Sadness and melancholy: antidotes against the slump
The sadness and melancholyIn a broad sense, they can almost be said to be synonymous concepts. These are widely known moods and many of us experience them at least once a day, perhaps coinciding with the sound of the morning alarm ... A very autumn emotion, of languid gestures, half-closed eyes and trees with bare branches .. .
In principle, when talking about melancholy, it is not necessary to identify it with a personal problem, such as, for example, school failure, difficulties in relating, etc. In adolescents, mood changes are very normal, with their ups and downs, as a consequence of their normal maturation process. The reasons can be varied, from those that have to do with your inner world, to those caused by physical changes and those crazy hormones that run your body from top to bottom. Their emotional experiences are of high intensity, but of short duration, with what the feeling of sadness takes hold of them quickly.
Sadness, a time to deepen
Experiencing sadness in one's life (in the sense that we give it here) is a natural and healthy phenomenon that probably connects us with the depth, with the intimacy, and makes us more sensitive. That sadness, that gray time, can play an important role. Think, for example, of the sadness that arises when we live the death of a loved one, or that melancholy that follows the rupture of all important relationships. How could we act, continue behaving as if nothing had happened, before facts of such strength and meaning! There is nothing left but to "sink" in the sadness, to retreat to itself to emerge stronger ... Although perhaps at that moment we do not understand it that way.
Feeling valued, an antidote to the 'slump'
For those moments of "low" to serve for something, it is important that our children feel valued in their proper measure, have a good self-esteem. This is something that acquires a letter of real need during adolescence, in which the insecurity produced by leaving childhood can become overwhelming and very destructive. The "worst" of the boys has a huge value as a person that is, and that must be left very clear.
You have to help them to become aware of how much they are worth. As parents and educators we have to enhance those valuable aspects that they have more obscured or blinded by their own optics, given the peculiar psychological dynamics of adolescence.
Antidotes against sadness
Except for cases that are more specific to specialists, the sadness of adolescents does not usually - and should not - last for a long time; You will soon find positive aspects in life that lift your spirits.
1. Friends So important at this age, with them they can talk, talk and talk, bringing to light the feelings they carry inside and, as the saying goes, just as a shared joy is a double joy, a shared sorrow is half worth.
2. Temporality We already know that the bad moments always happen, and that the sun ends up shining after a storm, but maybe they do not; First, because maybe they have not had too much experience of those bad times. Having contradictions, problems and negative events is a true learning for a teenager, so do not avoid those experiences.
3. Positive thoughts.We can help them to know how to fight negative thoughts, to flee from complaining and self-pity as two of the worst enemies. Do you have a problem with a friend? Well, you will have to solve it; But what does not make sense is that it spins around all day, that it takes away his appetite or leads him to shut himself up at home out of fear.
Characteristics of sadness or melancholy
- A healthy melancholy can help to look inside, to experience other aspects of our personality. It is good to talk with the children of this in their high moments, so that when the basses arrive, they have handles.
- It is very different to feel bad, sad or melancholic because of a flu start that because of a bad season with friends. It is very good that they understand and accept their moods to give the right importance to each situation.
Guidelines to combat sadness and melancholy
1. To understand oneself, It is very useful to try to understand the feelings of others. The cinema, literature, etc. You can help them, as long as there is some reflection on those characters.
2. Something that positively influences children is to teach them to recognize the goodness of life, since while they continue filtering only the bad, they can not free themselves from that sad mood that dominates them. When you filter the positive of each day, you are helping them to be positive and realistic.
3. Communication is essential to work against sadness. You have to take time to talk to them about their concerns, even though they may seem unimportant things: everyone's perspective may be very different, but we would break the communication channels if we rejected their "problems" because they are not "serious" things. We can help them learn to say what happens to them, through questions or open affirmations. For example, to say to them: "I imagine that it made you furious", "I would be ashamed", etc.
Adviser: Doctor Ángel García Prieto, psychiatrist.