Teens Helping Teens Essay


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Teens Helping Teens Essay

  1. 1. Can you think of the last compliment you got? Can you remember how good it made you feel on the inside? Daily I see evidence of eating disorders, drug use, self – esteem issues, self harm, and mental conditions. Most of the people I talk to, with one or more of these issues, normally states that they don’t have anyone to talk to or they don’t have any friends. People don’t realize how effective a “hello” or a simple compliment can mean to someone. I believe self-confidence and self- respect, especially among girls is ridiculously poor. I advocate being a friend, giving a compliment daily, confidence, and recovery. Teens Helping Teens is an organization on MySpace that is for teens who are dealing with a social problem. I am a student leader in the organization, meaning anyone can message me for someone to talk to about any issue they may be having. Receiving messages has really opened my eyes to how important just a person to talk to really is.<br /> Depression is so prevalent in teens today. On average one out of every five teenagers have clinical depression. Many teens who message me talk about how they hate feeling sad all the time. They talk of how they want to “give up” or how they feel worthless. No one should feel that way. Many of the teens have not been on or they gave up on medications. People with depression have been known to give up on medications after two tries of finding the right ones. Those people often tend to commit suicide. I tell the teens that I believe meds are a good thing, with the right combination, and that you may not get the right combo the first, second, or fifth try. I say that there is a med out there that they just need to find one day. I advocate the use of help hotlines, especially for the people who really just want someone to vent to, besides me. Teen help hotlines, I say, are a great option. They are confidential, they are trained, and they care, and most are 24/7. I tell everyone that telling an adult or someone they really trust is very important. Doctors, teachers, counselors, relatives, or close adults need to know, for safety purposes. I can’t help them from afar, I can only listen. They need to establish solid contacts not via internet. Many worry about telling people, I’m brutally honest in saying “It will be gut-wrenching and it will not be easy.” But it is worth it. Throughout the conversation I ask those happy questions about their hobbies, music, pets, or what Halloween costume they liked the best. I try to always remain positive and to repeat my points over and over. I know they have probably heard things before like, “It’s just a phase.” or “You can overcome this, think positive.” or my personal favorite, “You should journal your feelings.” I stick away from generic phrases about depression recovery. I talk with honesty. Things are not easy, you may be clinically depressed not just another sad teen, and relapse is common. They need to know the truth. I believe with the truth and positive reinforcement behind it depression can be handled safely. <br />I hear a lot of self harm relating to depression. Self harm can be defined as the deliberate act of harming yourself other than suicide. Cutting, burning, hitting, scratching, substance abuse, and eating disorders are just a few of the major examples. People often inflict self harm because it gives them a sense of control that they don’t feel they have anymore. Getting rid of a tool they may use to harm is something I suggest, or to keep their hands busy with stress balls or cards if their hands are their tools. People often say how they may have overcome self harm but the scars make them sad. Scar remover was made for a reason. I think scars are important, they remind us of the past, and the past is the past. Self harm gives a “high” that makes the person only feel good for maybe ten minutes. Each time their tolerance increases and they then need to injure more often and more severely to achieve that temporary “high.” When they come down from the “high” they only feel just as bad if not worse than they did before. They need to be reminded that they can recover from this. <br />Curse the media and its horrible depictions of perfection! People are so consumed with their ideas of what they should look like to the point where it is unhealthy. One out of every two girls I know has dealt with some form of an eating disorder of self image distortions. Just because someone is not stick thin does not mean they do not have an eating disorder. Eating disorders are mental thoughts carried out through physical actions. The general public considers eating disorders to be bulimia, anorexia, or obesity. They can also include habits such as, putting on excessive condiments, tearing or rearranging food, calorie counting, or excessive exercising. This disorder is often also derived from the sense of lack of control. I suggest that people dealing with this issue write out the eating habits they do, watch the HBO documentary Thin, and to again look at the hotlines. Eating disorders are so dangerous; my friend has passed out from taking so many diet pills. She is in great shape. I have dealt with body images but my friend one day said, “I hated my tall and lanky shape, I just had to learn to own it.” That term of ownership stuck with me and now I pass the idea on. Most of these teens simply have a distorted self image; they look in the mirror and only see flaws that don’t exist. I compliment like your Grandma does, my compliments are genuine and constant. I remember certain compliments people have said; you can make someone’s day with a compliment. Many of these teens are beautiful or handsome in my eyes and I see none of the flaws they talk of. They usually don’t know the normal body size for their age, sex, and height, I point that out. Natural beauty is the best beauty. Everyone has it they just need to be confident and own it. Wearing no makeup and wearing my hair all messy to school has made me more confident. No one thinks less about me because of me dressing like I just rolled out of bed, odds are I just did. I also take pride knowing I am confident enough to look like a hot mess. It’s not cocky it’s confident. Most people just need a plan to follow and a friend to help them through it, that’s why I joined the organization, I like listening to others. <br />Using guesstimation I would probably say ten people out of my 135 student grade do not do illegal substances. Drinking and drugs are second nature on the weekends to all of my friends. No, I do not consider them negative. Have a few of them been negative, yes. Those select negative few I have hung with, enjoyed, hated, regretted, and then removed. Substance abuse is something I almost assume everyone I message does. It’s a very safe assumption. Substance use is one thing for recreational purposes and it’s another to use for escape. Use for escape is what most teens I talk to do. It is a makeshift happy feeling which is what they have been lacking. It allows them to forget and avoid. Yes, some things are worse than others, like pills verse weed. Teens who deal with pills or more extreme things beyond weed and alcohol I always suggest that they remove all sources. In general I suggest they go through their contacts and eliminate negative influencers. Peers are often the ones who bring about drugs and drinking. In any case I believe eliminating sources is a necessary extreme, cold turkey style. Many kids who are involved with these tend to tell me that their parents have also done similar things. Addiction I believe is genetic. I have an addictive personality and I’m still becoming more familiar with it. I do all I can to avoid ecstasy and acid, which are most prevalent with some of my peers, because I know I would become addicted to them quickly. I state just some of the physical harm drugs and drinking can do to someone’s body, beyond the generic things. These kids all too often hear, “Drugs kill brain cells.” and, “You can die from alcohol poisoning the first time you drink.” Yes these are true but they need to hear things that affect them personally. They don’t realize only 3 months of pill use can lead to stomach ulcers and intestinal surgery. They need to hear more about how drugs affect them with their face and weight since that is what they normally care about. I don’t want to be taking anything that affects my appearance; I assume self-conscious people wouldn’t want that either. I believe substance use amongst teens is beyond the point of repair and that people need to get use to the fact almost every teen does some illegal substance. People just need to examine why the teen may be using and, though all ways are dangerous, to what extremity they are using.<br />I believe I am a hippie at heart. I think people should hug each other and love their neighbors. When I stumbled upon Teens Helping Teens it was a new door. I really feel like I am finally helping people to the extent I want to. The kids that message me just need a good friend. I spread honesty and compliments that are genuine. One phrase that lead me to all of my positive thinking, a phrase I use in a lot of art projects, a phrase I pass along is, “You are the brightest star, and I’m in love with who you are.” -Between the Trees<br />