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Adolescence is typically described as the ages  between 13 and 18 years old.   It is the period of discovery and identity  in the face of peer pressure, past/present trauma, social acceptance, academic demands, and parental conflict.  The discovery of individual identity  is often overwhelming, confusing, and disorienting.  

Adolescence is like a war against rejection with a goal of self-acceptance and appropriate differentiation in the context of belonging.     

Trauma and PTSD

“What lies behind you and what lies in front of you pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.” 

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Trauma and stressor-related disorders are characterized by exposure to traumatic or stressful events that overwhelm the natural ability to cope. The exposure may be a one-time experience, such as a natural disasters or car accident, or repetitive experiences, such as sexual or physical abuse, combat, battering relationships, etc.   (Bessel van der Kolf, 1987).


"I hate being depressed, but I am terrified 

of being happy." 

~author remains autonomous

"The lack of knowing what you feel 

is the feeling that you know."

~author remains autonomous

Depression is characterized by a combination of symptoms that create change from previous functioning for at least a two-week period. Symptoms can be: a loss of interest in daily activities; depressed mood for most of the day; a marked change in appetite or weight gain or loss; changes in sleep; loss of energy; difficulty making decisions/cognitions; psychomotor agitation; and/or suicide ideation. 


"Living with Anxiety is like being followed by a voice. It knows all your insecurities and uses them against you. It gets to the point that it's the loudest voice in the room. The only one you can hear."

Anxiety disorders are characterized by a excessive fear, whether real or perceived, and the anticipation of a future threat. This differs from transient fear or anxiety and is persistent for approximately 6-months.   

Self-Esteem & Self-Worth

"If fifty people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing."

~Anatole France

Low self-esteem and self-worth does not discriminate among age or gender.  Everyone has a basic need for social connections, a sense of acceptance, and a sense of belonging. Everyone has a need to determine who they are and how they fit.

People who experience low self-esteem not only see themselves negatively, they are more prone to associate with dysfunctional relationships or social isolate.  Either coping strategy is unhealthy.   Both can increase the risk for depression and other health issues.  

Self-harming & 

Suicide Ideation

"I sometimes think that killing myself would solve the problem. But, what's the point of killing myself when I am already dead?  I want to know what it is to LIVE." 

~ author remains anonymous 

"Self-harm refers to a person's harming his or her own body on purpose. About 1 in 100 people hurts himself or herself in this way. More females hurt themselves than males. A person who self-harms usually does not mean to kill himself or herself. But they are at higher risk of attempting suicide if they do not get help." (, 2017).

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that in 2014, suicide was the second leading cause of death for young people ages 10–24.  Suicidal thoughts and behaviors are not harmless bids for attention and should not be ignored." (, 2017).

Peer Relationships

"There are two sides to every coin.  The same is true with friendsOn the one side of the coin, this sense of belongingness and acceptance draws us to each other. On the other side of the coin, the sense of rejection and oppression mocks, taunts, and condemns."

~author remains anonymous

Everyone has a basic need for social connections, a sense of acceptance, and a sense of belonging. Everyone has a need to determine who they are and how they fit. 

There is a natural attraction among peers with similar likes, interests, and/or hobbies. There is a inclination to compare and compete with one another (in appearance, abilities, achievements, acceptance, social standing, etc). When these characteristics "label" a person positively, there is acceptance. When the label is negative, there is rejection.   Rejection.  Loneliness.  Isolation.  


Suicide Prevention Resources:   

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:

National Institute of Mental Health:

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration:

Center for Disease Control and Prevention:

US Department of Veteran Affairs:

OLOL Emergency:  (225) 271-6000

Baton Rouge Intervention Center: (225) 924-3900

National Suicide Prevention Hotline:  (available 24/7)  1-800-273-TALK or 1-800-273-8255.  Press 1 to talk to someone.

National Hopeline Network:  (available 24/7)  1-800-SUICIDE or 1-800-784-2433

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