This article will discuss what post-prom depression is, how it can make teens feel, and how it relates to depressive disorder. Along with that, the article explained are ways people can cope with it.
What is post-prom depression?
Post prom depression is the feeling of sadness that teenagers may experience after going to their high school prom. It can be a time of mixed feelings, it is a time of great expectations about what the life ahead will bring, but it is also a moment that can feel scary and uncertain.
Because of that feeling, teens might turn to their prom, and the memories of it, as a way to be in touch with a safe environment, in which they felt happy and connected. They can look at pictures or songs that might make them think of it, as a way to get in touch with that great moment and how it made them feel.
Why prom can cause you to feel like this?
Graduating from high school is an important moment in teens’ lives. It marks the end of their childhood, and after that, they will start to have a lot more responsibilities, be it about themselves, and their future. It is a time marked by uncertainty, which can have a huge impact on teens.
Once you graduate from high school, you might need to think about what college you want to be in, and that can imply moving to a new city. That in itself is huge. It means you will be far away from your family and those friends that have been close to you your whole life.
Another thing that changes is that you will start to consider taking care of yourself. Moving away will make you learn how to care for your own house, your financial life, and even take care of your health. All of this can give you the unrealistic expectation that you will need to solve everything by yourself.
Along with that, the end of high school can put you in touch with the fear of losing those friendships you nurtured throughout your whole life. And because of that, your prom night might be even more important.
It might be the last time you will have to enjoy yourself with all of your friends, in which you don’t need to set a schedule to meet, and having fun together may seem easy and uncomplicated.
Signs you are experiencing post-prom depression
Post prom depression is not a clinical condition but generates many feelings in teens. They can feel a lack of control over their future, in which they don’t know how to behave. They might also feel unsupported by people around them in the road ahead.
You can feel extremely sad because you imagine being in touch with your friends from high school can become harder, that you all lost that space in which you could share your experiences, and this might even affect your sense of purpose.
Some teens may feel like they will be incapable of dealing with the life that is ahead. Or it can even feel like it doesn’t interest you as much as the one you have now, avoiding preparing for what is coming. Teens can start to have sleeping problems and irritability.
And all of those feelings of loss of purpose, interest, and sadness are related to depressive disorders. But when talking about post-prom depression, it is expected that the teenager will adjust to their new reality and feel better after a while.
But in some cases, if the teenager is already going through a depressive episode, or is hit extremely hard by their graduation in high school, it may turn into something more serious.
How should people cope with post-prom depression?
Dealing with post-prom depression is challenging. It can make you scared of the new chapter of your life, but it is usually a fleeting sensation. And with time you will adjust to those changes and you might even look forward to the new moment in your life. Here are some coping strategies for post-prom depression.
Stay in touch
Although it might seem like your friendships will end because you are out of high school, keeping in touch with your friends will allow you to feel more secure in the bond you have created. With time, you might realize that even though some things can change, and you are far away, the friendship will find a new way to exist.
Be open to new relationships
Going to college and a new city may feel overwhelming. Try to keep yourself open to the new people that are crossing your way. Remember that many of your colleagues from college are going through the same thing and that this can be a chance to be surprised.
Be open to new interests
In college, you will be exposed to so many new activities. Try to be open and discover what you might enjoy. Maybe you can take part in sports, or book clubs. The important thing here is to discover new likes, and with that, connect to the people around you.
Make some plans
It can be overwhelming to think about college and what will come. But try to make some small-term goals. This will help you guide your energy, direct your budget, and take action according to what you desire.
Focus on the present
But to avoid getting too anxious about what is coming, try to keep practicing mindfulness. This will help you focus more on what you feel at the moment, and what surrounds you.
Look for professional help
If you feel the lifestyle changes have not helped you deal with post-prom depression, it might be important to look for professional help. This can help you feel supported, and will also help you create better strategies to handle what is coming.
But teens can also create some unhealthy coping strategies to deal with their post-prom depression. They can feel lost and lose their whole routine. In it, they can start to have unhealthy habits, such as eating badly or not sleeping properly. They might also start to abuse substances, such as alcohol and drugs to feel better.
Teens might also start to overspend, and this can harm the life they are creating for themselves. This can be a sign that they are avoiding dealing with the reality of what is to come. They can also isolate themselves as a way to prevent future pain. If those behaviors are identified, parents should look for help.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): What is post-prom depression?
What is separation anxiety?
Separation anxiety is a normal process that children and toddlers go by. It is the fear they can experience that they will be abandoned by their caregivers. And sometimes, people may not manage well with this in their formative years, and they can develop separation anxiety as teens or adults.
This can make them have trouble distancing themselves from home, and even going to work. Separation anxiety can cause the person recurrent distress about being away from their loved ones. They can be constantly worried about losing who they love due to an illness, or even that something bad might happen.
This constant worry can make it hard for them to be far away, and in some cases, even to sleep far from people they love. And when they do, they might have nightmares. People with separation anxiety can have headaches and stomach aches.
What are the main symptoms of depression?
Depression has many symptoms, and people can manifest it in different ways. But depression usually causes people to feel intense sadness. Along with that, they have less energy, difficulty focusing, and lose interest in doing things they used to love.
It causes people to isolate, feel guilt, fatigued, and be more irritable. Depression alters the person’s eating and sleeping patterns, as well as causes them to cry more often, and in the case of severe depression, people can have trouble crying, even when they want to.
People with depression have lower self-esteem and a decreased sense of self-worth. Along with that, they can think of self-harm, and at some moments think about death and have suicidal thoughts.
What is the difference between post-prom depression and depressive disorder?
Post-prom depression tends to be a momentary episode. It is something that you feel after an important event until you adjust to the reality ahead. As for depressive disorder, it can be a long-term illness. It is not something one just adjusts to.
Post-prom depression doesn’t affect your entire life, it can be affecting your relationships and the view you have of your future. But depression is something that turns your life black and white. Every aspect of it loses its glow, which means coming out of it is a lot harder.
Coping with post-prom depression can be related mostly to changing your outlook on life, and some lifestyle changes. As for depression, it may need long-term treatment such as therapy and even medication to handle its symptoms.
Does depression have a cure?
No, depression doesn’t have a cure. Rather than that, mental health professionals usually refer to depression going into remission. That is because it might be impossible to say that a person will never develop depression again.
People with a history of depression have a higher chance of developing a new depressive episode. Making it a lot harder to assume it won’t happen again. As for the goal for depression treatment, mental health professionals aim to improve their person’s quality of life.
They want the patient to establish their life, be able to live without the symptoms, but also for them to keep taking care of their mental health as a way to prevent a possible relapse.
Will I be happy after high school?
Yes. Although after prom it might seem that you will never find friendships like the ones you had there, or that those were your best experiences, the next stage of your life will also have many exciting things.
Going to college you will meet amazing people, face a world of knowledge, and live many new experiences. You will probably live alone for the first time and will learn how to take better care of yourself. Along with that, you will discover more of what you want of your life in the future and work in building that.
This article explained why going to your high school prom can cause you to feel post-prom depression, what feelings people experience, and how it relates to depressive disorder. Not only that, the article explained what ways teens can cope with it.
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