Featured Media Resource [AUDIO]: “Only Smiling On The Outside: Teens Hide Depression” (Youth Radio/NPR)

In this short but powerful audio story from Youth Radio, a high school class clown reveals her secret struggles with depression, and talks about how she uses humor to hide her sadness from her classmates. “It’s weird, because I know how I feel in the inside,” she says. “I know how people perceive me on the outside–that I’m like this funny person who like laughs a lot and all that. I don’t want any of them to know how I’m feeling on the inside. So I basically hide all that with, like, funniness I guess.”


Do Now

How can schools better support students who are having a tough time, but don’t necessarily show it? #DoNowFeelings


How to Do Now

Do Now by posting a video response in this week’s Flipgrid. Join the conversation here.

You can also post your response on Twitter or in the comment section below. Be sure to include #DoNowFeelings and @KQEDedspace in your tweet.

Go here for more tips for using Do Now, using Twitter for teaching, and using other digital tools.


Background

Sometimes teens’ emotions are like icebergs: what you see on the surface doesn’t really hint at what’s going on underneath.

Nearly one-third of high schoolers experience symptoms of depression, according to Child Trends, a non-profit research organization that analyzed statistics gathered from CDC national data sets in 2013. The same study showed that 39-percent of girls and 21-percent of boys have reported feeling sad or hopeless. This may manifest in teens acting withdrawn, feeling irritable, experiencing changes to their appetites, sleep patterns or grades, or losing interest in things they used to like.

But just because a young person has depression doesn’t mean that it’s obvious to their teachers, classmates,  family members —  or even themselves. Teens may be in denial about their feelings or have different cultural ideas/taboos about mental health. In some native languages, for example, there are no words for anxiety or depression, making these conditions difficult to diagnose and treat. Among some Chinese Americans, for example, depression is commonly experienced as physical pain (stomach aches, headaches, etc.) rather than emotional pain. One way for individuals to be more aware of their feelings is to keep a mood diary or similar method to track your feelings over time (see additional resources below).

Even when adolescents recognize they are struggling with emotional pain, they may feel pressure to hide it from others to appear “normal”. But that doesn’t make their struggles any less real.

In a recent Youth Radio commentary, a high school “class clown” talks about how she uses humor to hide her depression and anxiety.

“I wouldn’t want to tell anybody that I’m upset, because I kind of like hold myself to a standard that everyone needs to see me happy,” she says.


More Resources

APP: Mood Ring  (Youth Radio via Google Play)
Mood Ring is a free, youth-made android app that allows young people to track how they’re feeling using emojis. After you use it for a period of time,  you’ll get an “emotion report” showing how you’ve been feeling, and encouraging you to connect with people you know can make you feel better when you’re down. Each time you open Mood Ring, you’ll be greeted by an inspirational quote, and you’ll also find additional resources to contact if you need to, for immediate help. If you don’t have an android device, you can try a similar technique using a mood diary (you can use words, symbols or pictures to represent your mood) to help you become more aware of your feelings. (Available via Google Play.)

AUDIO: Explaining Depression To My Family (Youth Radio/KQED)
Like many young people, Youth Radio’s Amber Cavarlez struggles with depression. Yet she says the Filipino side of her family considers talking about feelings to be taboo. While her relatives feel their silence keeps them focused on moving past hardship, Amber says the denial can make her depression deeper.

ARTICLE: With Youth Depression, Young People Are Often The “First Responders” (New America Media)
Despite having little or no training, a growing number of young people in California are acting as “first responders” for peers coping with mental health issues. Mental health advocates say schools should take a greater role in educating young people about mental health.

WEB: Overview of Teen Depression (Mayo Clinic)
This overview of the symptoms, causes and treatment options for teen depression is a good starting place for young people who may be affected by depression. This site contains resources, like the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255). If a you or a teen you know is having suicidal thoughts, seek help immediately.

  • hayleyhibbens

    I don’t know why teenagers feel the need to hide how they’re truly feeling. But I do know that when I was a teenager that is exactly what I did. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that there is such a pressure to feel included when you’re a teen, and I think the stress of fitting in can really start to take a toll on you, especially when there are so many other aspects of your life that are changing. Teenagers try so hard to stay “cool” even though it is such a transitional period. I almost feel like teenagers think that it would be embarrassing to share their real emotions, because when you’re at that age the coolest thing to do is just not care.

    • Alexandra Julia Palomino

      I do agree with some of the things you said. Teens definitely feel pressure to be ‘cool”. I would argue that teens don’t share their feelings not because it’s embarrassing but because it makes you vulnerable. Growing up I was lucky enough to have some great friends, and I had no problem sharing my feelings with them but with other groups of friends that were more of acquaintances I wouldn’t share my feelings. Even as an adult you don’t share your feelings with everyone, it’s situational. #MyCMSTArgs

    • Erica Marie

      I agree a big part of the teenage years is struggling to fit in. As a society we should adjust our focus to show teens that we all felt that way at that age. It is a NORMAL feeling, and they should not be discouraged or feel the need to hide it. Here is an article more in depth about the teenage mindset. http://www.apa.org/monitor/apr07/teenage.aspx #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowFeelings

    • Keaton Hill

      I think that fitting in, like you said, is an important part of this problem that isn’t often evaluated in depth. Teenage society is not fun to be a part of, and it doesn’t help that everyone is trying to figure out themselves at the same time. I feel like this poor timing has serious effects on many teenagers. I also agree that it is definitely considered “cool” at that age to seem very empathetic, which is a major problem. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowFeelings

  • Alexandra Julia Palomino

    I think this is a really interesting question. They’re asking how we can help students who are hiding their feelings. I would answer we should look at the real problem, why do teens feel the need to hide their feeling? What is society, the communities that teens are involved in or schools due that make teens not want to share their true feelings. It could possibly be the fear of discipline or feeling like the have no real control because we often see teens wanting equal levels of communication but they are treated with parent- child communication. #DoNowFeelings #MyCMSTArgs

    • Erica Marie

      The idea of teens wanting equal levels is really spot on. Teens feel small compared to a lot of things in this world, maybe by showing teens that they have each other, and the future to look forward to, but yet still to live in the now, would be a satisfying thing for these students. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowFeelings

    • Jodi DeMassa

      I agree that we should look at the social implications on why teens feel like they need to hide their own feelings. I also believe that the parentals have a big influence in this, telling people not to react to things. #MyCMSTArgs

    • danielle j

      I completely agree with wanting equal levels of communications. I think that their peers also have a lot to do with why they hide their feelings. #MyCMSTArgs

  • Erica Marie

    This is a difficult, but very important questions. There’s a lot of teens that struggle with finding themselves, and finding their own happiness. The first thing to go about this problem is to identify those who are unhappy. Maybe an anonymous survey given to every student, asking about happiness in general, and showing the results through a school assembly. Show the students that are feeling down, that they are NOT alone. This itself is a comfort to all the students. Then ask the students what they think could help them. Whether it be more interactive things like joining a club, making a webpage for students of things they have to be happy about. Or in general, around campus somewhere make a wall of things people are happy about. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowFeelings

    • Jodi DeMassa

      I agree that being a teen requires that you need to find yourself, but I don’t think that identifying the people who are insecure is the way to go. I feel that everyone is insecure about some thing, one way or another. I feel like if you gave an anonymus survey to everyone would give you more insight. You could create a poll to show the statistics on why people are hiding their feelings. #MyCMSTArgs

  • Jodi DeMassa

    I believe there certainly is a stigma to telling how you feel about something, but I also feel like to a certain extent most people don’t really care about the feelings of another. I believe that everyone is told as they grow up not to react, that the bully wants that, that it’s best to just keep a friendly face and not let it get to you. I’ve noticed that alot of people expect only a “I’m doing good” when they ask someone else how they’re doing so that they can just get on with their life. Most people don’t like to talk about their feelings, especially the bad ones because then there’s a stigma of burdening someone else. This is all very unhealthy, not to be in touch with your feelings and feeling like you shouldn’t talk about them. Here’s a link about why teens hide their feelings. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evolution-the-self/201109/why-we-hide-emotional-pain #MyCMSTArgs

    • Keaton Hill

      I think you are definitely on to something when you said that to a certain extent, people don’t really care about the feelings of others. I think that many people, including people I’ve known in the past, have an empathy problem. If we really want to solve this issue people need to care more about others, but I’m just not sure that that will ever be entirely possible. #MyCMSTArgs

  • danielle j

    As someone who has suffered from these conditions I know how hard it is to share these things with others. I can honestly say I don’t know how schools can better support students who are having a tough time. They will only seek help if they want too. Having someone else tell them they need help won’t help. I think the best way to achieve this would be to just make sure every student is aware of the programs and counseling that are available. Everyone needs to know that they are cared about. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowFeelings

    • Alexandra Julia Palomino

      I agree ‘if someone is feeling this the way the best thing to do would be support them and make sure they know they’re not alone. This could be a simple message from teachers or parents. I also agree that making their resources known could be really helpful as well. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowFeelings

  • E For Earn

    The only way an individual is able to fully express how she or he feels, is in a space where everyone else does the same. Sometimes all you need is support and guidance.

