“I’m not depressed but I’m not happy either.”
^^ For our older teens and young adults who have decided on life’s next steps and worked through the stressful stuff of the early teenage years, this is a statement we’ve heard over and over again.
There’s no risk or safety concerns.
There’s no panic attacks or skipping school.
There’s no lying in bed all day and isolating.
You’re just feeling unfulfilled.
Ready to feel happy, but no longer feeling sad.
It’s kinda like the “Senioritis” of depression.
And unfortunately, many people live their whole lives in this phase…
Going through the motions on autopilot.
Having superficial relationships that look good on paper.
Believing that “life is hard and then you die.”
But we know that there’s a better way.
Once safety and stability have been developed and your symptoms of depression and anxiety have been reduced to a point that living life and completing your everyday routine feels manageable, there’s often times still work to be done.
To improve your self-esteem so that you like who you are and are proud of your accomplishments.
To enhance the quality of your relationships so that you feel connected, safe and secure.
To manage everyday stressors more easily so that every new obstacle doesn’t become a crushing force.
Accumulating the positives in your life is a skill that we teach at the teen support center.
It’s the Marie Kondo equivalent of “sparking joy.”
Doing pleasant things that are possible right now, like activities that bring you joy in the moment.
Being mindful of your positive experiences while they are happening and really soaking in the emotions and body sensations that come with feeling joy.
And, being “unmindful” of worry thoughts that tell you that your joy is about to end or that you don’t deserve the experience.
If you have a teen who needs more joy, but they’re not necessarily clinically depressed, Teen Group is a place where they can share, connect, feel heard and understood and begin to EXPERIENCE joy, not just talk about it.