Teenage depression

I'm just wondering if I could ask your advice..

My friend has a lovely 16 year old daughter who looks happy and carefree on the surface but drinks herself into oblivion every weekend and seems to be sinking deeper and deeper into depression, she says she 'can't see the point', has felt that way since age 10 and spends every night awake 'just staring into the darkness'. (She's stunningly beautiful and smart etc etc, everyone is looking for an external reason for this but it feels very 'existential' to me and I suspect she can't even find the words to describe it to people who care about her.)

At the moment she's been given sleeping pills, has had 6 sessions of counseling which she says didn't help, and is about to be prescribed anti depressants although her mum's reluctant to allow this. Other advice she receives is to "get more exercise, don't drink so much, smoke so much weed" etc but I feel the drink and weed is her way of coping at the moment.

She has asked me about my meditation courses in the past and when I asked her if she had any spiritual view of the world, she said yes, there must be something otherwise 'there's no point'. I feel really drawn to her and she seems fond of me, although we don't know each other very well, I found myself awake last night trying to work out if there was something I could do to help. I know she has cut herself in the past and am afraid that might escalate if her feelings are dismissed by those around her, she's very smart and determined and I think quite capable of weighing everything up and deciding to kill herself.

I guess although I definitely resonate with your words on depression on the Openhand site, I'm in some way wary of offering it to a 16 year old, and of alienating others around her who don't see things in a spiritual light. Of course I can share my own experiences with depression but I'm afraid of encouraging her to 'go deeper into the experience' in case I push her over the edge. My other thought was to offer her a book by Dorothy Rowe about depression, but then nowadays that feels to me to be also slightly missing the point, ie the spiritual element.

Sorry, this is a bit muddled, but I wondered if you'd worked with any teenagers and if you have any advice!!

Big hugs xxxx


Hi Sophie,

Thanks for sharing this. I think its really important because I know there are zillions of disaffected teenagers and youngsters out there who've reached the place where they just can't see the point to society any longer.

To me mankind has reached a crucial crossroads. We have constructed a society based on the precept that ever increasing consumerism is the answer to all our hopes, wishes and desires; that we have to acquire, shape or satisfy something in the external 'drama' when all the while the only thing that can give us the sense of completeness we're looking is to be found 'in here'.

So most people spend their lives trying to shape the external drama in some way to bring a sense of fulfilment, love, joy or security but in truth the external drama will never deliver these things. Some may kid themselves for a while and find a degree of okayness or comfortable numbness but unless we are truly going inwards and using the external drama as a mirror to the inner self we will never truly find fulfillment, happiness and contentment.

That's why so many people around us right now are dissatisfied, unhappy or depressed. In my view this will become increasingly prevalent amongst the young over the coming years. Why so? Because there is an acceleration of consciousness happening where we are awakening to the soul and this is happening especially rapidly amongst the young.

So all of a sudden they will feel the beauty, joy and expansive liberation of the soul only then to be crushed by those around them. They may feel they are totally at odds with the control, limitation, constriction and judgmentalism of society. The Matrix does not want us to be free. It wants to pigeon-hole us into boxes, assign labels to us, cause us to live lifetsyles that suit the corporate marketeers so that we will consign our lives to the treadmill of Industrial Consumerism - it wants to bleed us of energy so that the rich few may get a little richer and more powerful.

The Matrix is prevalent everywhere. Even those 'good' people who believe they are only doing good (like our parents perhaps) frequently only really know how to give conditional love. They want us to conform to a way that fits with society. They can't risk us being unique or different - this might be construed as being 'weird' or 'way out' and that just isn't acceptable.

From an early age we are 'shoe-horned' into a way of living which is totally against the way of our soul. So awakening teenagers (like your friend) will be feeling pulled in two completely opposing directions. Family, friends, doctors and society who generally don't recognise that we have a unique soul which wishes to express its freedom, would rather we followed the path that they want, advise or feel comfortable with. On the other hand our soul is pulling in a completely different direction - that of unique and spontaneous expression in the moment that only we can know ourselves. No one can prescribe that. This contradictory pull becomes an almost an impossible situation - no wonder kids get depressed!

