Do you believe that, if you’re always looking down, this can influence a person’s mood? Charlie Brown of Peanuts certainly thinks so, as illustrated in the following quote.
“When you’re depressed, it makes a lot of difference how you stand. The worst thing you can do is straighten up and hold your head high because then you’ll start to feel better. If you are going to get any joy out of being depressed, you’ve got to stand with your head down.”
While ole Charlie puts a comic spin on depression, it’s certainly no laughing matter, and its occurrence can certainly be sparked by a specific circumstance or an overwhelming accumulation of them.
Interestingly, I read of one research study of Japanese children, which postulates the idea that because they are raised to bow (or avert their eyes and look down) that this may be one of the reasons for the high incidence of depression in Japan.
Of course, a depression or very sad feelings will probably not be alleviated by just picking your head up, but it’s certainly worth taking a pause and checking your stance. After all, every little bit you can do for yourself counts. So, as you travel your roads of grief, evaluate whether you’re always looking down or are you looking ahead to see what lies before you?
In the coming days, try an experiment. If you’ve noticed that you are lowering your head or averting your eyes, adjust your posture to a more attentive one. Shed your cloak of self-imposed invisibility, and tell the world that you are still alive and are ready to participate in life. Moreover, when you walk with your head held high, you will become more aware of the opportunities that are waiting for you to access.
How do I help my 16yr old daughter? She is so depressed and hates people she says. It makes her feel quilty to be happy is what she told me. Her daddy has been gone since March 24,2013,went to take a shower to go to the grocery store and had a massive heartattack and fell out of the shower.
If your daughter is truly depressed, I suggest you take her to see a trained counselor to confirm and/or treatment. This forum is only for an exchange of ideas and opinions. Without seeing the complete picture, it’s impossible to give accurate advice. I will offer you some thoughts to consider, but it is not to be regarded as medical or therapeutic advice.
Your comment about her feeling guilty about enjoying herself is a common result of a sudden death. You question yourself, for example, if there was something you couldn’t have done; if you left the house 5 minutes later, could you have prevented the death; how can I enjoy myself, laugh, smile, etc, if my father is dead … it doesn’t seem right; why is life so unfair; why do bad things happen to good people … or maybe I’m bad and so I’m being punished. And on and on …
So, she’s mad at the world and all the people who are still alive when her father is dead (hence, the hating).
For a girl on the verge of womenhood and probably starting to date, it’s especially tough to lose a dad. After all, he’s the role model for potential mates. She’s probably feeling abandoned, even though he didn’t intentionally leave. Unless she works through this abandonment, there’s a fair chance that she will get involved with men who will also abandon her, and this will leave her mad at the world again. This will be a repetition of the pattern established by her father dying. It’s a pattern that can be broken, but first she has to recognize it and detach from it vs. clinging to it as the way to live her life. This is work that most probably needs to be done in a therapeutic environment.
From the little you said, I don’t think she really hates everyone. She just hates what has happened and projects this onto people because she can’t change the past. It may be her way of empowering herself. Unfortunately, this “negative” power keeps her stuck.
You can tell her it wasn’t her fault, there’s nothing she could have done, etc. Rationally, she probably understands this. However, our rational and our emotional consciousnesses don’t run on parallel tracks … and, emotionally, she believes that these types of feelings are all she has left of her dad.
She’s going to have to work through her emotions and figure out she’s crowding out any joy that is available to her, as well as good memories of her dad and all the things he taught her and the things they did, by attaching to her negativity. This is a lot easier said than done. Perhaps, you can only nudge her in the right direction. You have to remember that adults and children grieve differently and, as much as you want her to be, she’s not going to grieve on your timetable. For both adults and children, it’s not good to bottle up your emotions, especially the negative ones. Perhaps, you can find a grief group for children where she could possibly find others who feel the same way. In a safe environment with like minded kids, she might be able to let down her guard and admit was she’s really scared of because anger is a manifestation of fear. Hope this helps a little.