    • bgirl272

      I agree. These teens don’t have enough opportunities to do this in my opinion. Our society needs to implement a program that shows we are being proactive about this issue and care about the future of our teens.

  • Adam Machson-carter

    Yeooooo, It’s cdubz here and to keep it a rack with yall my boys we need to step up and protect the kids in school FACTOOOO. Because the last thing we need is for our kids the future of the world to be dropping dead because of stress we need them to be leading on dogs hahahahahahahah. But your boy is out #SaveTheKIds

  • Christ Emmanuel

    I think telling teens that if they ever need help with anxiety and depression help is always available.
    Most teens won’t ask for help and even if it being offered too and sometimes it best to approach them.

    • bgirl272

      I think this is a good idea but still not enough. It is really hard for people to get help even when they know its out there. I think we need to be more straight against the problem tackling it head on. How to deal with emotions and mental health should be taught in school from the beginning.

  • Heyssis Castillo

    Many teenagers hide their feelings so that they won’t feel judged by others. We need to take into condsideration that depression and insecurities cause people to overthink everything, leading them to believe that their feelings don’t matter and what they feel doesn’t make sense. It’s hard to open up when you aren’t content with who you are. The doubts that come with depression can change if we help each other find comfort in ourselves and support one another to find our own personal happiness.

    • Lauryn L.

      I agree that teens hide their feelings because they do not want to feel judged by others. It sucks because they don’t realize that others are feeling the same way as they are during those periods of times. If schools made it more open to discuss emotions and normal vs. abnormal ways of feeling, I think students would be more willing to confide in others.

  • tedicrawford

    “Feelings” is a difficult subject because they are not obvious. Situations, events, relationships are tangible topics and seem a better approach to tapping how we feel about them and ourselves. It wasn’t until my thirties that a therapist challenged my mantra about having such a happy life. In many respects it was, but I was completely denying that my father died before I was born and I barely knew my mother because I lived with my paternal grandmother several states away. I felt different. I wondered constantly what other children’s lives were like. But it didn’t occur to me to try to talk about it until a major crisis forced therapy.

  • bgirl272

    I think schools should implement this topic into the curriculum. There should be some sort of workshops on these topics in schools, since it is such a huge problem. By talking about it more and educating kids on their options, we can promote good mental health. Mental health is not talked about as much as it should be and teens especially never get a chance to talk about their feelings. This is a vital age, and due to all of the bullying, suicide rates, ect of teens something must be dont in school to educate them on how to hand these issues in a healthy manner. http://remedylive.com/category/issues/suicide/?gclid=CMm_udf179ACFUNlfgodi_MPsw

    • Lauryn L.

      In my post, I said the same thing. We have these puberty and sex-ed classes that teach us about how to deal with body changes but nothing focuses on dealing with emotional changes. A lot of students don’t have an open relationship with their parents which allows them to talk about their emotions and if schools implemented curriculum into why these emotions are happening, they’d most likely have a better understanding of themselves and other people.

  • Keaton Hill

    I think that the main problem with sadness among teens is due to the stigma and prejudice surrounding mental health, especially among teenage boys. There is a certain kind of “tough” mentality that men are expected to hold, and this rings true for both high school and college students. It is because of this problem that, even if there are resources available, many young people will not seek out help due to the fear of their friends or other peers finding out. This is why just providing resources isn’t enough to solve this major problem. There needs to be more work done educating people about this issue so that people will see it as a legitimate health issue instead of just something that is highly stigmatized and not seen as completely legitimate. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowFeelings

  • Lauryn L.

    I feel as if teens hide their feelings because they don’t realize that other people will understand. It’s really tough for schools to support students that don’t really show emotions. I feel as if schools should teach their students about emotions and how feeling that way during this time of age is normal. Just like we have a ‘puberty’ class in the 5th grade and a ‘sex ed’ class in 8th, we should have a class held on how emotions and feelings change during that transitional period of time.
    #MyCMSTArgs

  • Carter Johnson

    As someone who has experienced both anxiety and depression myself, I feel that my teachers could have supported me better if they were aware of my struggle and if they were better prepared to know how to help me. That’s where I feel like educating teachers as well as students about mental health would be helpful. I feel like I have one teacher that is supportive and understanding of my struggles, but the rest still see me as someone who doesn’t care about my grades. I wish my teachers understood that it is because I care about my grades that I have anxiety. I really want to be successful. I want to do well in school and get good grades. Sometimes, I just need a little help.

    • Maddie Barraza

      You make a really good point that I have not really thought about. Teachers should be there to help you and take the initiative to say something if they see something off from one of their students. They should have the opportunity to take extra classes from the school to learn to help kids in need. I feel like they want to at times but do not know how to approach it.

      #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowfeelings

  • Maddie Barraza

    I have struggled with the same issues the people in the NPR talk in the past. I put up a front, and not express my feeling towards others. I felt like if I was showing my friends and family how I really felt it would bring them down too, and that is the last thing i want to do. It would slowly eat me away, and I did not know what to do. I was too afraid to tell anyone how I felt. My senior year of high school, my school incorporated a peer mediation group. A chance for students to talk to other students about virtually anything. By the mid senior year I was so suffocated with depression, and anxiety I didn’t know how long I could last. One day I chose to attend peer mediation. I went as a last resort. The last thing I wanted to do was show people how I really felt. I was hesitant at first, but when a freshmen that I did ot know, and did not really know me, I felt like I finally had a chance to say what I felt. Getting that weight off my shoulders saved my life I don’t know what I would have done without my freshmen. Just having the chance to talk to someone, and have them listen to what your saying without any bias was the best thing I could have asked for #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowfeelings

  • Ariana Robles

    Its hard to tell and or let people see your emotions . Some will see it as weak or a sign of wanting attention/pity. If you grow up with thoughts like this it is hard to trust anybody fully with what is going on in your life especially more so to trust an adult. now a days its hard to even trust those that we call friends because we have that fear that what we tell them will be exposed to others. The teachers should make an environment feel safe for students to speak to them about what is really bothering them. Given this is easier said than done. But teachers should try to get the trust of a student not just think of them as another body filling their class.

  • Lauren Bixby

    Teens hide their feelings because it’s what everyone does. If we all grew up in a society where it was normal to talk about your issues and where people actually knew how to help then I think this would be a different story, but we didn’t so it’s not. We’re taught to answer “how are you?” or “how was your day” with “good” regardless with how it actually went and I think that’s really detrimental to how we feel about sharing our thoughts elsewhere. A lot of people think that if we fake it, then it will eventually become true but that can’t possibly be the case. A young girl from the KQED Youth Radio said, “I feel like everyone needs to see me happy”, and “I don’t want anyone to know how i’m feeling inside” (2016). I see this as a direct reflection of our societies need to show everyone that we’re fine all the time because when we share our problems with people then it puts others in a sort of awkward situation simply because they don’t know how to respond and it makes the individual that shared the information feel guilty for putting their issues on their friend or parent. Zachary Forster from New America Media said that “no one understands what depression is” (2014). I feel that this is largely true for our entire nation. The general sense is that it is just sadness that “you just need to get over!” or “oh just be happy” are the typical responses. We need people who are actually educated on depression and how to help with it rather than the general health class in high school that covers depression for a week or less. A big reason that teens are scared to share these things with their parents is because they don’t feel connected. “Symptoms may be different between teens and adults” (Mayo Clinic, 2016, p.1). Because of this I think that parents see depression in teens as routine sadness that they can just forget about and that causes them to overlook the severity of the issue. We need greater mental illness education in our nation if we hope to see a culture that better expresses their feelings in the future.

