 2011: Yes Mark,
        That is another good way of saying something very similar:>)

        "To stave off drowning, dive down and embrace it
        The sea will spit you back, astonished!"
        (David Brendan Hopes from "A Sense of the Morning - Nature Through New Eyes")
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        Oct 19 2011: Here's another one you might like. I used to post quotes all over my house, and read them until I totally assimilated the meaning:>)

        "Out of its abysses, unpredictable life emerges, with a never-ending procession of miracles, crises, healing and growth. When I realize this once again, I see the absurdity of my belief that I can understand, predict and control life. All I can really do is go along for the ride, with as much consciousness and love as I can muster in the moment".
        (Molly Young Brown)

        This was sort of my mantra during the near fatal head/brain injury and cancer:>)
        Like you say Mark...Thou shalt ride the surf!
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        Oct 19 2011: I'm on a roll now!!!

        If anyone is feeling low or depressed, take a look at this young man, what challenges he was born with, and his attitude about life:>)

        • M ER

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          Oct 19 2011: Although his story is extremely inspiring and admirable and shows a great example of how a person can overcome depression no matter the circumstance, I do not think that stories like this will necessarily help teenagers dealing with depression.
          I am a teenager myself dealing with these problems, and have gone to numerous programs for youths like myself where we were told countless stories like this. And for a short while afterwards myself and others I spoke with felt better, inspired and as if we could conquer anything. But when time wore on depression settled again and as we remembered the stories they served not as a source of inspiration but as agony.
          "This guy has these horrible problems and yet he is happy and enjoying life, so why can't we be like that? What is it about us that makes us unable to sustain our enjoyment and general happiness?"
          There is of course nothing wrong with stories like this and I admire every individual who has overcome depression and difficult circumstances but they do not touch on this particular problem. Every person, young or old, dealing with depression has to be approached from a unique angle. There is no one solution that works for everyone.
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        Oct 19 2011: Dear Maria,
        You are absolutely right, that stories like this may or may not inspire individuals, and there is no one solution that works for everyone. I agree..."Every person, young or old, dealing with depression has to be approached from a unique angle", which is difficult to do on a public forum. At least stories like this helped you to feel better "for a short while afterwards"? That's good isn't it?

        You say that "as time wore on depression settled again". It's important to use whatever practice or method you believe may contribute to a change for you. There may be several different factors that cause you to be unable to sustain your enjoyment and general happiness. You are very insightful in realizing that "there is no one solution that works for everyone".

        Many people on this thread have offered some suggestions, and no one knows for sure what might work for you or anyone else. I do not offer my story, or the story of others, believing that it will solve the challenge for anyone. I offer it only as another possibility. It is up to you, and maybe a health care provider, to take the steps you think may help you move through depression. My love is with you Maria:>)

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