So, here’s the deal with teenage anxiety and teenage depression. Both of these conditions can get better. So I want to talk about self-care, and I know that sometimes we go through these emotions and maybe we’re not familiar with them. We get sad, we get anxious and we feel like we need to talk to someone, you know, is this a normal part of life? How do you guys view self-care?
And what makes self-care important? Self-care is a collection of practices that allow you to thrive and to simply be yourself and how you feel you are best yourself. You know, it’s so important that we all talk more about mental health and how about caring for ourselves, our bodies, and our feelings. Unfortunately, these things have a stigma associated with them and unfortunately, we don’t talk about them enough. It leads to a lot of questions in terms of am I doing enough? Or, what does it mean? if I’m having these feelings, does it mean that I need to get help or that I have a mental health condition?
All of this is wrapped up in self-care. I never really grew up in a family where, like, mental health was talked about very much. So, I didn’t know these feelings that I was feeling were just a normal part of life, or if they were more serious. How do you know these things? How do you differentiate them? So, all feelings are valid and all feelings are normal. Sometimes we kind of feel that it’s not okay to be sad. It’s not okay to be anxious.
It’s not okay to be worried. It’s not okay. to have a freakout. It is. Actually, those are just normal human emotions. When they really start to get in the way of life, they last for too long. Those would be kind of areas where I would say, okay, maybe we need to think about this being something a little bit more. A lot of the time, I think it’s really scary to see a therapist because personally, I felt like if I have that label on me like I’m depressed or I have anxiety because it’s something that I can actually heal.
Is depression something that lasts forever? Do you have anxiety forever? Does depression last forever? I hear that I hear that a lot. And you know, what I want to say is that one in five teens has a mental health condition whether it’s anxiety, depression, and an eating disorder, something, but more than half never are able to get connected to therapy or to care. That’s just awful because that means that there’s a lot of suffering out there. I know it can be really intimidating to ask for help, right?
Because if we ask for help in some way, we’re recognizing that there’s a problem and sometimes we might be thinking in the back of our head, well if I ask for help, and there is a problem, then wow. this is actually real and I have to deal with it. Accepting this label of, being a person who struggles, with depression or anxiety. Although that can be daunting and intimidating. I ask that we all reframe that thinking, right?
If I don’t ask for help, if I don’t acknowledge the reality of being depressed and having anxiety, there is not as much hope for me to find an effective option for me to move forward. So, here’s the deal with teenage anxiety, and teenage depression. Both of these conditions can get better. We actually have some really good ways to treat them that are tested and proven just know that things can get better.
That you have a team or you have people around you, that care and we’ll check on you and help you get through. But it’s actually normal to have things kind of ebb and flow. It is through sharing; it is through reaching out for help that we can get back closer to our community and that we can really find out what works best for us. Where can you start exploring your options when it comes to therapy? Because I know finding my therapist was literally the hardest thing to do out there.
And I know so many other people who want to talk to a therapist, but, like, because they don’t know where to start, they just kind of get stuck. How can we help those girls? One of my biggest wishes is that it would be easier for everybody to get access to therapy. It actually just kills me how hard it is. And if it’s hard for, you know, grown people to find it can you imagine how hard it is for young people or teens to find it?
The best, I think, tip that I can give is to start with your pediatrician. They’re there for you. They kind of know who in your community, maybe good to take care of teenagers. I look to teachers. I look to coaches. I look to anybody that’s kind of in your life that maybe has shared about a hard experience in the past to you before or somebody who cares. To your point, right? Finding a therapist that not only can meet your medical needs but can also meet your emotional and cultural needs is really, really important.
I know that as a trans girl, I want my care specialist to not only specialize in treating trans patients but hope to have the lived experience of being a trans person. Something that really helped me while I was trying to get myself out of that hopeless stage in my life is these affirmations that I would say over and over again. mental health. I’m strong. I am happy. I am joyful. I am confident. And then I kind of realized like the more I’m actually writing this stuff down and the more I’m saying this to myself. health insurance.
I truly started believing these things and the more I focused on the positive, the more it started to grow, the more abundance filled my life. There is a point in time this past year in college, where I was feeling really, really low, mental health, and really out of touch with the people around me and I wrote a letter and I concluded the letter with a key affirmation, that was looking into your eyes every morning. Be gentle with yourself and choose love.
And you can see that telling yourself that every day really does have an impact on the way that you perceive yourself. And ultimately the way. others perceive you as well. What I like to focus on is, you know, one step at a time one day at a time, focus on what we can control, and know that we are here for you as a team and that things can get better. That hope part of healing is so important that we share that out.