  • Oliver McCarthy

    Teenage depression is a growing problem in the United States. But the worst part about it is that most people don’t know about it. Teens will do whatever it takes to hide it from their parents, friends, and family ( Youth Radio/NPR, 2016). Teens set a standard of how people view them and depression gets in the way of that “standard” so most teens put on a fake smile so no one thinks they are struggling. Everyone wants to be perceived as “put together” because it makes us look better to others. Some teens have confronted their parents about their depression, some parents responses are less than sympathetic “ you’re not being grateful for what you have” ( Cavarlez, 2014). Many adults brush off the fact that their child has depression because “they don’t know what they feel, they aren’t old enough.” Which is not a fair or understanding viewpoint at all. Just because this person is a teen does not mean they feel it less, if anything they feel it more due to puberty, peer pressure, and anxiety. With this condition growing at a rapid rate among teens the public has not been doing its part to solve this issue. Becoming aware that depression can be hidden and how to look for the signs of a depressed person could go a long way in minimizing this mental illness.

  • Lucas Hamp

    i do agree with this article because it is so true about teens in high school today. i am no stranger to this topic. teens hide their depression and anxiety to make everyone around them happy, if they don’t everyone freaks out on you and wont leave you alone until they can come up with answer for. they think your broken, but your not broken your just you… So yes “Nearly one-third of high schoolers experience symptoms of depression,”-(from article above) and we can only support them and their choices.

  • My moms a G.I. Joe

    I believe years ago before the 2000’s we did not have this issue with teens. The issue is how long has this been going on with out us knowing maybe it dates all the way back to the 1600’s who knows. Like The NPR hearing said teens perceive themselves as happy when really deep down inside these some internal issues that are hard to deal with. Sometimes teens emotions are like icebergs what you see on the surface dost really hint on to whats going on underneath. I think this is very true usually people don’t want to show weakness to others because usually just makes things worst. As in people get bullied or treated differently for having issue with whats going on inside.

  • Grace

    KQED: Why do teens hide their feelings?
    “I have been voted the class clown and I have post-anxiety depression,” says a Bay Area teen from California. This teen goes on to explain that appearances are deceiving. Many of her classmates describe her as “always happy” and “smiley”. Not many, if any, know of her inner struggles as she deals with most of her feelings and panic attacks alone (Youth Radio/NPR).
    Depression is the most common mental illness among teens. According to Child Trends, 39% of girls and 21% of boys have reported feeling hopeless or sad (2016). Why is there a trend among young people where they feel like they have no one to talk to about their issues? How can teachers, classmates, friends, and family members have no clue as to the personal struggles facing someone?
    First, many languages do not even have a word for depression and anxiety and many times those cultures do not know how to deal with or diagnose either of them. Peers are the “first responders” in these cases and many cases says Forester of New America Media (2014). Yet, young people have no training in coping with mental health issues, although they may be impactful. Teens turn to other teens because they feel they are dealing with the same feelings and burdens they are. Still more work has to be done in classrooms and among adults, such as parents and teachers, to make depression and other illnesses less taboo.
    The Mayo Clinic staff says, “Depression isn’t a weakness, but it’s not something that can be overcome with willpower.” Meaning, mental health isn’t something to be taken lightly as it can have serious consequences and it isn’t something to be handled alone. So, until society can accept the commonness and struggles of depression and anxiety, teens will continue to lean on other teens or themselves. Mental health is a constant power struggle, a man-versus-self kind of power struggle, one that man hardly has the upper hand on.

  • Audrey Giammalva

    Depression isn’t something to be taken lightly. I have known many different people with it and almost all of them don’t share their feelings with anyone. At one point in my life, I was diagnosed with Clinical Depression. I don’t have it anymore, but when I did, I experienced similar things with the people in this audio recording. The girl in the recording states that she, “…walks into her room and locks the door,” (Youth Radio, 2016). I did the exact same thing. The question as to why teens hide their feelings could have many different answers. One of which could be that they don’t want others to know that they think of themselves so negatively. Another thing could be that they don’t want to bring others down. I know that when I had depression, I hid my feelings because I wanted to always be alone and to figure some issues I was going through by myself. I don’t know why I thought that this was the better choice, but it’s what I did. Finally, some of my friends were becoming really concerned for my health. They talked to my mother and she hired a professional for me to talk to. “For most teens, depression symptoms ease with treatment such as medication and psychological counseling,” (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2016), and this is what I turned to as well. I didn’t like it at first, but when I saw that I was doing better in school, and I just felt happier, I got over it. “Teen depression isn’t a weakness or something that can be overcome with willpower…” (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2016), but it is something that can be treated. No one knows the exact answer as to why teens hide their feelings, but one thing is for sure; these teens need help and they should get it.

  • Jon Milliron

    I do agree that this has been become a bigger issue and a lot of people think that were just faking it or are just being sissies about our emotions. What the girl said on the audio i really agree with is can build up in our heads and the pressure and just keep build and it can be suffocating for us. We really need to express our feeling more and i think that its because of our cell phones that are making it worse for us because were losing our social skill and it can be harder to talk to our people, even our closest friends and family.

  • Jalynn

    Teen depression is a major problem among young students in the last recent years. But a lot of the time, people do not notice it. I think teens hide their feelings because they think that they are alone. They feel as though if they share then they will be judged as weak, less than or even mental or dumb. They don’t want to separate themselves from the norm because that is hard. In the Youth Radio talk on December 9, the girl struggling with anxiety said that, “I didn’t want people to see her differently.” I also think that a cause of this is the virtual world we live in. Everybody posts on social media edited and fake pictures of themselves, when they are at their happiest. And they show their lives off as a giant lollipop. Other people see these perfect lives and so they post stuff as if they have a perfect life. And so social media totally ignores the bad parts of life. The sad parts. Just because a beautiful front is more attractive. According to Simon Sinek in his video On Millennials in the Workplace, he talks about an entitled generation leads to everything being given to us. And when we finally reach the workplace, we aren’t ready for the reality that everything isn’t handed too us. This leads to a weakened self-esteem and depression. Our society is fake and entitled and it causes our young people to feel like they need to hide their true feelings in order to assimilate. The root of the problem, to why students feel to hide there feelings, is our society.

  • Logan S.

    “I wouldn’t want to tell anybody that I’m upset, because I kind of like hold myself to a standard that everyone needs to see me happy.” Teen depression is the most common form of mental illness. Nearly one-third of high schoolers experience symptoms of depression, according to Child Trends. Everyone experiences depression in one form or another. Each and every person tries to cope with this depression in a way that they seem fit. This is why it is so difficult to help. Each person needs help in a different way. I believe that if everyone stepped up to help those in need, depression would begin to decrease among teens. A great example of this is the App called “Mood Ring”. (Interactive, 2016) This app helps track people’s emotions through the use of emojis. This is such a good idea because it helps you become more aware of your feelings. This app will help each person who uses it if they have the essential items in order to use the app.

    Even when adolescents recognize they are struggling with emotional pain, they may feel pressure to hide it from others to appear “normal”. (NPR, 2016, pg. 4) Everyone tries to fit in. By masking your pain and depression, people will view you as a normal person. This is not beneficial to the person doing this. After a while of masking these emotions, you could possibly build up so much that you could begin thinking suicidal thoughts or other thoughts that could cause harm to yourself or others.

  • Living.like.larry

    “Sometimes teens’ emotions are like icebergs: what you see on the surface doesn’t really hint at what’s going on underneath.”
    I think that teens hide their feelings because they don’t want people to judge them. Now-a-days its not “cool” to talk about your feelings, so people, not just teens, hold it all in until they can’t anymore..
    In all honestly, I don’t think that schools can better help students who don’t show that they need help; they can’t help fix something that they don’t know needs fixing.
    I see there’s an app out that’s supposed to help teens share their feelings, and i mean that all great and stuff, but I don’t think it’s gonna work all that great. It’s a good idea though. If they have people on the list that they would want to get ahold of when they are upset, they’d would go to the, before picking a bunch of emojis on an app.

