depression and common school practices

So, the Mount Si school admin wishes to shut down a contest that some boys had considered fun.

Lets take a look at some other things which are, of course, completely unrelated .  . .

Per some statistics about 1 in 8 adolescents “have” clinical depression.  That would be more than 10% of the school student body, if the Mount Si or Issaquah student bodies have a similar rates of clinical depression and more ordinary depression as the rest of the US population do.

Of course, a contributing factor in depression is, apparently, living in economic poverty.  Presumably fewer kids in Snoqualmie or Issaquah have that problem than do those in Seattle.  Perhaps therefore, the rate of depression problems is less among those students?  The same study that found the disparity in depression rates based on poverty also, still estimated or allegedly found that 16% of the population not living in poverty have been diagnosed with depression.  The study was done Gallup with phone interviews and then the research organization then estimated, based on their data, the rate for the country.  Perhaps the estimate is too high, but people from richer areas, at times, are “depressed” also.

As many as one in 33 children and one in eight adolescents have clinical depression. (Center for Mental Health Services, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, 1996)

Untreated depression is the number one risk for suicide among youth. Suicide is the third leading cause of death in 15 to 24 year olds and the fourth leading cause of death in 10 to 14 year olds. Young males age 15 to 24 are at highest risk for suicide, with a ratio of males to females at 7:1. (American Association of Suicidology, 1996)

Supposedly, according to one source more than 5000 teens commit suicide per year and  19% of young people contemplate or attempt suicide each year.  (Of so it is alleged by that source, but that statistic sounds high or misleading to me.) So, statistically speaking, we could make the guess that there are kids at Mount Si and/or Issaquah who contemplate or attempt suicide from time to time.  When writing this page, I went searching for statistics . . . and these statistics seem quite high to me.  I do not know if the statistic generators have been exaggerating or if depression among teens is in fact as prevalent as some of the statistic generators suggest.

Between 10 to 15 percent of teenagers have some symptoms of depression at any one time.

Because I have a suspicion that some of the statistics given above were somehow exaggerated, here is a batch of them which appear to be more reasonable:

Among young Australians aged 12-25 years, depression is the most common mental health problem. Around one in-ten young Australians will experience an anxiety disorder in any given 12- month period.4

So, statistically speaking, speaking of the middle and high schools across America, whatever they are doing, together with what parents and churches are doing or not doing, is leaving probably 6 to 16% of teens with symptoms of depression, depending on which sources you are using for your statistics.

(I am not sure if some of the persons who make some of these claims have had a personal or financial motive which has caused them to exaggerate or distort the prevalence of depression . . .  It seems that there is at least a range for some of these “numbers.”  It is not clear if the %s supposedly found which are low are correct or if the %s which are supposedly found which are high are correct or if the truth is somewhere in the middle.)

Now, the numbers may have changed a bit over time since some of these statistics were created.  Some of the above statistics are from about 20 years ago.  If schools are getting better at reducing bullying, then, in fact, there would probably be a bit less youth suicide and perhaps also a lowered youth depression rate.

And, while I am about to discuss exercise, art appreciation and hugging, we should recognize that a significant factor in depression is one’s ideas about God (religion) and one’s place in the world and one’s contribution, if any, to the world.  Whether or not you “meditate” and whether or not you get ******* for fun are also factors.

I would not want anyone to feel badly if he is depressed and exercises   and is still depressed . . .  There is one’s views on God and life purpose which often predispose people of “certain faiths” or certain brands of certain faiths to be more or less depressed than otherwise.  (Note: the link discusses chiefly one of several possible contributing religions.  Also, while ************** seems to often be a contributing cause of depression, there are different strains.)

Of course, no matter how much “your” religion or the religion of a student contributes to or reduces depression, the pros and cons of that religion are probably not going to be debated much.  At least, not directly, by school administrators or teachers.  So, a person might make some changes in every area listed below and there still be depression-type problems–and some of those depressive-type problems, statistically speaking, may be reduced or resolved with a change in worldview and understanding of God.