In my view, there is only one way forwards. Your young friend is awakening to her soul. She's realising that there's no point to society - indeed there isn't other than to act as a mirror to the indwelling self. No amount of doctors, parents, medication or anti-depressants is going to convince her that society is truth. No corrective psychology is going to help her become comfortable with living a lie. Her soul is waking up and it won't wait.

If you're worried about her being pushed over the edge, well I have news for you - she is already over it!!! In my view what needs to happen now is that she needs help in allowing her soul to emerge - to open her wings and fly. She'll need help in doing this - she'll need a bridge between the world of illusion and the world of truth. Perhaps that's your role in all this? Maybe you're meant to be that bridge? Maybe you can suggest that what's really needed is for her to find her centre through meditation - in the widest sense; that she really needs to connect more with those experiences that give her joy, liberation and sense of completeness within. She'll need help in understanding what is really going on within her.

Maybe a spiritual awareness course will help your friend or at least to meet with someone who can help unfold greater awareness - maybe some one-on-one work. She would need follow up help - a degree of quite close supervision. Maybe you could help here? Of course there may be resistance from her parents. Here's where a bridge is very important. Maybe you're given to explain to them about the need for self realisation in a way that will calm their fears - in a grounded non "airy fairy" way.

You may have resistance to this yourself. You may consider it a great responsibility and question whether you have the skills or even right to get involved. Maybe you might be worried about making the situation worse. Here's where trust in the universe really comes into its own. I know you've recently stepped onto the path of guided self realisation. To me, that pathway is about divine service - service to the awakening of others. In radiating our light more strongly inevitably we are invited to become a beacon for others. If you shine your light, you're going to attract seekers of the light.

So I believe you're being invited to act here as a "lightworker". I could be wrong but the only way of really knowing is to continue along your pathway always asking "what is my highest truth in this interaction?" "What are my own distortions and limitations that I'm being invited to overcome?" "What is the synchronicity of the Universe really asking me to do?"

If you ask these questions you WILL be answered and you'll be answered quickly. I believe you'll be left in no doubt as to what to do. Your ego might not like it, might resist or deny but in truth you'll know exactly what is supposed to happen. So trust is the key - trust that a Benevolent Higher Consciousness really know's what is best for your friend and with your help can bring that into being.

Yes, a tall order indeed, but you have the soul to fulfill it. Our children have been imprisoned for too long. Now its time for those courageous ones amongst us to stand up and be counted. To stand up for love and liberation. To show our kids that there's a better way. One that is not limited by fear and judgment. That we can accept each other just as we are without needing to change, shape or control. We've reached a time where love will not be squashed or crushed any longer. Love will out - it is inevitable. Who amongst us has the guts to follow that new wave whatever the personal cost? Higher Consciousness is "advertising in the skies" for people like you!

In my afternoon meditation today I was given to share something else aligned to this thread. It is how valuable and important the interaction with children can be for adults in their own self realisation process.

Many kids today seem to be awakening much faster than previously. I seem to encounter and hear about the psychic and intuitive sensitivity of children with increasing regularity. In addition to this, I seem to come across kids who are very empathic. What is the effect of this?

Well for the children it can be really difficult. They will be picking up all kinds of 'vibes' from their parents and background which they can't really explain. It may cause them to be hyperactive, over energetic or quite frenetic. Maybe on the other hand they become withdrawn and introverted. If this is dealt with in an empathic way by adults, then the potentially harmful distortions that may arise can be quickly dissipated. However if we as adults are less then understanding we can make the situation a whole lot worse.

I myself have three children and my son Ocean is by far the most empathic and evolved. He picks up all kinds of energies which he's unable to articulate or understand. I've found it requires us to be absolutely clear and profoundly honest about our own motivations for saying and doing the things we do. If I give him guidance on a subject but there is extra energy in what I offer - frustration for example - he will surely pick it up. The result is he won't hear what I'm saying and can get quite defensive which damages the exchange between us. If the pattern is allowed to persist, then I've witnessed it can breed quite strong distorted behaviour patterns - disrespect for authority for example; disinterest, anger or resentment.