  • John Crittenden

    Teens hide their feelings because most teens are scared of what people will think of them if they come out and be strait up honest with them. In the audio the one teen says “I like to isolate myself”. He isolates himself because he’s scared, he doesn’t realize that there are people right around the corner that will try to help them. Also the girl says “she’d like to help him but she can’t because she can’t even help herself”. In my opinion I think she is scared of helping him or herself, help is definitely out there. Also they said how “you need to help the other,bring them out and make them feel better” but she is to scared to help him because “she can’t help herself”. So to the lady making the emoji app, that could help a ton and it’s an amazing idea. Also I feel another good app would be that if you make an app for teens to talk to other teens from all over that could help because really these teens just need to talk it out with adults or other teens, help is almost always waiting. According to child trends, 1/3 of high schoolers experience some sort of depression and I think if they just try to find someone to talk to, that could help them. Also in the audio the girl says she hides her depression and that everyone thinks that she is happy, she got voted class clown the last 2 years. She hides her feelings because she is scared of what people will think of her if they knew about her anxiety or depression. Also the guy says “he gets suicidal thoughts” if he just had someone to talk to he would probably not think that way as often. So I feel that teens hide their feelings because they’re scared of what people will think, but in the end all that matters is how you feel, not how anyone else feels about you.

  • Jake T

    As a teen with a Dad as a mental therapist, I know that there are many mental illnesses that teens have. Teens definitely hide their feelings because they don’t want other people to know how they feel. Teen depression is a serious mental illness that affects so many American teens. It affects how your teenager thinks, feels and behaves, and it can cause emotional, functional and physical problems. (Mayo, 2016 p.1). Teens need someone they feel comfortable with to talk to them and figure out how they are feeling. When that is accomplished, there is something that can be done to help the teen figure out a solution to help their depression or anxiety. The best thing to do to help you overcome your depression is try to make a friend going through the same thing as you (Cavarlez, 2014 p.2). With this, you both have the same thoughts of how you express your feelings. Odds are that your thoughts are very similar in that they are in a negative way. Knowing each other, you can work together to help each other stray away from the negative thoughts.
    (Cavarlez, 2014 p.2). Though other people may see you as a happy and positive person, there are different thoughts going on inside you. A great way to help you with your depression is the app called “Mood Ring” (Interactive, 2016). This app allows users to communicate with emojis to help determine how the user feels.

  • sawyer kulman

    “When I am having trouble I lock myself in my room and I start to Hyperventilate, I want to be alone” says the (Girl from the podcast). This is the way she feels that she can best cope with her feelings, but if you asked anyone who is experienced with this illness then they would most likely tell you that instead of being alone you should try your hardest to reach out and receive assistance from people who care about you and also people who are very familiar with the subject. Such as a School counselor or a child social worker. ”But just because a young person has depression doesn’t mean that it’s obvious to their teachers, classmates, family member or even themselves.”(NPR, 2016,pg 1) That is why it is important for the person struggling to reach out because other people may not notice that there’s a problem. “If I could tell my family anything about depression, it would be that their silence and denial won’t make my feelings go away. Just the opposite, they make the depression deeper.”( Amber Cavarlez) this is the struggle with this illness because you cannot receive help if nobody knows you have a problem.

  • Emme Williams

    Emme Williams
    January 4th, 2017
    5th hour
    Why Do Teens Hide Their Feelings?
    Stress from outside pressure, homework, school, family issues, and many other contributors can affect teen’s mental health. Teens are often uneducated about mental health illness, they do not understand the causes and are unaware of the symptoms. Breaking down to someone often seems weak so they often turn to isolation instead of confronting the issue with an adult or even a peer. There is more mental health illnesses than we often see. Some 30 percent of adolescents in California report experiencing depression or related feelings, such as anger, anxiety or guilt, according to Kidsdata.org (With Youth Depression, Young People Often the ‘First Responders’, 2014). I can imagine that a large portion of these teens have not expressed their depressed feelings beyond their minds, therefore they have not receive the help they truly do need. Many of the teens suffering from mental illness often seem the happiest on the outside. A young woman that KQED included in their article stated, “It’s weird, because I know how I feel in the inside,” she says. “I know how people perceive me on the outside–that I’m like this funny person who like laughs a lot and all that. I don’t want any of them to know how I’m feeling on the inside. So I basically hide all that with, like, funniness I guess.” This is just one example of the way teens choose to hide their depression but I believe this is one of the most common forms of hiding. In the audio, “Only Smiling On The Outside: Teens Hide Depression” (Youth Radio/NPR), the young woman’s friends described her as excited, playful, smiling, and always laughing. It is the people we may least expect so it is import for us to be educated and allow people to feel comfortable when they need help on the outside to end the pain they are enduring.

  • Cecilia Murray

    Teens hide their feelings for many reasons, a big reason is that teens feel that they have to uphold a certain standard and do not want the people around them to know the side of themselves that they may not like. A young girl who was on NPR asked her classmates what they thought about her. Each one answered with a statement about how “she is always happy,” “whenever I see her there is always a smile on her face,” and “she is one of the funniest people I know.” (“Only smiling on the outside: Teens Hide Depression” Youth radio/NPR) What many people don’t know is that the people who are hurting the most tend to be the funniest ones. People who do not have depression or are not educated may think that it is a weakness and can be fixed easily. The truth is, it cannot be cured just like that and it is not a weakness. It is a strength because these teens are fighting something that is not easy and takes over your daily life. With nearly one-third of students experiencing depressive symptoms a new app has come out called Mood Ring. This app allows teens to show how they are feeling through emoticons. By using emojis this makes it easier for teens to open up about how they are feeling. Since many teens don’t like face to face interaction when it comes to talking about their feelings this app gives them a playful easy way to talk about it. (Mood Ring Youth Radio via Google play)

  • TaiLi Samson

    Why do Teens Hide Their Feelings?

    It’s not just teens who hide their feelings, it’s all adults in general. However, teens are dangerously prone to depression because of “Issues such as peer pressure, academic expectations and changing bodies” according to Mayo Clinic’s Over of Teen Depression. High schools put an enormous amount of pressure on the shoulders of teens these days and most of the seem to relate to the variables that being at school bring. Many adults have already passed the years of high school and do not have the pressure of academic deadlines and are not thrown into a petri dish judgemental friends and peers like many teens are in a regular public high school. The constant load of pressure on teenage humans forces them to hide their feelings, especially depression because they do not want to show weakness. That is the biggest reason teens hide their feelings, especially depression. In the harsh and vulnerable high school environment, it seems that teens don’t want to seem frail to other students. According to a boy from an audio segment called Explaining Depression to My Family, “I don’t want to tell anyone that I’m upset because I hold myself to a standard”. This is an example of a student who is afraid to speak out about his feelings of depression because the feeling of depression is not seen as acceptable. It’s frightening that “Some 30 percent of adolescents in California report experiencing depression or related feelings, such as anger, anxiety or guilt” according to an article titled With Youth Depression, Young People Often the ‘First Responders’. The worries grow when the Mayo Clinic declared that “Teen depression isn’t a weakness or something that can be overcome with willpower — it can have serious consequences and requires long-term treatment” because so many teens are already affected by negative feelings.

  • Brooke Ponke

    Depression among teenagers is more common than you may think. According to Child Trends, a non-profit research organization, one third of high schoolers experience symptoms of depression. New America Media also stated that roughly 30 percent of adolescents in California reported experiencing depression or feelings related to it. The teenagers that experience these feelings try to hide their sadness for many reasons. As stated from a girl who went through this first hand on NPR’s youth radio, she hides her true emotion to try to be “normal”. We isolate ourselves because we don’t want anyone to know states her friend in the same audio. It’s not about finding an answer to why we feel what we do, it’s about letting go of it all, he says.

    We need to reach out to those with depression and help them get through their hard times. By being open and understanding, we can give them a safe place to express themselves and how they are feeling. The app Mood Ring does just this. By expressing themselves in a safe environment of a few people, those with depression or related feelings can share how they truly feel by using emojis. I truly feel that we need more avenues for teenagers to express themselves in a safe environment and this app is one step towards this.

  • Laura Stoner

    Depression is the most common type of mental illness, and not many people notice their loved once suffer from it. ” i didnt believe him at first because he seemed so normal all the time like any other kid, recalls morimoto ( with depression, young people often the ‘first responders’).”Depression affects how your teenager thinks, feels, and behaves” (mayo clinic overveiw). That can be hard for any teenager because as i read, nearly one third of highschool students experience symptoms of depression. So that has to affect their performance in school and other important activities like a job. But as a teenager you dont want your classmates to look at you differently. “i hide all of my feelings from the inside, and on the outside people think of me as the class clown” (girl in the podcast). it only makes sense why teenagers hide their feelings because its embarrassing not to feel something so simple, happiness.

