Often, the word rehab is used with treating addiction. It’s not used as a term to describe healing from a psychological disorder, such as teen depression. However, the word rehab is simply a shorter version of the word rehabilitation. In fact, it means to rehabilitate or restore.
To restore your psychological well being, that is moving out of depression and back to wellness, might first take some investigation. Perhaps that investigation can best be done by a mental health professional, such as a therapist. However, there are some tasks that you can do yourself that might facilitate your own rehabilitation…your own restoration. Please note that this article is not suggesting to heal yourself. Although it is possible to do so, the suggestion here is continue to seek the assistance of a mental health professional and gain support from an expert in the field. Meanwhile, you can facilitate your restoration by utilizing the suggestions provided below.
First, the word depression has Latin roots that mean “pressed down”. It is as though the energy of the mind and heart has been pushed inward instead of expressed and it might leave you feeling “down”, despondent, or low. One symptom that is common with depression, among adults and adolescents alike, is the loss of an ability to enjoy things. You might see yourself lose interest in sports, no longer attending favorite classes, avoiding friends, and not socializing in general.
Sometimes, part of self-treatment is to give yourself the opportunity to say what you need to say, even if that’s on paper. And often, it’s not just saying what you need to say, but it’s also feeling what you need to feel. One of the common symptoms of teen depression is having a sense of self-hatred or self-loathing. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the text that clinicians use to make a diagnosis, indicates that there must be the presence of five of nine listed symptoms in order to diagnose a teen with Major Depressive Disorder. One of these nine symptoms is “feeling of worthlessness or excessive guilt”.
In fact, if this is a symptom you’re experiencing, it might be helpful to think of this disorder as a way of “acting in”. When life events cause anger, anxiety, or other emotions that for some reason, you were unable to express, some teens might act out while others might “act in”. Some teens might act out by getting into fights or engaging in risky behavior. While other teens might “act in” by keeping their feelings to themselves, cutting themselves off from emotions that were hard to face, or “pressing down” any challenging inner experiences. That “acting in” can be contributing to a depressed mood.
To find a sense of restoration, you might want to find a creative activity to get those feelings out, and more importantly, to allow yourself to feel them. In fact, by sitting in a designated place each week or each day, writing (or any creative practice) can become a healing practice. Really, it’s not the writing that is healing; instead, it is the relationship that you build with yourself as a result of having a writing practice. As you write down your experiences, another part of you is listening and finally feeling those difficult emotions.
Besides, the notebook is a place to be completely honest, access your emotions, and open the heart. Each time you write, the heart opens more and more and a certain appreciation develops. It’s a sort of appreciation for yourself, for the whole experience of being alive, for the process of looking inward, and for giving yourself this special time to write.
If you’re struggling with teen depression and you want to have a depression rehab experience, pull out paper and a pen. Restore yourself by laying one word down at a time. Let yourself say what you need to say. Let yourself finally feel what you need to feel. Restore yourself one word at a time.