I also observe especially in "New Age Families" that often the approach to this challenge is to not set boundaries at all. In other words the child is allowed to grow and explore but without practically any parental control - all manner of anti social behaviour is tolerated in this way (food distortions are classic for example). To me this leads to other types of distorted behaviour patterns that are just as damaging for the child. They become self centred and over egoic for example.

The soul has incarnated to explore and express its nature and yes we as guardians must allow the greatest freedom possible for this divine expression to arise. Tenderness is one sure fire way of encouraging the emergence of soul. However the soul has several intrinsic characteristics and all of us (both female and male) possess varying strengths of the male Warrior energy of purpose. So kids came here to explore that strong sense of purpose too. The important aspect of supporting and facilitating the emergence of Warrior energy is to set boundaries - why so? The soul is experienced in each of us as a flow of energy just like a river of consciousness. Our challenge is to align with the centre of that flow and just as a river has banks, our soul has boundaries which denote exactly what is in the flow and what isn't. So as guardians it is our responsbility to help growing kids realise and understand their own boundaries.

Another facet of the soul is to find and maximise the highest harmony in all situations. We cannot achieve that if we are not sensitive to the energies and needs of others - in other words if we do not respect the energy of the moment. So it is our task as parents to help kids acclimatise to authentic reality by respecting the energies of other people and the various interactions. We might do this by teaching a form - for example that it can be rude to interrupt two people having a conversation who are in mid flow. The form invites kids to be respectful and then in time to actually feel the energy of the exchange so that the form itself can now be dispensed with leaving them to act spontaneously and authentically in the moment - maybe their purpose is to break the energy to find a higher harmony but they certainly won't be able to achieve that if they can't first harmonise with the energy and truly feel it.

So yes in my opinion we do have to set boundaries and limitation but we need to be extremely careful that in applying that guidance we are not being controlling or crushing. The flower of youth requires careful watering!

I've found in my own experience with children this invites me to be absolutely crystal clear about my motivations for doing things. Its helped me reveal and dissolve blockages and although at times fatherhood has been deeply challenging, I see it as an amazing blessing that I am very thankful to be experiencing. As Jack Nicholson said in that wonderful film "As good as it gets", it makes me want to be a better man!

Thanks for all your offerings on this, I've been mulling it over for a few days, had a chat on the phone with my teenage friend's mum and gently brought up my own experiences and feelings about how meditation had benefited me, also mentioned Unfolding into Light in case that resonated.. My friend said she would speak to her daughter about it but felt it was unlikely she would want to spend a weekend with strangers, and asked if I could give her some general info on meditation and depression, perhaps about an evening course in Bristol closer to home, so I'm looking into that. I asked her to let her daughter know she can call me any time.

I felt afterwards that it's really a discussion we need to have face to face, and will wait for a natural opportunity to speak to them more about my own experiences, and to hear how my friend's daughter responds and what it brings up for her. My strong feeling is that if I direct her and her mum straight to the OPenhand website at this stage, the ideas around Ascension may be a leap too far? As you said in your email it might be better to introduce meditation first in the sense of simply reconnecting with your deeper self.

I feel you're absolutely right about teenagers needing special care and backup.. I would love her to talk to you and would be really happy to be involved with that, I think the first step is for me to share more about my own experiences first.

(By the way I had a call from another adult friend last night asking if I could tell her 'something about that meditation stuff' so it does feel as if something is unfolding here. Is it ok to give her your number? She too has had depression and is still taking anti depressants now but is starting to look for another approach.)

Lorra love to you and all Openhanders

I am so thank ful I found this thread. It has helped me enormously I have found it very hard to be able to write, to start. I wrote once to this thread and as I wrote I saw so much that I had not  seen  about myself in the relationship with my son and myself. With that new awakened knowledge I applied it in real life, so for example stronger boundaries, consistency and honouring space to grow, without being over bearing with my 14 yr old challenging  teenage son who I am having problems with at school and home but it's like a rollercoaster, up and down. I have to remain very stabilised with not much support at all at home.  I wrote a second time into the Openhand today after meeting an Educational Pyschologist, again finding it hard initially to start writing, as I wrote  more knowledge landed upon me. Amazing ! I believe as I have been writing in the Openhand energy, the Openhand energy has been working through the ether because where else is it coming all from ???? What came to mind was that I think I'd benefit from a sykpe conversation and that what I would like to do is to try to get my son to have a session . Do you do teenage skype sessions?  I realise that I am struggling with the grieving process of letting go bit by bit of my teenage son and energetically he feels this.Trusting this process can be challenging. At the moment I am so fine tuned, so I get a real sense of what is happening, although there are some things I can be blind to, totally blind . Because of the sensitivity of personal info, a skype session would be helpful. I trust in the Openhand energies that have been intervening but we need an Angelic intervention...in this density.......and I do feel my son is in a very dense place.