  • Logan Mansberger

    Why do teens hide their feelings? A common question question asked in today’s culture, the feeling and need for acceptance has exponentially grow in the age of social media. The unknown source from the podcast sadly describes isolation; “When I am having trouble I lock myself in my room and I start to Hyperventilate, I want to be alone” (unknown Source from podcast) The reality of teen isolation is devastating for social, teens feel the need to showcase a fun personality for their peers. Despite feel alone inside, “I didn’t believe him [at first] because he seemed so normal all the time … like any other kid,” recalls Morimoto, 16, of the encounter in her freshman year. (Forester, 1) The younger wants to be liked, High School becomes an experience of social interaction. What happened to the objective of school, the basis of learning? Teenagers hide their feelings for acceptance in society, they feel a need to be liked and loved. The reality is, without this acceptance, trouble will arise deep within the soul.

  • Josh Markham (Reign Of Inverte

    “Some 30 percent of adolescents in California report experiencing depression or related feelings” (With Youth Depression, Young People Often The ‘First Responders’ by New America Media). To most people it’s no secret that a lot of teens are dealing with depression, anxiety, and other social/emotional problems. What they sometimes fail to realize is that all of these are real mental illnesses, and although they can’t be attributed to all school shootings and suicides, teens are very good at hiding it and not being open to help. “When we are not ok, when we are not at our best, we need someone to bring out the best of us,” as said by a teen struggling with depression (Only Smiling on the Outside: Teens Hide Depression, Youth Radio/NPR). Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as it sounds. One girl who talked on the radio show mentioned how her parents don’t even know the full effect to which the disorder effects her life. I think the biggest reason for this is that there is a certain stigma associated with therapy, getting help, and talking to somebody. “For most teens, depression symptoms ease with treatment such as medication and psychological counseling,” as put by the Mayo Clinic (Teen depression by Mayo Clinic Staff). Unfortunately, some teens need to be reached out to in a more comfortable way. A woman on the NPR show mentioned an idea for a new app called mood ring. This app would allow teens to use emojis to privately express their current feelings. A certain amount of red flag emojis will trigger a response designed to find a way for these teens to talk about what’s troubling them and get the help that they need.

  • maddie swan

    Feelings are hidden away simply out of fear for others opinions, some even view asking for help as giving up.( new america media)“ I didn’t believe him because he seemed so normal at the time…like any other kid.”(New america media) The biggest problem with adolescent depression/anxiety is that people don’t realize or notice it until it’s too late, so they mask it, and try to push through alone. How would you know that the class clown goes home and has panic attacks as soon as she/ he gets home, or the “ populars”, or the quiet girl/ boy in the back of the class? How do you know if they go home and have a nightly battle “ do i commit suicide or do i wait for tomorrow night?” I do agree with the fact that adolescents go to people their age before anyone older. They feel that they are understood by people who have the same illness.

  • Julia

    I think there are many reasons why teens would rather bottle up their emotions than express their feelings. Coming from someone diagnosed with depression, it’s a lot easier to try and ignore these feelings and extremely difficult to talk about them. I feel that teens have a hard time talking about their struggles because uneducated people won’t validate how they feel. For example, in the audio recording explaining depression to my family Amber talks about how her family wouldn’t talk about her mother’s death and when she was sad, her family would accuse her of not being grateful. (Cavarlez, 2014 p.2). Another reason why young adults don’t talk about their negative feelings is because they don’t want to be labeled as weak or crazy. Mayo Clinic Staff say “Teen depression is not a weakness.” Having depression is something you can’t control, but you can treat the symptoms with medication and counseling. (Mayo, 2016 p.1). According to Child trends “1 out of every 3 highschooler experience symptoms of depression.” (KQED background). Since it’s becoming such an issue, i believe that everyone should be educated about mental illness so that they could help them self or a loved one in the future. oftentimes mental health is overlooked, but it is just as important as your physical health

  • Kayla Murphy

    Teens, from what I know, simply hide their feelings because they don’t want sympathy, they don’t want to talk, or they don’t want other people to talk about them. In the “Only Smiling On The Outside: Teens Hide Depression” the girl said that her friends see her as happy and excited, but she purposely acts like that around them to cover up that she is depressed. “I didn’t believe him [at first] because he seemed so normal all the time … like any other kid,” said Kelly from With Youth Depression, Young People Often the ‘First Responders’. Sometimes people can do a really good job covering up they feel just by putting a smile on their face. Amber Cavarlez says, “If I could tell my family anything about depression, it would be that their silence and denial won’t make my feelings go away.” Usually when people are depressed they need to talk about it, that’s usually the best way to get things off your chest and out of your mind. Some teens are probably embarrassed to talk about their feelings, so they just hide them because they think that it would be easier that way.

  • Olivia DuBay

    “I don’t want them to know how I’m feeling on the inside, so I try to cover it up” (Youth Radio Report). This, to me, is quite possibly the simplest explanation of why we try so desperately to hide the way that we’re feeling. Depression can be a difficult thing to admit that you are experiencing and it can be even more daunting through the teen years. In Zachary Foster’s article for New America Media, he writes that “Students often turn to social media instead to open up about their struggles.” It ‘s a lot easier to post about feeling inadequate, sad, anxious, angry, and depressed than it is to tell a person that you’re exceptionally unhappy with your life. Another student in the Youth Radio Report said “I hold myself to a standard that everyone needs me to be happy.” Some teens feel an obligation to be seen only as happy and are unable to show their true feelings. As we know from the Mayo Clinic report, “Depression causes a persistent feeling of sadness” that is a hard thing to tell someone.

  • Devra Athanasiadis

    When she asked her classmates what they thought of her they said she was vibrant happy and expressed it well, since “that’s who she is”. But, this young lady does not completely feel this way. She and her friend struggle with post-anxiety depression, and they both hide it through pretending to be happy. They discuss their symptoms and emotions which include suicidal thoughts, isolation, silence and crying. (NPR,2016)
    To follow this heart wrenching story the statistics come out. A study showed that nearly one-third of high schoolers experience symptoms of depression. The same study showed that 39-percent of girls and 21-percent of boys have reported feeling sad or hopeless. That’s nearly 60% of teens. Teens may be in denial about their feelings or have different cultural ideas/taboos about mental health. Taboos have held many people back from getting people from help for their mental illnesses. (Youth Radio,2016,) Some of the topics covered under the new law include warning signs, symptoms, and definitions of common disorders, as well as how to obtain mental health services and overcome stigma. I believe these basic tools to acknowledge and understand mental illness will give teens with depressed friends or teens who are depressed themselves the paths to help and treatment. Revisions to the state’s Health Framework curriculum aren’t likely, however, until the 2015-16 school year. Wilson adds that for young people in distress, turning to parents for help is not always an option. Parents may not have had to deal with such issues in their adolescence and may not know how to help or care for children who may be suffering with a mental illness. “People don’t know how to handle mental illness … we see people around and think, ‘Oh they’re just perfect on the inside and the outside,’ and it’s just not really the case.” (forester,2014)

  • Kevin Reichlin

    I believe that teens hide their feelings because they have a fear that they will not be taken seriously, or scoffed at and made fun of, especially young men. As the podcast, Only Smiling on the Outside stated, “Many teens struggle with depression,” and more often than not, they feel as though they would be better off isolating themselves from others rather than sharing what they’re feeling. Young men especially find it difficult to share their feelings for fear of being laughed at and seen as overly feminine by their male friends. Many people simply feel the need to make everyone believe that they aren’t feeling depressed. As one of the teens in the podcast stated, “Everyone needs to see me happy.” Many teens feel as though they’re being held to an expectation of happiness that they often cannot achieve due to their true feelings.
    Many teens are also becoming the “first responders” to these cases of youth depression. Depression is the most common mental illness in teens according to Only Smiling on the Outside, and many teens go to their close friends, often the same age, with their struggles, and the friends don’t know how to act. As stated in With Youth Depression, Young People Often the ‘First Responders’ when telling a teen’s story, “No one, after all, had ever spoken to her about how to respond in these kinds of situations.” This is often the case, depressed teens will go to their friends for guidance, and often, these friends have no idea how to help their friend in distress.

