Teen sadness is often overlooked. We excuse it with concepts of “hormones” or “stress” but, in truth, the feeling is so much more than that. On a neurological level, sadness comes from abnormalities in limbic brain regions, but on a more human level sadness can be found somewhere within all of us… especially teenage girls.
Specifically focusing on young women, the CDC report found that around 3 in 5 teenage girls feel persistent sadness year round. This was double the rate of boys. When these results were shared, many were unsurprised. It seems persistent sadness is the norm among school girls, yet the topic is still rarely discussed. Girls would rather hide their sadness than have an open conversation about it, but this CDC report truly brings to light the amount of suffering young girls do in silence.
Why do we care? It’s just sadness, no big deal right? Wrong. The report found that because most don’t feel their sadness fits into the category of depression they never address it. Instead, they bottle their feelings away hoping they will get better on their own. I think a lot of girls at HB can relate to this feeling. The feeling that your sadness isn’t enough to be addressed properly. However, it’s important that we begin to open up about the topic of sadness and share our problems with others. When we share our sadness, we create a community to turn to in times of need.
In school or at home, it’s important to have some form of a trusted adult to turn to to deal with sadness. When it comes to the school environment at HB, the CDC recommends that schools….
Help student cope with emergencies and their aftermath
- Helping schools provide safe and supportive environments—whether in person or virtually—is critical to students’ wellbeing.
- Linking students to mental health services.
- Integrating social emotional learning.
- Training staff.
- Supporting staff mental health.
- Reviewing discipline policies to ensure equity.
- Building safe and supportive environments.
Even just incorporating just one of these bullet points is a way to get our community one step closer to creating a safe space for every teenager experiencing persistent sadness.