Young adolescents, depression and…the Titanic syndrome
In carrying out three fascinating studies which complete and respond to each other, Aurore Boulard has set to music, with original sounds, the factors and contexts which lead teenagers into depression. A manner of also better identifying worrying indicators and of ceasing to watch young people sink under? Doubtless the education system needs to be opened up more to the notion of wellbeing, still absent from preoccupations concerning our teenagers at school. Nonetheless certain of them are harassed or are experiencing difficult situations without being able to, as an adult can, project themselves into the future in changing their present. ‘In an institutional manner, and together with the teachers, it should be possible to think through the ways of living together at school,’ insists Aurore Boulard, who thus suggests that support groups should be set up within secondary schools on a regular basis.
All wrong, or almost
‘As Professor Jean Dumas (University of Geneva, in Switzerland) says, in order to make a diagnosis amongst young people, people wrongly carry out a ‘cut and paste’ of the symptoms of depression in adults,’ says Aurore Boulard. ‘Yet for them they have neither the same expressions nor manifestations.’ Another factor is added to this label, falsified from the start: there exists a widespread idea according to which teenagers experience a crisis which pushes them to feel down in the dumps, to no longer let people know when they are going out, to no longer talk to their parents, run away, etc. It is often considered as a passing phase which will cease at the end of the crisis. ‘Of course no-one can deny that young people test their limits and those of their entourage or that they experience up and down emotions. But that should not allow us to forget that their also exists a heavier pathology which must not be confused with teen angst,’ stresses the psychologist.
(1) Doctoral thesis defended on December 14, 2012, before a jury consisting of Professors Jean-Marie Gauthier (supervisor), Michel Born (ULg), Etienne Quertemont (ULg), Luc Goossens (KUL) and Jean Dumas (University of Geneva).