Namaste  Tess

In reply to by Teresa

Hi Tess,

Our son was 9 years old when Sophie posted this original thread - how time flies!! Now he is 18. To be perfectly honest, I feel as if I know nothing wink and am constantly re-setting to my beginners mind. Parenting is a constant journey of peeling back the layers and finding ever deeper levels of what we never imagined possible heart

I know that Joann Doran is a child psychologist who works with teens and parents in her own practice and also a facilitator in the Openhand Facilitator Network. She is located in Canada and works on Skype. I do believe she may be fully booked for the next couple of months - although I felt to mention here, incase it is a possibility for the future. I highly recommend her as a facilitator for yourself or anyone. More info here: Joann Doran (Canada) 

warm blessings

Hi Tess - thanks so much for bringing attention to this invaluable subject.

From the perspective of a parent, I've found it has challenged me to the deepest levels. And that's often the essential point: when we think "they" are having behavioural problems, is it not ourselves unable to accept their uniqueness - that they don't want to be shoved into acceptable boxes of what is, and what isn't "right"?

A new consciousness is incarnating now. A consciousness that is not prepared to simply sit, and be shoved into, the old reality construct. They are the mavericks and wayshowers. By their very resistance to the old ways of living and being, they become the catalysts for profound change. But that's going to be intensely challenging for us as parents. We have to keep working to let go of judgments in ourselves of what is "normal" behaviour.

Out-of-the-box of the old "normal" is the new "normal"!

With love

Open heart

Hi Trinity and Open,

Many thanks for your guidance heart. I will be getting in touch with Joann as I think it would present a safe space of exploration to work through many points I am experiencing with my son  and also  perhaps for him, to work together. 

I guess for me I feel there are some things which feel'  intrinsically right ' and ' wrong'. For example sanctions , punishments and isolation sanctions at school for typical teenage forgetfulness  ie for not attending detentions  or for low level behavioural disruption that challenges teachers abilities to find strategies  isn't really conducive to change especially when it happens over and over and my son is clearly expressing his need for recognition with peers and simply does not see the point in many things ( which is worrying as it conveys an 'I don't care attitude' towards just about everything other than play ) .  Clearly he knows when teachers are snap shotting and clearly unfair , he sees through things very astutely ( so he can never be tricked ) and certainly does not respect it .There is a lot of attention to detail which might not be a bad thing. There are indeed other aspects  which call for a need to care because it's not going to help him in the future to stay in such a mind set of existential angst ( that's the only way I can put it), or disrespecting authority and challenging them at his own cost . But it's me who is carrying the full responsibility , it's me who gets the continuous phone calls and e mails . 

