Many years ago when my son was a teenager just a year away from college, we had reached that stage that some families reach where you are terrified that your child cannot make it on his own, and yet, you are so sick of dealing with him that you want him out of the house. Yes, some families do not have to undertake crises management with their children, and you are blessed. You can believe it is because you were such a great parent, but in reality, luck of the gene pool has something to do with this. (Your gene pool...not your child's.) He did end up being forced to go to a therapist for a handful of times, which resulted in a diagnosis of depression. Glad my health insurance covered this waste of time. When he found out the insurance would run out and we would be paying out of pocket for the sessions he refused to go. He insisted he was smarter than the therapist, and I actually think he was! I tried to get him to test several therapists to find one he liked, but he has the same stubborn dynamic of his dad. He wanted to deal with his life on his own, a sometimes dangerous decision.
Anyway, he did survive college (majoring in that super useful undergraduate degree, Psychology, oddly enough) and went on with additional training to become a successful sound engineer. He recently won an award as sound mixer for the year from his company. He still has issues with mild mood swings, but can deal with it without relying on drugs or alcohol. We are blessed for that.
I remember his freshman year when dropping him off that I noticed a lovely woods near the campus. I told him that was the place to work out issues. Lone walks, intensive runs, whatever he could squeeze in to help with the stress of college. He actually agreed with me.
To this day, we both realize that the great outdoors is the place to go when life seems so heavy you are down on your knees and knuckles facing the dirt with the hot sun at your back.
In the November issues of Newsweek magazine, Dr. Andrew Weil (one of those new age hippie philosophers), emphasized the importance of getting away from our artificially created environment whenever we can. The noise of city life, the smells, the continual stimulation is ruining us. The stimulus of technology which brings us instant entertainment, instant stimulation, superficial connections with people, and overwhelming information is not something our brains and senses were designed to assimilate in such constant and large quantities. Most of us now have sedentary indoor jobs which are also unhealthy. Our natural sleep cycles and other circadian rhythms are not followed. "Human beings evolved to thrive in natural environments and in bonded social groups." Depression has become so common that children today have been diagnosed with 'nature-deficit disorder.'
Sitting in a field or on a cliff is not as exciting as shooting down a helicopter with your remote control and not as compelling as checking Facebook on your phone every 15 minutes. But I feel safe in insisting it will keep you alive so much longer and that you will actually enjoy your life so much more.
Now, turn off the PC and go talk a walk.