  • Libbey Jacobs

    There are many different reasons why teens are holding their feelings in and not telling an adult. “It could be they don’t feel understood by their parents or sometimes they don’t want to disappoint them … sometimes kids are actually trying to protect their parents, keep them from knowing just how rough of a time [they’re] having.”(New America Media) this is an excellent and relate-able reason. As someone who has depression and anxiety I relate well with the girl off the “Only Smiling On The Outside: Teens Hide Depression” (Youth Radio/NPR). although a teen could be the funniest person around the teen could be isolating themselves and doesn’t bother to tell anyone in fear that no one would understand her. If you discover a teen in your life that is overcoming depression one thing to remember about teen depression is teen depression isn’t a weakness or something that can be overcome with willpower.( Overview of Teen Depression:Mayo Clinic)

  • Maxx Nichols

    It is quite common that teens often feel anxiety and/or depression. This can derive from a multiplicity of factors such as hormone change, home life, and other social interactions such as school. “But for some teens, the lows are more than just temporary feelings — they’re a symptom of depression” (Mayo Clinic). Being a teen myself, I have experienced both anxiety and depression. From my personal standpoint, I have felt uncomfortable telling people because I would feel like they wouldn’t care and that these feelings are to get attention. “Still, rather than reaching out for help, Max says he kept his anguish “bottled up” from both of his parents. “My dad wouldn’t have understood whatsoever,” he says, “and my mom was too tired from work most nights”’ (New America Media, June 05, 2014).
    Teens do not want people to think that they are “different or weird” because of their feelings. They want to keep their social status. Though teens can keep their social status, their mental status suffers. According to NPR/Youth Radio, “Once you find someone to share your feelings with, everything starts to make sense again” (March 23, 2016). If teens will find some way to open up, either to adults, counselors, family, or friends, they will feel a lot better. Teens hide their feelings because they are afraid. They will only open up if they are given a safe chance to do so.

  • Devin LaFond

    I think every teen experiences some form of depression, some way more critical than others, but we all get it at one point. I think most people just think that they need to just keep it to themselves and not express exactly how they’re feeling. It can be difficult to talk about when you are depressed because you don’t want to be seen as a sad person or get sympathy from people. In the podcast, the girl and the guy are both seen as happy people in school even though they have depression. They never want to show it because of how they are looked at and don’t want to let down their peers so they bottle it up and vent or go through it alone most of the time. People will report things to their friends, not necessarily face-to-face, but over text messaging or they’ll put something on Twitter that is kind of vague or suggestive of depression (Forster, 2014). We don’t really ever want to just leave it out there for the public to see. People can be helpful and supportive with depression and there are plenty of apps like the “Mood Ring” and services to help you get better through depression.

  • Emma Dunneback

    There are many reasons that teens hide their depression. I believe one of the biggest reasons is because teens are afraid that if they reach out for help people won’t believe them or won’t take them seriously. When Kelly Morimoto’s friend came to her about his depression she even said, “I didn’t believe him [at first] because he seemed so normal all the time … like any other kid,” and this is the problem, teens are so good at hiding it, they look, “like any other kid.” Another reasons teens hide it is because they feel like seeking help like counseling is looked at as giving up, so they cover their sadness up with someone they aren’t. Like the boy said in the audio, “I hide the way I feel with funniness.” Meaning he’s pushing the undesirable feelings down and covering them up with something that will temporarily make him feel better. The problem with masking the feelings is that they’re always going to come back, and when you’re only getting help from your peers this can become scary when things get too serious, like suicidal talk. Kelly said that she feared missing a phone call from her friend because it could be a chance to save his life. That is something very serious that teens aren’t taught to handle, but unfortunately a lot of teens have had to go through that. And that’s why I think it’s a good idea to educate kids on how to handle situations like that, maybe that way teens wouldn’t have to mask their depression as much.

  • Gabriella

    Nowadays there are not many programs that can help teens who are having a tough time, but don’t necessarily show it. Depression is a serious mental health problem in many teens; it causes a feeling of sadness and loss of interest in things persistently ( Mayo Clinic Staff, 2016, para.1). Depression isn’t something that can be overcome with personal willpower. In many cases medication and counseling is needed ( Mayo Clinic Staff, 2016, para. 3). But how can teens be treated at school if they don’t show it?
    Isolation is what a few teens do with their anxiety and depression (Only Smiling On The Outside: Teens Hide Depression, 2016, para. 7). These teens try to cope with it in their own way, by talking to each other and venting, or usually just locking themselves in their room and crying (Only Smiling On The Outside: Teens Hide Depression, 2016, para. 7). Many times teens avoid talking about their feeling, but that will not help them ( Mayo Clinic Staff, 2016, para.1). Avoiding feelings won’t make them go away, it just makes the depression deeper ( Cavarlez, 2014, para. 8).
    To help teens in schools what I would do, is to make sure that other students don’t know the students who are going through and getting help. Because it is embarrassing when others know you are getting help. Also making sure that it was a counselor closer to the students age, instead of an older person, because younger people know how to communicate better. Usually teens know when they need help, so sometimes not getting the parents involved is a good thing.

  • Amelia Wagenschutz

    “Some 30 percent of adolescents in California report experiencing depression or related feelings, such as anger, anxiety or guilt, according to Kidsdata.org.” (Forester, 2014, p.4) A lot of people know that depression is a extremely common issue amount adolescents, but I don’t think people understand just how many people struggle with depression. In the audio, when the girl asked her classmates what they thought of her they responded with “Excited and playful.” and “You are always so happy.” yet she went home at night and dealt with sever depression and anxiety (NPR, 2016). This depression won’t just go away on it’s own, it requires medication and often counseling (Mayo Clinic, 2015). For many teens it is hard for them to deal with this because they have a hard time talking about it or telling anyone. Part of this reason is that throughout the teenage years you experience a lot of change and many teens can’t distinguish between the normal emotions that teenagers feel and there own feelings (Mayo Clinic, 2015). To make sense of these feelings it is important to know whether or not they are manageable. Another reason that teens tend to find their feelings is that they are more worried about what other people will think of them. They do not want negative labels to be stuck on them and they definitely don’t want people to pity or look at them differently. High school can already be hard and having a lot of people know about there personal issue can sometimes make it harder.

  • Cody Wright

    In middle school and high school teens have a lot on their plates and mountains of stress due to friends or grades, but kids should not have to hide their feelings. Being able to talk them out to relieve the pressure left by depressions grip, it may seem like a simple task but yet it’s a much more complicated process. Many diagnosed with these mental health problems are stuck between a rock and a hard spot because talking about their feelings are seen as taboo (Youth Radio/KQED) or they want to appear “normal”. (KQED Background) Unfortunately these are real things teens do and can lead to deep depression and major anxiety issues. Fortunately, many young people have started to act like “first responders” to those having a hard time and help them by talking it out immediately after the people start to feel them because some see that falling into counseling is like giving into their issues. (New American Media) To be able to talk with their peers about sensitive material without “giving in” gives the victim a sense of hopefulness when feeling guilty, angry, or depressed. But for those with a more serious problem like suicidal thoughts should definitely seek out medical attention, as it should not be avoided in any case. (Mayo Clinic) Where ever your status is or maybe I hope that you do the right thing whether it may be seeking help or giving it, teens do not have to fight their issues alone.

  • Emma Lynn

    Depression is described as “Teen depression is a serious mental health problem that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest in activities.” as stated by the Mayo Clinic, 2015. These feeling can be hard to share with others. Especially for teens. Teens tend to hide their feelings so they won’t be a bother or worry to others. Most feel the way the girl felt in Only Smiling On The Outside: Teens Hide Depression saying “ I don’t want any of them to know how I feel on the inside so I hide my feelings behind jokes.” Many find social media to be a quick and safe outlet “People will report things to their friends, not necessarily face-to-face, but over text messaging or they’ll put something on Twitter that is kind of vague or suggestive of depression,” said by Sarah Wilson in With Youth Depression, Young People often the ‘First Responders’. Teens won’t outright admit there feelings to others, but find that vague statements of helplessness help them.

  • Hannah Warren

    There are lots of reasons teens hide or bottle up their feelings. Most are for a feeling of protection, security, and they are afraid to tell others what they are feeling inside. In high school there’s a lot of stress on teenagers which then depression corners us and pulls us in. We found that depression is the most common mental illness in teenage years, said on NPR. (Audio) (NPR, 2016) “I didn’t believe him [at first] because he seemed so normal all the time … like any other kid.” (Forster, 2014) It is hard to help or comminute to someone with depression because most of the time people think they are fine, but really they could be hurting inside. Teen depression isn’t a weakness or something that can be overcome with willpower — it can have serious consequences and requires long-term treatment.(Mayo Clinic, 2016) In the end if you know someone with depression or feel it yourself, I hope you have the courage to ask for help or to talked to a counselor. No one should face this problem alone and their are people in your life who care about you and your health.