How I see it is that teenagers just don't have the initiations present in society anymore,  and (I'm aligning here with the famous well known book on Raising Boys),whereas in older societies they would go away from parents and be mentored shown skills for life and especially a breaking away from the mother had to take place else they could fall back into boys again . But today there are not many good male role models or teenagers join groups of boys to find structure and their place yet there is an absence of a safe leader amongst boys so it's a  pretty worrying place and space to be today . It seems boys need to go through some kind of initiations to prove their manhood and danger and speed  seems to be alluring unfortunately for some . My son is fortunate to have a fab teacher who works very closely with him ( and me) , but the notion of involving educational psychologists feels an unsafe arena within a mainstream setting . I simply do not trust them because they seem so far removed from the emotional real world and stuck in concepts ,theories and tick boxes .... But what if he does and would benefit from some help  that I am not aware of ? I asked the educational psychologist ( whom I asked to chat with before any consent with my son) ' Do you think it is possible to change a child's thought patterns ' ? She replied ' Yes , with CBT....... And yes I do wonder if endless hours of stuck behind an x box on all these aggressive games do have an effect of children's pysche. We can never know there is no bible on parenthood . There is a view on authentic expression to get out pent up stress on computer games, rather than suppress it , when other interests aren't shown in the sports arena or martial arts or simply because they want both..  So , I have been pondering over how can I get my son interested in sports martial arts ? I have tried it with him even took part myself when he was younger but he gets bored and no longer attends. He loves bush crafting but the minute he's out of sight of the natural world and in an institutionalised setting , it becomes far removed . He has expressed so much his longing  for a life like a Viking  from all the movies watched  I.e a natural yearning to be in the natural world .I do voice to my sons teacher ' tell me why would a 14 yr old adolescent open up to a stranger in an institutionalised setting ' ? I certainly wouldn't !    I think my son is beginning to feel comfortable at school and there isn't a problem as such . He just does not conform , which is exactly how I was and I have to say it never has ever got me anywhere in the real world to be this way .....But there is a deeper aspect in all of this namely finger pointing that a child is like they are because of this and that and yes I do believe children learn by example and I do believe that there are some people things I respect within a system and other things I don't , and yes I believe children can inter wise with parents energies and struggle to separate which is kind of what I feel happening with my son ( though not sure anyone would see that )  . But there are deeper aspects as to why a child behaves like he/ she does or sometimes no reason at all . Finger pointing and the anger that goes all with this doesn't help. In this sense I believe we are all responsible for each other and there are some things out of my control like the situation between his father and myself or the way my mother has played within the triangle...... Difficult waters to be arduously worked through ! But I'm willing to stand still and sit through this one and right into the heart of it  ! I have a very challenging young man in my hands who pushes the boundaries to the core in every place just to see what's there , what will be done and how far he can push and win  !frownangry. Trusting the process that it might all be necessary that he really learns this way . But I have limits and he certainly needs reigning in firmly . Thanks god there are some catalising  personalised energies working even amongst the matrix of mainstream education , there is light I begin to see in all of the density .......angel.


I really feel for you Teresa! 

You are a deep, insightful woman and I love how your exploration unveils your own answers. I am not sure I can offer anything that you aren't already unfolding yourself, however, it always helps me to remember that we chose this path (and each other) energetically before we incarnated! This will always test us to the core because that is our best opportunity to self-realise. 

It's incredible that you are open to exploring these things with eyes wide open, doing the best you can, no matter what challenges are happening. This is why your son chose you! 

Anyway I just wanted to reach out to say, I hear and feel you!

Thank you Trinity, 

I appreciate your kind words and reminder of ' that  long lost memory ' of incarnated choice ! I am not quite sure my son would consciously want to choose me in many moments , but nevertheless ....... I think taking a step backwards while simultaneously holding on to reigns energetically with awareness so I am not blinded to all kinds of 4th dimensional aspects he could be being pulled into is all I can do . Knowing when to fiercely intervene and get an army on my side to assist to show the dangers of the alluring waters that he might be exposed to is all I can do . Plus realising that there is so much I can do and can never know the outcome of any given intervention ( if that makes sense) . Meaning if I move to b , he could either move to a or c or leap else where and go down another avenue from trying to prohibit and control whatever might need to be processed  . In this sense  I can  only trust in  the etheric bond , words/ actions  and to just sit it out learning to accept / cope with changing waters ahead .......for him to find his ground and sense of self / strength and choices which may or may not really make him feel good . smiley Perhaps trusting that benevolence is working with the opposing is the best way to conjoin and work with this ....

Parenthood is the biggest challenger and self doubter  where we are hard on ourselves  and each child needs a different set of rules , umbrella of expression / strategies ........ A diverse expression of response is helpful . It's when I hear stories from individuals that say ' If I would have my time again I would have been more strict or enforcing'  from individuals who lost their children to drug abuse . Because I tend to hold the opinion that no matter what one does how strict or allowing they are that ultimately a person has their own path and by doing things like constantly grounding could make matters worse . I do have a trust at least I'd like to think that ,a trust that my son is learning through the  space  held his own boundaries and what feels right , safe and meet  his own limits of danger .