Our Teens Have Everything And Nothing


Today, every other patient on my schedule was a depressed teen. I’ve been seeing all of these teens for a while now, and what sets them apart is that they’re doing all the right things, but they’re just not getting better.

Medications don’t seem to do the trick. They’ve been on medications. No improvement.

Counseling hasn’t worked. They’ve tried counseling. No improvement.

I’ve been seeing teens for the better part of 2 decades, but it’s only recently that I see so many who have long periods where they fail to improve.

What’s wrong with our kids, America?

Our kids are isolated.

They’re lonely.

They spend most of their time in a state of disconnected connection. When they are with friends, everyone is staring at a screen. They have hundreds of friends on social media, but nobody ever looks them in the eye.

They’re stressed at school, and worried about the future. And it’s no wonder, since adults have used scare tactics to try to get them to perform better on standardized tests and raise their GPA’s.

It’s easier than ever to get and use drugs of all kinds. Even if a teen isn’t interested in substances, they lose friends to substance abuse.

They have limited experience with making decisions or solving problems, because they’ve spent their entire lives under the watchful eye of adults.

They’re looking for their “passion,” hoping that’s where they’ll find hope for the future, but in truth, they just want to laugh and learn and explore the world like we did.

Their parents don’t look happy. We look stressed and distracted. We’re not giving them much to look forward to.

We don’t understand their lives, and they know it. A whole lot has changed and parents just haven’t kept up. This leaves them even lonelier.

Our teens have problems we can’t imagine.

They have everything and nothing.

The epidemic of teen depression doesn’t end when we get them to a therapist or a prescribing doctor. We have to listen to them, understand what’s wrong, and fix a broken culture that contributes to their loneliness and lack of hope.

Posted on February 25, 2019 .