Teen Writes Book For Fellow Teens On Advice She Ignored While Going Through Depression – Theravive

Posted: April 15, 2020 at 11:43 am

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A national survey by the Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that 11.4 per cent of 12 to 17-year-olds were depressed in 2014.Ruby Walkerwas one of them. Her book,Advice I Ignored: Stories and Wisdom from a Formerly Depressed Teen is the only book on teenage mental health written by a teenager. It answers the question everyone's been asking her:What happened?

I was depressed. Thats the easy answer, the one I give in polite company, Walker told us. And maybe its the accurate answer too. But the word depression means different things to different people, so its worth elaborating on exactly what I mean. Its not a constant feeling of sadness, although I was often sad. And its not a constant feeling of numbness, although I was often numb.

Walker is an 18-year-old college student, activist, artist and writer. She lives in Austin, Texas, and is currently studying art at Trinity University in San Antonio.

I felt tired sometimes - a bone-deep slowness, like everything in the world was too much effort, Walker told us. Id lie in bed for hours just staring at the ceiling and listening to music to drown out my negative thoughts. Id wonder if I could really move.I felt terrified that I would never have peace of mind again. Sometimes Id think about dying; I never planned it out or attempted anything, but I couldnt imagine living to be an adult. I felt angry too. When people tried to ask me what was wrong, Id snap. How could they expect answers from me when I was the one who felt the pain of this confusion most acutely? What was wrong with me? Wouldnt I like to know!

Walkers own family couldnt get through to her. When she was 15, she stopped going to school altogether. She was tired of trying. She didnt know what to do. She couldnt imagine a future for herself. She just assumed shed be dead before adulthood.

Sometimes I would feel good for a few days. Good didnt mean happy, exactly, but a reprieve from panic and despair. Id get way too excited about it, filled with some kind of wild corrosive energy, like a live wire, until eventually the ecstatic feeling drained out and I felt even more empty than before, Walker told us. Most of all, I hated myself. I hated every stupid useless word that fell out of my mouth. I hated my hair, my body, my voice, my teeth, my face. I was a hollow waste of space, a lost cause, a defect. The people who loved me were fooling themselves - basing their feelings on some false impression of me they made up and idealized in their minds. If they really knew me then they wouldnt care.

Walker went from a numb, silent, miserable high school dropout to a joyous loudmouth in one year flat. Full of stories, honest advice, and fierce hope,Walkers book is a self-help book for people who hate help and themselves. It'sthe only book about teen depression written by a teen.

More than a year after dropping out of school, when I was sixteen, I started drafting advice I ignored on notebook paper, Walker told us. The people around me had seen a very profound change happen in my attitude, my mannerisms, and my general outlook. I wanted to give people some kind of explanation for how I got from point A to point B.In my recovery I had done a lot of journaling and a lot of drawing, so an illustrated book felt like the most natural way to express my thoughts.

Walker says when she was depressed, she read a lot of self-help books.

I appreciated them but I struggled to take their advice because I didnt feel like their experiences were close enough to mine, Walker told us. I wanted to write a book for my 14-year-old self, something personal enough to get past the eye rolls.

Walker hopes depressed teenagers realize that theyre still in the backstory section of their lives.

Recovery is a wonderful thing, but please dont think you have to wait for your life to start. You dont matter because you have so much potential, Walker told us. You arent worthy of love and respect because of the person you might someday become. Even at your worst, your most dysfunctional, your absolute pit of hollow despair, you are still a human being and you deserve every ounce of respect that everyone else does. You dont need to be successful or productive or pretty or okay to matter. You are a human being. You matter. Period.

Categories: Depression , Mental Health Awareness , Teens | Tags: mental health, teens, depression

Patricia Tomasi is a mom, maternal mental health advocate, journalist, and speaker. She writes regularly for the Huffington Post Canada,focusing primarily on maternal mental health after suffering from severe postpartum anxiety twice. You can find her Huffington Post biography here. Patricia is also a Patient Expert Advisor for the North American-based,Maternal Mental Health Research Collectiveand is the founder of the online peer support group -Facebook Postpartum Depression & Anxiety Support Group - with over 1500 members worldwide. Blog:www.patriciatomasiblog.wordpress.com Email:tomasi.patricia@gmail.com

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Teen Writes Book For Fellow Teens On Advice She Ignored While Going Through Depression - Theravive

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April 15th, 2020 at 11:43 am

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