  • Mason Buck

    Men aren’t supposed to cry; they’re supposed to hold back all their emotions. They’re supposed to build a dam, stopping the river and letting pressure build until it’s too much. For male teens with depression, it’s a constant cycle of fear. Trying to hold back all of their feelings for fear of being made fun of, or being labeled as “overly-emotional” or “bitchy.” Many times, once the dam bursts and raw emotion comes pouring out, the only people a person feels safe with is close friends. “As with Morimoto’s friend, many of these young people turn to their peers first for help.
    ‘He talked to me about it a lot. There would be phone calls where he’d be sitting there with a knife in his hands. It was intense,’ says Morimoto.” (Forster, 2014)
    Teens battling depression today need safe places to express what they are feeling, without worrying about negative reactions from peers. A great example of one of these safe places is Mood Ring, and app that allows teens to express their emotions through emojis. If you have too many negative emojis in a row, the app will ask if you need support and help you get in contact with your support group. (Youth Radio, 2016)
    We can see that despite our negative attitudes towards teens opening up, we can save lives by letting them speak up in safe environments.

  • Mallory Dixon

    Teens hide their feeling for many different reasons. A big reason that they hide their feelings is because teens believe that they need to maintain this standard and do not want others around them knowing the other side of them. A girl on NPR asked her classmates what they thought about her, many of them said, “She is always smiling and laughing,” “She is always happy,” and “She is one of the funniest people I know” (Only smiling on the outside:Teens Hide Depression Youth radio/NPR). People who hide their feelings often tend to be the most funny people, even the girl from the NPR said that she was the class clown two years in a row. Depression is the most common form of mental illness in teens (Only smiling on the outside: Teens Hide Depression Youth radio/NPR). The depression will also never go away, getting medication and counseling is what is usually needed (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2016). But again it is hard for teens to tell others that they need to get help because they don’t feel comfortable. They are afraid of what others will think and don’t want others to look at them differently. Throughout the teenage years teens go through changes and they can’t figure out the normal emotions teens should feel and their own feelings (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2016). Stress from homework, school, family issues, work and many other contributors can affect teen’s mental health. Adding on from all that stress and having your friends and family know can be embarrassing and harder for some. We need to let teens who hide their feelings feel stronger and more comfortable so when they need to ask for help they can stop the pain they are feeling. Many of us also are very uneducated about this illness. Many teens are dealing with this mental illness and I think it is all something we should be educated on.

  • Evan Koetje

    It has always frustrated me how people always take depression as a laughing matter. People think that it isn’t something legitimate. They say “just cheer up”. What some may not understand is that it is an actual mental condition. Sadly, there are millions of teens that have to deal with it every day, and act like there is nothing going on. In the audio clip that we listened to, there was a girl that got voted class clown two years in a row. What they didn’t realize is that she is suffering from severe depression. She has to go to school every day pretending to be like someone she isn’t. (KQED, 2016) What’s really sad is that according to New America Media, there is 30% of the kids in California that suffers from depression. (Forster, p. 4). That means that 30% of the kids in California probably have a story similar to that of the girl’s in the audiobook. Their biggest problem is probably the fact that it doesn’t seem like a lot of them want anyone to know about their problem. Although whether they know it or not, there will always be help available. On the Mayo Clinic website, they give an overview on teen depression and do a good job at making sure they know that teen depression is not a weakness (Mayo Clinic Staff, p. 3) Some teens may feel like it can be a weakness to have depression, but it is very important to make sure that no one thinks that is the case.

  • Jack Guirey

    Depression and anxiety are not laughing matters. These are serious mental illnesses that can be harmful to the mental state of teenagers without them even knowing that they are struggling with these illnesses. The anonymous girl from podcast stated that “when I am having trouble I lock myself in my room and I start to hyperventilate, I want to be alone” (KQED, 2016). This is not the way to cope with anxiety-depression in the healthy way. Yet thousands of teenagers everyday still every day handle their depression this way. Your best option is to look to someone you know you can connect with and let them help you. The problem with this is that most teenagers see this as giving up rather than being “strong” and struggle through your depression (Forster, 2014, p. 2). For this reason many teenagers who suffer from depression choose to not show their feelings. Although I think it should also be said that problem of untreated depression is not all on the shoulders of teens. The parents of many kids who are routinely sad and possible clinically depressed often ignore their kids in the hopes that in them not bringing stuff up their kids will solve it themselves (Cavarlez, 2014, p. 8). This highly important issue of depression is so willingly overlooked by both teens and the adults who should be helping them. I think there should be a greater effort on both of these peoples parts to work together to help those who suffer from depression.

  • Kayla Stout

    It is common for teens to hide their feelings and yet we are almost always shocked when someone exposes their well hidden feelings. Somehow teens are talented at putting on a facade of a faultless life when the exact opposite is going on. This is unfortunate because bottling it up is always worse. So why do we do it? Though every circumstance is unique, I think it has something to do with not being understood, not being taken seriously, afraid of people’s judgement, feeling inadequate, and not wanting to be a burden to someone. “It’s not about finding answers it’s about letting go.” ( “Only Smiling On The Outside: Teens Hide Depression” Youth Radio/NPR). These kids need an outlet, someone to talk to who is supportive, whom they feel safe with. “Mental health advocates say making courses on depression or related issues more a part of the curriculum in schools could go a long way in preparing youth like Morimoto to both detect signs of distress and how best to respond when they do.” (Young People Are often “First Responders”). If schools educated students on how to respond and support someone who opens up about depression, this might create a more accepting and safe environment for those who are struggling. Maybe they would be more willing to confide in someone if they knew they wouldn’t be dismissed or taken lightly. “Teen depression is a serious mental health problem that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest in activities. It affects how your teenager thinks, feels and behaves, and it can cause emotional, functional and physical problems. “ (Overview of Teen Depression Mayo Clinic). The effects of teen depression is harmful and to think that there are numerous people struggling with this, keeping it to themselves because they are afraid, is sobering. Always be kind to one another, you may have no idea what battles they are facing.

  • Katelyn Olson

    In my opinion, teens hide their
    emotions because it has been classified as an unspeakable word in society.
    Teenagers learn more about sex in school than they learn about helping their
    struggling peers. “No one, after all, had ever spoken to her about how to
    respond in these kinds of situations”, said Zachary Forster. A lot of teens,
    rather than telling their feelings face to face will text them out or put them
    on social media. Zachary Forster says, “Students who get these messages then
    come to her (a school counselor) for advice on how to respond”. I feel as
    though that is not the normal case; a lot of kids would be worried about their
    peers but would blow it off their shoulder. The girl from the audiotape
    entitled, “Only Smiling on the Outside: Teens Hide Depression”, tells us, “I
    feel that I need to be smiling around my friends and peers” she was voted the
    class clown 2 years in a row and most of her classmates think she is a jolly
    soul. The Mayo Clinic’s definition of depression includes that it “causes a
    persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest in activities”. Yet, the anonymous
    girl from the audiotape tells us that she is more interested in school and her
    friends than most people.

  • Nick H.

    More teens deal with depression or hide their true emotions than most people realize. “Some 30 percent of adolescents in California report experiencing depression or related feelings” (With Youth Depression, Young People Often The ‘First Responders’). That statistic equates to roughly three kids in every classroom at school. A lot of the time teens feel the need to hold themselves to a standard and to avoid showing people their problems (Explaining Depression To My Family). Due to these facts I feel that it is necessary for “the creation of school-based wellness centers that train young people in a variety of health education topics” (With YouthDepression, Young People Often The ‘First Responders’). I feel like we don’t just need to create new spaces to help the people suffering from these conditions, but we all need to do our parts to help anyone we can that will open up to us because this is a problem that can’t be solved by a small number of people. I don’t think it is feasible to be able to eradicate this problem but we can definitely lessen the severity of it.