Now, I am not sure what training the school administrators of Mount Si or of Issaquah have had, but there is the question as to what, if anything, they can or should be doing to reduce the rate of depression, by means of discussion and encouragement in the areas permitted to them, among their kids.

And or course, lots of schools now have a school counselour.  School counselours may make recommendations or discuss ideas ideas in this area, I suppose.

Is what school admin might suggest nothing at all?  Of course, I am not God, but anyone can wonder if there are some good ideas that might help . . .  I think that the lower number I have seen is that about 5% of teens are suffering from MDD, “major depressive disorder.”

Are there some common sense ideas which also happen to be proven by medical and psychological research–research that is apparently not of great interest to certain people and which is, perhaps, sometimes not of interest to random school administrators?  Is there at least one current or former administrator of an unnamed high school who is, perhaps, not a strong fan of personal exercise?

Remember that the average time Monday through Friday of females ages 15 and above in the USA is about 15 minutes.  (Note that the studies find that teens are more active than adults, on average.  The average teenager does spend more time than 15 minutes on average in sports, recreation and exercise.) This average is composed of some girls and women who train for track or go to barre and yoga class and others who do nothing at all, on average per day.  There are some women who spend several hours a day in exercise of various types and for every one of her, there are 3 to 15 girls and women who do not exercise that day.

And various studies find that exercise has a strong beneficial effect on “depression” . . . and one of the very best medically/statistically proven “treatment methods” for depression includes exercise as a main element.

That method is called Therapeutic Lifestyle changes.  It is taught, practiced and studied at the University of Kansas.  One of the six main elements is exercise.

The studiers of TLC write,

In fact, several studies have found that exercise is about as effective, if not more effective, than most antidepressant medications.

We’ve found the most effective exercise schedule to get antidepressant effects is 35-40 minutes of moderate physical aerobic activity, at least three times per week.

Hummmmm  . . . exercise, hotness & depression . . .  I wonder what links there could be  . . .  let me think . . . it is hard to come up with some ideas here . . . what links could there be?  Are there any links at all among these things?

Now, if all we did was that some of the girls were to run, walk, jump, swim and dance–and maybe some of the boys were to photograph them and people be happy with that or maybe somehow for some reason no one does any photos–how might that (the exercising on a regular basis) possibly affect the mental health of anyone?

Listening to Mozart and Bach are also found to reduce or eliminate anhedonia, an aspect of depression.  (However, I believe that a variety of other music will have similar effects; it simply has not been studied and proven.  It would be nice of you, however, to skip metal or cacophony.)

Following up on a small number of recent studies, the Mexican team conducted an experiment on 79 patients of an Oaxaca clinic. The 14 men and 65 women, ranging in age from 25 to 60, were diagnosed as suffering from low to medium levels of depression. They were not taking any medications for their condition.

All participated in an eight-week program. Half the group took part in a 30-minute weekly counseling session with a psychologist; the other half listened to a 50-minute program of classical music each day.

Listening to Mozart and Bach had superior results, in terms of reducing or eliminating depression and its symptoms, to talk and counseling therapy in the study.

One study found that 75% of persons desire more hugs and 1/3 persons have no hugs per day.  A wide variety of other studies find that hugging is good for your mood and creates happiness and greater satisfaction with life.  There are so many studies on the beneficial effects of hugging (and kissing) and mental, physical and psychological health that Dr. Mercola does not include them all–he does not know them all!–in his page of discussion on the topic.

Of course, different schools have different practices on the matter of hugging . . .

However, in one experiment, the researchers created a study and divided people into a test group and a control group and measured their moods.  They then asked the college students who were part of the test group to make it a point to hug 5 people a day (and not simply hug a bf or gf 5 times a day).  After a few weeks, the researchers again measured the moods of the students and they found that those who had been engaged in the intentional hugging were happier, more satisfied with life and less “depressed.”  You can find the study summarized in the How of Happiness, p. 6*, if I recall the page number correctly, no pun intended.

