Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Why is depression rising among teen girls?

What worries me is the conclusion of this article. It stated, “’The causes behind a rise in adolescent depression should be investigated scientifically,’ wrote the co-authors of the editorial, Dr. Anne Glowinski, a professor of child psychiatry at Washington University in St. Louis, and Giuseppe D'Amelio, a medical student at the university.” They remind me of  2 Timothy 3:6-7, “For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” I want you to underline the last two phrases, “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
The increase in suicide rates could be a predictor of the level of depression because suicide and depression seem to be identical or even conjoint twins. We all accept that depression is on the rise amongst teenagers, especially teenage girls. The article stated that it is due to cyber bullying. What is the scientific study again for?  The majority of teenage girls who are bullied are bullied because of their body image. They do not like the way their bodies are. They do not believe that they are beautiful. They do not fit the typical woman our own very mundane society has created. The shadows of their bodies reflecting on the media mirror do not fit the picturesque of preferred stars. They fall short of the typical beautiful woman. Consequently, we all agree there is a problem; however, we disagree on how this is being treated. Despite the high usage of medications, depression and suicide seem to increase, perhaps making a statement that “Medications alone do not work that too well.”
Why are teenage girls easily cyber-bullied? What are they bullied about?"  They are bullied about their body image. The teenager at this age is a victim of an imaginary audience that she believes is omnipresently cheering for or against her body image.  Those jeers penetrate into her subconscious and into her psyche, leading to depression. The solution then is not the end of bullying because bullying has existed since time immemorial;meanwhile, depression still did not rise, but it has become more acute with the permeation of technology and social media. The young people should be taught that people are too busy to concentrate all their time, looking at them. They should be taught on how to build better body image. People spend more time on their bodies than their souls, so we have a world of beautiful people doing ugly things. Unfortunately, the Americans have got it all wrong with the treatment plan.
When we were growing up, my parents always told us that, “Moh nfor apu di kenogho.” It means, “The prince/princess does not seek recognition.” We grew up never seeking for external validation. Like a leopard, we could not change our spots, so we knew that within our veins flew regal blood, no matter the impression of our cronies or crucifiers, friends or foes, aficionados or gainsayers, myrmidons or dictators. We knew our worth! Do your daughters know their worth?
Our teenagers must be taught to understand that who they are as people is beyond what their bodies carry. Their bodies are mere carcasses holding the real person underneath. It is for that reason that Duncan says in Mabeth, “There is no art to find the man's construction in the face." (Macbeth Act 1, Scene 4). If you cannot look at someone’s face and tell what they are thinking, then you cannot look at someone’s body to tell their character or worth in general. Understanding their worth is not based on the body image thereof. If I end here, then I have failed in my treatment plan. What if they are depressed? What about the millions of teenage girls who are depressed?  
Considering that most of them are depressed because of their body images, we need to prescribe the best way of building a positive body image. There are no other ways than eating right, exercising, cultivating better family ties and creating better role models for them. 
The young people should be encouraged to exercise rather than be encouraged to medicate for their bodies. They should be taught to eat right rather than feed them with junk and expect them to feel good. If you give your stomach junk to eat, your body should be ready to dance when Fat plays its music.  That music is discordant at all times, whether you are asleep or awake. 
             A student told me today that he was glad that Trump won, so he would be able to drink soda in school. He said that Michelle Obama wanted to do away with fat children, so they prohibited the sale of sodas in school. Teenagers should be taught that eating right is for their own good and not that of anyone else because the society is cruel in the way it judges body image.  You can pamper them now that it is ok to eat what they like, but you will not be there to weep with them when the society rejects their obese bodies. 
If children have good family ties, they will be less depressed. Today, there are constant familiquakes. Lives are torn apart, and the pieces are recycled by depression. It is rare to find whole families. There are too many blended unblended families. Parents are too deep in their pursuit of good times that they spend less time on building great families. Families should go back to the basic of family building. Most of these kids need just someone to talk to, to show them interest and to show them that they care. Medicating them is not caring. The more the children act up, the more medications they are drowsed with. What about parents just staying at home and spending time with the kids? What about doing activities of image building, like exercising together, playing together, telling stories together, eating together, praying together and visiting neighbors or doing good works together?
The kids are victims of the copycat syndrome where they imitate what they see. Most of their role models are the Hollywood and sports stars whom themselves are sectaries of Carpe Diem. Those role models are manufactured in the media industry and sold to them wholesale on TV, social media, churches and their schools. How about parents being the proper role models for their kids?
Are you happy with your body image? Do you believe you are beautiful as a woman, or do you need someone to validate you? If you need external forces to validate you, then your daughter will follow suite. The same black pod disease that caught the coffee pod is the same that catches the cocoa pod, so farmers beware! If all your daughter hears is plastic surgery and lamentations about your body, she will follow suite. You should rather stay positive about your body image. The basket that is constantly used for fishing may not hold water, but it always appears very clean.
As we drumbeat these elements into our daughters, they may not hold everything within, but they will be cleansed of all the superficialities that drag them into the depression cesspool. Depression is rampant, and it is walking along with its sister called suicide. They are dragging vulnerable teenage girls (especially) and boys along their path, so parents beware. Your child may be next, if you do not do anything. You should build the self-esteem of your child through their eating habits, exercises, family ties and being the best role model they should emulate.

Until then, I wish all my teenagers out there well.


St Arrey of Ntenako
“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk). Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk). "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable." (I Cor 15:19). "It is not how well you know a person; it is how well you treat them that they will live longer and happier with you." Hamilton Ayuk. Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

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