Teenage Depression


Noa Pope

Depression is a very common, but very misunderstood mood disorder that causes a person to feel mentally drained, hopeless, and incapable of doing everyday activities. It can strike anyone at anytime, even if the person has no apparent reason for being “sad.” Depression knows no age, but people going through major changes in their life are more prone to go through a depressive episode.Teenagers entering high school are at high risk of depression because not only are their bodies drastically changing, so are their friends, surroundings, and views of the world.
The numerous changes happening all at once are often difficult for a teenager to process; he or she begins to feel overwhelmed, panicky, hopeless, and is left struggling to keep up with the ever-changing world around him or her. On top of all of the change and rush of emotion, teens are not properly educated on how to deal with the emotions that come with the changes. Instead of reaching out for help, many teens find themselves turning to drugs/ alcohol, self harm, or even suicide to cope. Suicide “is the third leading cause of death for 15- to 24-year-olds” in the United States, and ninety percent of teens who commit suicide have some type of mood disorder, such as depression (“About Teen Suicide”). Studies show that the number of people experiencing depression is rising quicker than it ever has, but the number of people seeking help has not risen at all.
But why is the number of people with depression rising, but the number seeking help staying stagnant? Ms. Shrewsbury, one of Renaissance High’s counselors believes, “It’s really hard for high schoolers to talk about depression because they feel like they’re the only ones who are experiencing it. They look at other people, and they’re like… why are they so happy and I’m not?… What they don’t know is that lots and lots of people experience anxiety and depression. [Depression is one of] the most treatable mental health issues, but some people don’t get help because they don’t want to talk about it.” It is important that schools encourage education and openness about mental illness. It needs to be known that many of our peers are experiencing the same issues as us; honesty and awareness are the first steps towards a culture where teens can seek help for depression and other mental illnesses.
A word of advice from Mrs. Patton, an English teacher at Renaissance High school: “Don’t stop talking until someone starts listening.” Just because you feel as if you are the only one in the world struggling with depression, does NOT mean you are. You are surrounded by people who know exactly what you are going through because they are or have struggled with the same things.

It’s up to you to start the conversation. Acknowledge your struggles and reach out for help. And most importantly, remember you are never ever alone!

Suicide hotline number: 1-800-273-8255

“About Teen Suicide.” Edited by D’Arcy Lyness, KidsHealth, The Nemours Foundation, Aug. 2015, kidshealth.org/en/parents/suicide.html.



Chip monument in Downtown Franklin

By Noa Pope

(9/27/17) One-hundred eighteen years ago a statue named Chip was erected in the middle of Downtown Franklin’s square. Chip is a Confederate statue that was built using the money the United Daughters of the Confederacy raised to build a statue honoring the Confederate Soldiers who died in battle. For 118 years the statue has been relatively ignored and has caused no dramatic controversy. On August 12, 2017, however, the attitude towards the statue changed drastically. In Charlottesville, Virginia a ““Unite the Right” rally [happened as a protest] against the removal of a statue of Confederate icon General E. Lee.” This white supremacist group, led by Jason Kessler, killed 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injured 19 other anti-racist protestesters protesting against the white-supremacist group (“Charlottesville Attack”).
This tragic event has caused heated debate all over the country, including our hometown, Franklin, TN, about whether or not Confederate statues should be removed. These recent events have divided the citizens of Franklin about what to do with the Confederate statue that stands in Downtown Franklin. Should it be destroyed? Should it be moved to a museum? Or should Chip stay where he is?
Through a series of tweets made on August 17, 2017, President Donald Trump said, it is “[s]ad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments. You can’t change history, but you can learn from it.” While it is true that history cannot be changed and needs to be learned from, having statues erected in the middle of town is not the way to teach people; instead, it makes a statement that racism, hatred, bigotry, and everything the Confederacy stood for is what our town, our county, is made of today.
The claim that “it is part of our history and history will be forgotten if we rid towns of reminders of it” is a mask white-supremacists put on to hide their racism. History will not be forgotten if these statues are removed; in fact, removing the statues is the real way to show our country HAS learned and HAS grown from history. Having a statue that represent racism in the center of town surrounded by the court house where lynchings and corporal punishment happened many years ago shows that we, America, are still built on these immoral beliefs (“Williamson County Convention and Visitors Bureau”). If history preservation is the true reason for these statues, then why do we not see statues of heroic slaves, such as Nat Turner? Why do we not see Martin Luther King Jr.? Why do we not see the side of the oppressed, the side who ultimately won the war? The Confederate statues littering the U.S is a sign that although the Confederacy lost the war in 1865, they are winning today.

Question: What do you think about the removal of the statues? Do you think they are an appropriate representation of U.S history?