The total economic cost of depression in 2000 was $83 billion and most of that cost was in lost workplace productivity.

If by chance art appreciation in general is good for people and if art creation or appreciation are a part of preventing depression, the truth is, I believe, that most girls in high school are not trying too much to make their appearance a positive, fun, *** and artistic event for others.  Of course, a lot of girls, perhaps most, have not considered if their being *** is one kind of art.  At least, I am speaking of how the girls were, on average, at my high school, when I went to high school.  I don’t think things have changed too much  . . .  Maybe I am wrong; maybe I don’t remember the right ones . . .  Maybe my classes did not have many of the cheerleaders and that was the “problem” for my remembering a dull high school in terms of *** girls . . .

Girls could wear red lipstick and usually do not . . . girls could wear red nail polish and usually do not . . . girls could wear fishnets, yoga pants or thigh highs and maybe a few of them do, but really, in school, most of the girls in school–as best I can recall–were not trying to be *** and most were not much trying to be artistic in dress and style.  I am not sure if that is because mom or dad or the church youth group leader or the principal would have felt a need to have a talk with them.  I am not sure if it is because some people have the idea that *** means just wearing way less clothing and that is all there is to it . . .

We could check “the plastics” of Mean Girls .  . . on a common day at school.  This way we’ll know that I am not exaggerating when I go by what I remember of high school some years ago.  Now, one or more of them is a cheerleader and the plastics are–all three of them–not overweight.  Thanks for being nice to us, oh “mean girls.”  Note however, the lipsticks colors, the stockings if any, the hose, the no fishnets or thigh highs, the cleavage shown if any or the yoga pants which are absent . . . though yes, we do see some thigh of one of them in the cafeteria . . .

They are hot at parties but not at school?  I kind of think so, though I will give some points for her having fun while being a cheerleader while also being lifted aloft by the guys of the football team!  Tis ok; perhaps it is normal to not be hot in the school lunchroom, even if one of the plastics! Regina George with her friends “the plastics” when in the school cafeteria or even in the mall  . . . they seem to be a complete collapse when compared to Becky G, Ariana Grande, Britney Spears, Inna, Andreea Balan and others.  They are even “losing,” from my point of view, compared to Skylar Stecker in most of her music videos. Maybe “the plastics” while at school in class or the cafeteria would lose to the 10-year-olds of Girlz . . .

Maybe I have higher expectations . . . or maybe girls in school just normally do not try much and that is normal!

 Most of the girls in high school (as best I can remember) at least when in school itself, even those who are attractive, are not trying very much to be *** and are not trying to make an artistic statement.  And, that is ok, but life may be less fun that way.  Everybody can make choices for themselves, but the choices we make are less fun or more fun for us and for others.

Ok . . . well . . . who cares?  I don’t know . . .  I don’t suppose that art appreciation, art creation and going to museums has anything to do with anyone’s mental health . . .

Do plastic girls only wear red lipstick when one of them is given 1/4 of the screen?  Are they enticing or intriguing at the mall or only while at parties at home?  Forgive me if I have not seen the whole movie in the last year, but if you wish to find a gal being a bit ***, you may wish to consider Britney Spears Hit Me Baby One more time or Ariana Grande in Focus!

So, you folks tell me, if you wish, which are *** and which are ***?  “Regina George” or Ariana Grande?  “Karen Smith” or Antonio Banderas?  “Gretchen Weiners” or Skylar Stecker or Andreea Balan?

Oh, I can’t imagine that some girls doing athletic things might be *** without trying . . .

Rachel McAdams portrays Regina George, leader of the plastic girl group. In part of the film, she is flirty, flirting and interesting. Here I think she is being herself in the school cafeteria, while she is reasonable but not particularly hot. Like Regina, even most attractive girls in most high schools are not particularly trying to be hot–at least in many common situations at school.


Of course, though, the same person may be *** or *** when trying or not or when showing herself differently or doing different things.

This character seems like someone who seems *** without even trying . . .
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