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