Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I Strongly Disagree

Via In Jennifer's Head (good to know I'm not the only one struggling with Depression out there) comes a story about the government wanting to screen all teenagers for clinical Depression.


Most teens are nuts - it's the hormones. Could anyone have really diagnosed me as clinically depressed when I was 15? Maybe but I seriously doubt it. I wasn't any more or less messed up than most of my friends...except I had tried to off myself when I was 12. It wasn't a real serious attempt and I probably wouldn't have even admitted it if asked then.

How many teen girls pine away for the "love of their lives" and feel so depressed that they could "just DIE!" They obsess. They worry. They cave to peer pressure. It's what teenagers DO. They do stupid things. It's part of growing up.

The group recommends research-tested screening tests even for kids without symptoms. It cited two questionnaires that focus on depression tip-offs, such as mood, anxiety, appetite and substance abuse.

Really? REALLY!?! Mood. Anxiety. Appetite. Substance Abuse. Right...no teens act weird with any of those symptoms. No teens experiment with drugs unless they're clinically depressed right? It has nothing to do with peer pressure.

Funnily...their "tip offs" would not have caught me. I acted fine...pretended I was happy, ate plenty, and never once in all my life have I ever touched a drug. Never. Not even cigarettes. My limited alcohol experimentation consisted of Kalua in a Coke and I thought it was the most disgusting thing ever.

So how would the government have "caught" me? I was depressed. Clinically. For as long as I can remember. The really big stuff didn't start hitting me until after I turned 18.

Do you know how much stigma there still is with Depression? Can you imagine being a NORMAL kid with normal hormones and normal anxiety - then being "diagnosed" by some overenthusiastic pill prescriber who wants to "help".

Not to mention...why take responsibility for your life if you can blame it on a disease? Especially one that is so difficult to "prove" and diagnose for real. Everyone feels depressed sometimes. Clinical depression is so different and so much worse but the diagnosis is partly a judgment call.

But let's just all take some pills and blame anyone but ourselves for our problems. The government will take care of us after all.


Sandee said...

Government just wants to control everything and everybody. That's all. They don't do anything very well and never have. It's just plain sad.

Have a terrific day. :)

Jennifer said...

My point exactly. The tumultuous time that defines your teenage years is not the time to go giving questionnaires and prescribing drugs. Not to say the drugs don't have a place, but this idea stinks.