  • Adam Pall

    The first step schools should take in supporting student’s
    having a tough time is to be able to better identify students who are having a
    tough time and educate students on how to help them. As the girl said in the
    audio clip “Only Smiling On The Outside: Teens Hide Depression” many of her
    classmates see her as excited and playful and always smiling and laughing. Her
    classmates have even voted her the class clown two years in a row. What they
    don’t know is that she suffers from post anxiety depression and that she feels
    like everyone needs to see her as happy. She also says, “when we’re not at our
    best we need someone to bring out the other part.” And for some teens that
    person isn’t always their parent’s. According to the article “With Youth
    Depression, Young People Often the ‘First Responders’” turning to parents for
    help is not always an option. “It could be they don’t feel understood by their
    parents or sometimes they don’t want to disappoint them … sometimes kids are
    actually trying to protect their parents, keep them from knowing just how rough
    of a time [they’re] having.” This leads teens to reach out to their peers for
    help. Because of this I thing schools should work to educate teens on how to
    identify a friend that is struggling and give them some tools to try and help
    them, like in California where a new law was passed to expand mental health
    education in the classrooms. According to the previously referenced article, the
    new law includes education on warning signs, symptoms, and definitions of
    common disorders, as well as how to obtain mental health services and overcome
    stigma.

  • Elaina Schupbach

    Struggling with depression is a very real and hard-to-solve problem for today’s high school students. It seems that more and more students are communicating about their depression to family and friends. They are really bringing to light how they really feel and they aren’t the person they show they are at school or to family members. This brings up an important question about what the schools can do to help these teens with their depression. This is not an easily answerable question, but there have been some solutions suggested. One solution was suggested by Storm White in the audio Only Smiling on the Outside: Teens Hide Depression. She and a colleague had the idea of creating an app that tracked the certain emojis teens would use to describe each day. If the app felt like the emojis they were using conveyed a more depressed mood or were too consistent, it would suggest contacting someone from their support group, also set up on the app, consisting of friends or family. It was designed to make sure that teens can keep track of how they are feeling and get the support they need. A second issue is that students don’t know how to help themselves or others when they are feeling depressed. The article With Youth Depression, Young People Often ‘First Responders’ it was brought up that “mental health advocates say making courses on depression or related issues more a part of the curriculum in schools could go a long way in preparing youth like Morimoto to both detect signs of distress and how best to respond when they do”(Forster 2014 para. 6). These are two solutions that stood out to me.

  • Elaina Schupbach

    Megan Griffes

    How can schools better support students who are having a tough time, but don’t necessarily show it? #DoNowFeelings

    Schools could start supporting students by making them feel safe and letting them know they’re not alone. Teachers should be open to talking about it and make every student feel comfortable when coming to them for help and guidance no matter the issue. Currently, mental health and depression is not a very important topic, it is not thoroughly taught in any class, along with many other important things schools are choosing to skip over. It has come to the point where some students don’t even feel comfortable telling their own friends about what they are going through. One article says “when her friend first came to her to talk about his depression she was “shocked.” (Forster 2014 para. 1) Kids feel obligated to fit in and be like everyone else, even if some of those people are faking it just as much. One person in a Youth radio interview says he “holds himself to a standard” (Youth Radio, 2016) If school became a comfortable and safe environment, mental health of students could improve and students would feel less obligated to live up to everyone else’s expectations. Schools should start by talking more about the issue, stop letting students be shamed for how they feel by their peers and giving them resources to seek help.

  • Collin Kingma

    How many people feel like they put on a “mask” around other people? I believe that a good amount teenagers today would say this statement is true to them. “Nearly one-third of high schoolers experience symptoms of depression, according to Child Trends, a non-profit research organization that analyzed statistics gathered from CDC national data sets in 2013. (KQED, 2016)” Some of these “masks” are very strong. Like the girl in the audio that was suffering from depression said, she was voted class clown by her classmates two years in a row. None of her classmates suspected a thing about this.”But just because a young person has depression doesn’t mean that it’s obvious to their teachers, classmates, family members — or even themselves. (KQED,2016)” She hides her true feelings behind a mask. She is very conserved about these feelings and she doesn’t really tell anyone. The worst thing to do with these bottled up emotions is to hide them from others, especially the close ones in your life. I imagine everyone has felt depressed at a time in their life, but how you deal with it makes all the difference.

  • kayla rose

    Depression is a mental disease that people do not take serious. According to Mayo Clinic “Teen depression is a serious mental health problem that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest in activities” (Mayo Clinic,2016,p.1) I believe that teen hide their feelings because they are embarrassed, they don’t share their true feelings because it could scare the image that people have build, so many teens punch their feelings down so hard that the depression gets worse and worse.

    Another reason why I believe that teens don’t express their feelings is because they are afraid that will be judged or no one will believe them, in the audio radio Amber talks about the death of her mother triggered her depression and when her family refused to talk about it, it only made the depression worse. Amber said in the audio that it was “ Taboo to talk about feeling sad” and that her family would tell her “ that she is being ungrateful for what she has” (Cavarlez,2014,p.2)

    In my personal experience and opinion i think that everyone has experienced depression at some point in their life no matter what age, but i do agree that teens suffer the most from this illness.

  • Grace

    I think teens hide their feelings because that’s what they see as socially acceptable. They think that if they do share their feelings, people will think of them as weird. This happens more often with boys than girls. If you are a guy, society tells you that if you show vulnerability you are weak. This is why guys often times are unable or unwilling to share their feelings. In the article Why Do Teens Hide Their Feelings? they stated that “Nearly one-third of high schoolers experience symptoms of depression,” to me, this isn’t very hard to believe because depression can be a result of keeping your feelings or emotions to yourself. Over time, all of these feelings and emotions that you’ve kept bottled up start to cause you to feel depressed. I’ve seen this happen to a lot of people. One student from the audio resource Only Smiling On The Outside: Teens Hide Depression stated “In school I am considered the class clown, but what they don’t know is that I suffer from depression.” This just goes to show that even though someone might seem like they are a happy person, doesn’t mean they actually are. Many people who suffer from depression choose to hide it from other people rather than open up about it. Many times, people don’t want to open up about it because they fear that others won’t feel the same way or they will think less of that person.

  • Allison

    “On the Filipino side of my family, its taboo to talk about feeling sad. When my mom died, we dealt with it by going to church. We prayed to specific saints and lit candles. But we didn’t talk about it” (Youth Radio/KQED). This is the situation many teens with some sort of depression are in. In the Youth Radio NPR, a girl stated that when she is at home, she isolates herself in her room when she has anxiety attacks. She hyperventilates, and cries it out. When she’s at school, she puts on a happy face, saying: “I don’t want anyone to know how I’m feeling inside” (Youth Radio/NPR). Many teens who have some sort of depression hide it as well as they can, and there are many reasons.
    In some cases, teens feel as though they will bother, or upset their parents if they tell them about how badly they’re feeling inside. “When I was unable to shake off my sadness, my family would say, “You’re not being grateful for what you have” (Youth Radio/KQED). “Still, rather than reaching out for help, Max says he kept his anguish ‘bottled up’ from both of his parents. ‘My dad wouldn’t have understood whatsoever,’ He says, ‘and my mom was too tired from work most nights’” (New America Media).
    Even at school around their peers, teens often don’t feel comfortable expressing their true feelings. What these teens need is someone to talk to, and someone to be there for them. Although many depressed teens do bottle up their emotions, it is very unhealthy to do so. I believe that teens hide their feelings because they find depression to be a sort of awkward thing, and they feel like no one will truly understand what they’re going through, or what depression even is.

  • Ben LI

    Teen hide their feeling because they are scare what other would think of them. School should not be involve in student personal problem because that would be invading their space. School should just be a place for school work nothing else teacher should not be in anyone personal problem. Teen should not be soft and face their problem and feeling.

  • Julian Kirk

    Teens try to cover up their feelings because they are scared to let their feelings out probably because they are scared of what other people would think. Schools can help by providing people or professionals, that students can talk to about any of their problems and how they feel.

  • D Brown

    I think that with today’s relatively new social media outlets, teens are being exposed to so much, good and bad, it is overwhelming. As a whole, society is placing “standards” on what and how we should feel. Life is tough, add puberty into the mix and all that comes with that, and it is normal to feel sad and even depressed at times. The key is knowing that is can be helped and you can over come. You look for healthy, positive outlets that allow you to build yourself and grow. Find peoole that care, that you can open up to. Going against the grain in this day and age is difficult, but everyone trying to fit into the same mold is even more so. Raising an adolescent myself, I try to allow her to have her feelings regards how I think she should feel. All feelings and thoughts are yours and are ok. Not all actions and behaviors are… #MyCMSTArgs

Author

Youth Radio

Youth Radio is the Peabody Award-winning youth-driven production company headquartered in Oakland, California. For more Youth Radio stories and lesson ideas, check out www.youthradio.org .

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