Category Archives: What Youth Are Saying

cigarette

Will it Turn from use to Abuse?

cigaretteFirst it becomes a habit, then it becomes an addiction, then sooner or later, it gets you 6 feet under the ground. At some point, we all thought it was cool when we were doing it with our friends and using it as a stress reliever. But we all know there are better coping skills to relieve grief, stress, and other emotions. The world we live in is losing young, intelligent minds just because they see someone doing drugs on the street, or in their homes, or even through the television and media. It’s so sad how many young lives are getting taken by these drugs- k2, heroin, crack, cocaine. It’s also sad that people make nicknames for these mind killers, these life takers, because that’s all they do- kill your brain cells, make you sick, and most important of all, they will always end up killing you.

So to all those young, smart, and strong people- before you pop another pill, shoot another needle, or roll another joint, think about how it’s affecting you, affecting your brain, and affecting all your loved ones around you. Each time you do one of these things, it kills you just a little bit more. The one substance I don’t get is weed (also known as marijuana). People say they use it as a coping skill because it relieves the stress, but just remember that just the smallest amount of weed still can have a bad effect on your body. You are better off going for a walk, listening to some music, and just going to the gym to burn off some of that stressful energy.

People say drugs are a mechanism to relieve stress or whatever. But if you get the support through friends, family, or professionals who know what they are doing, you can find ways and coping skills to ease away from drugs, pills, or alcohol.

This was written by a young adult who wishes to be anonymous but has been an active member of Youth MOVE  Massachusetts for a number of years.

Eeyore

My Connection to Eeyore – Depression and Friendship

EeyoreI always felt a connection with Eeyore when I watched Winnie the Pooh as a child. He was my favorite character, and I’d always get very quiet when he would come into a scene. I would watch him intently, and would listen closely to the words he spoke.

I never gave much thought as to why he was my favorite character. Now that I am older, I feel the reason I loved him so much is that he was depressed and although at the time I couldn’t put it into words, I was also depressed.

He was always feeling down and seemed to have a negative view on the majority of things, even in the magnificence of living in the Hundred Acre Wood, surrounded by all of the people who loved him. He had friends who loved him dearly, and yet, he was still depressed.

I feel that the only difference between me and Eeyore, truly, was that he had friends while I did not. Sure, I had family, but I didn’t have any friends or at least didn’t have friends who could understand my feelings and love me anyway.

Eeyore is still a character I can relate to. I still feel trapped in this endless cycle of depression, even after all these years. The thing that is much better is I now have friends who I can share my experiences with, and they love me no matter how depressed I am. They listen and they empathize with me.

I guess what I am trying to say is, I still have depression, and I still have a negative view on certain things. However, I came to terms with the depression, and through that, met and befriended people who have similar experiences to my own. We share, cry, laugh, and make each other feel better. So, even though I’m still depressed, I am still here due to the love and acceptance I have found in others.

Rachel is a young adult who has aspired to be a writer her whole life, She lives at home with her mother, father, and 6 wonderful animals.

youth

Abuse Doesn’t Define You

youthPeople say that growing up with a hard life makes you a hard and difficult individual.  One, that is absolutely not true.  Two it’s all in how you make life the way you choose it.

I didn’t choose to be physically and sexually abused but I couldn’t control my birth parent’s ways, reactions and other addictions.  I guess being the oldest one of two, it just came that way. Also having to feed my baby brother as a toddler shouldn’t be the way stuff happens. Like I said, I couldn’t have all that control.

I wish that kids, youth, young adults shouldn’t have to go through some of the crap that goes on in our early life and sometimes struggling lives. But like I said, we can’t always control what goes on in this world. But there’s one thing that we can do and that’s control ourselves.

I control who I am, what I do, and how I make it too the next day and the next. And all you have to do is keep your head held high and walk away and you can do anything: change the world, be a doctor, lawyer or whatever you want. You just have to remember one thing and that is JUST DO IT.

Our young adult author would like to remain anonymous.

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I Refuse to Sink

thumbMental illness has been something I’ve struggled with for the majority of my adulthood and more prominently during my childhood. However, I feel as though I’ve improved immensely regarding my self esteem, relationships with loved ones (and even not-so-loved ones), overall temperament and outlook on life. The way that I began to see myself as worthy and whole, and was able to conquer the majority of my depression and insecurities is when I stopped looking to others for validation and approval.

I realized slowly, and after years of intensive therapy, that only I am capable of making myself happy. The key to happiness and high self esteem (in my opinion) is introspection, self-reflection, and the ability to develop a sense of autonomy. It comes with patience and practice. It comes with listening to your conscience. Lastly, it comes with knowing and truly believing that eventually, everything will work out in your favor.

My initial diagnosis for several years was bipolar disorder with psychotic features. I was treated and medicated for said diagnosis aggressively, only to be disappointed by the continuous regression of my emotional stability. After being hospitalized several times for impulsive and self-injurious behaviors, I was connected to a new psychiatrist who presented the diagnosis of borderline personality disorder, which seemed to fit my array of symptoms a lot more accurately than bipolar disorder. After being weaned off of a significant amount of medication I was taking for bipolar and being put on a low dose of an antidepressant, I began to feel relief from much of my symptoms and was finally in a place to be able to practice coping skills and self esteem exercises that my therapist had suggested.

I am now planning on attending college in the fall and have a part time job. I keep myself mentally healthy and stable by going to therapy every week and being an active participant during every session, writing and journaling, exercising several times a week, practicing distress tolerance and mindfulness, and most importantly, realizing I am human and no human being on this planet is perfect. There will be times where I need to reach out for help, and that is completely okay.

Nina is a working college student who hopes someday to work in the mental health field. She lives with her amazing, supportive mom and loves taking trips to the beach.

Lockers

Lockers: A Flashback to School

LockersWhen I see a set of lockers, all I can think about is my short, but traumatic stay at a public school. It was fifth grade, and I had just left a private school that I had attended for three years. I thought that bullying at the private school was awful, but once I started public school things got much worse. It was an absolute nightmare.

The students and teachers at this public school had no clue how much anxiety and depression I was withholding. During my time there, I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. The teachers, despite my diagnoses, seemed to think I was simply a “trouble child.” They obviously had no experience in dealing with a student with my level of mental health needs.

As bad as the teachers were, the youth seemed to be even less accepting. I would get multiple phone calls a day from my so called “friends” harassing me because of the behaviors I couldn’t control. I reported them to the school, but nothing came of it. The teachers brushed it off as “kids being kids.” With the anxiety I was feeling, the constant teasing and bullying was detrimental to my mental health. 

I barely left my house when this was occurring, let alone going to school. No one seemed to have any compassion towards me. They ignored my feeling, and left me alone on several occasions. When I was by myself my depression was almost unbearable. I didn’t know how to manage my anxiety, so I ended up keeping it inside until I would yell, scream and kick.

I ended up exiting that school in October 2007, and started at a therapeutic school in January of 2008. There I was able to stay until I graduated high school with highest honors. My journey can be seen as a reminder: even through struggles, you can make strides. Despite me cringing when I see lockers, I can also see the progress I’ve made in my life, even though I had many challenges.

Rachel is a young adult who has aspired to be a writer her whole life. She lives at home with her mother, father, and 6 wonderful animals.