“Just One Last Tear to Shed”

“Just One Last Tear to Shed”

There are always these memories ; one can make you happy and one can make you cry. However, it is never impossible to have one photo that can make you smile and at the same time, can make you cry.

All alone in my room at a Sunday morning , feeling the cold breeze of December and seeing how the curtains joyfully sway together with the wind , I felt the pain. I was on top of my crease-less bed : lying my back at the wall with my feet stretched straightly while I was staring on the leaves outside the window that fell freely. It was like a slow motion ; like autumn leaves falling in despair. I, then,took our family picture from the scattered photos in the table just beside my bed.It was not even a formal family picture , it was just a random photo where we were once complete.I was smiling while tracing their faces with my index finger. I was smiling as if they were martyrs alive that I just touched once in my life. I was smiling while tracing but I stopped when my finger touched the face of my brother and my smile was slowly fading. The memories started trailing down the memory lane again. The pain that I suppressed for a long time started resurfacing. It was like I was wearing 3D shades and I was watching a certain chapter of my life. It was just like a 3D where I could feel the pain first-hand. Right there and then , my eyes speak all the pain that I’ve been keeping since the day he left us.

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 On July 11, 2013 ,Wednesday, I was having a great time in school. I can even still remember how I sang “Gwiyomi” joyfully during our third year T.L.E. class. I can even still remember how happy I was at home not until a friend of my older brother went knocking onto our house with the fear obvious on his face and immediately showed us a text message from Tacloban Police Station. “Day, kailangan nato maconfirm adto sa Tacloban if siya ba jud ning nalumos.” (We should go to Tacloban Police Station and confirm if it was really your brother who’s drowned). I was literally speechless. I wanted to talk so I opened my mouth but just closed it thereafter. It repeated for a lot of times until my brother and sister told me that we should go there as soon as possible. We hadn’t eaten dinner yet but that didn’t matter even a bit. We ran towards my Uncle just right next to our house and asked him to drive us to Tacloban.My brother’s friend sat at the shotgun seat while my sister and brother sat with me at the backseat. The ride to Tacloban was merely a ride of tears,fear and negotiation with God. The travel was almost two hours but it felt like it lasted for four hours.Right inside the car , I was just staring blankly on the long dark road.It was the very moment where memories with him started flashing by but I really tried stopping it in the hopes that it wasn’t him in the report.I was silently talking to God ; begging him to spare my brother from death yet. I was asking him that it shouldn’t be this time when he hadn’t experienced real happiness yet.When we arrived there , I immediately stood beside my other brother while waiting for the police to show the picture for confirmation. I seriously don’t know but during that time , I was emotionless. Never did I feel the pain that time yet. And confirmed , it was my brother. The pain he was feeling was obvious in the photo. He was plainly lying straight on the sand with his hands on his stomach. He looked like a frozen human that had undergone pain. His lips were pale as the sand while his teeth were showing as if he was shaking because of the coldness. He was drowned and was just found too late by some fishermen. He knew how to swim ; up until now , we don’t know the real reason yet as we tend to believe that he had cramps while swimming on the deep part of the sea. So  we went to St.Peter just in Tacloban to see his body. I was still emotionless while my sister and brother were crying , reminiscing and regretting things. I was just staring blankly and a tear never dropped down my cheeks.My mother didn’t even know even a single thing for she was in Manila attending my Uncle’s wake. And we were afraid to tell her because she had a heart disease and my brother was his favorite.

It was almost three in the morning when we decided to eat in a bakery.I was like a living zombie : staring blankly to the path I’m walking to towards the bakery. My sister , brother , uncle and brother’s friend were all quiet while eating as if they had already accepted the truth. I sat on a table all alone while staring again at the dark road outside. That was the moment I broke. I did not cry but weep like a child’s gonna lose her candy.I created noise but they just let me.It was the moment where all regrets came in and slapped my face for the truth that I hadn’t been a good younger sister to him. Staring blankly at the road , I was silently asking my brother to show that time so I can tell him how much I love him and sorry for him. I was desperate. I kept staring coldly at the empty dark road , hoping he would appear but he did not. That was how the next morning started : with tears , regrets and hopes that he could still live.

My mother knew nothing. We told everything to our relatives hoping that the news wouldn’t reach Mom for she might jump out of the airplane while taking off. That was how paranoid we were. The next day , we went back to Cebu and went to St.Peter to comply everything. While walking outside the St.Peter , my sister’s phone was ringing so we had to stop and checked who’s calling. And our heartbeats went racing and our eyes started to well , our mother’s calling. Having no chance, my sister answered the call in a loudspeaker so we could hear everything.

“Musta naman si Raymond? Paliti lang ninyog Jollibee para makakaon pud siya.” (How’s Raymond? Just buy him Jollibee so he could eat). That was her first question to us. I tried so hard not to cry but I failed so I went far from my sister. My sister tried to answer firmly but her voice almost broke , “Okay ra man siya ma.”(He’s okay,Mom) . Immediately after that , she dropped the phone call and cried.The pain was too much to bear. It’s like thousands of needles were pinched into my heart and I couldn’t shout because the blood may flow too much. It was a feeling of being trapped in a situation where you had to decide which is which.

We went home and just asked our cousin to continue complying the needed things for my brother’s wake to be settled in St.Peter. As I stepped into our house’s door , it felt so different. The memories I always see with me running while playing with my other brother weren’t there anymore. It was all blank. The ambiance of the house was so sad. Every corner , there’s a memory. We walked slowly towards the dining area and sat there peacefully. On the next day , my mother was on her way home. The house was unusual. My uncles and aunties were on the sala waiting for my mother. One of my aunties told us to go to the kitchen and not to let our mom see us crying. Minutes later , the door opened with my mother smiling from ear to ear. Seeing her smile like that made me think , “Would you still have that smile after you’ll know the news?” . Of course I know the answer; that she wouldn’t. So she was wondering and asked graciously if what’s the event that made my relatives gather in our place ; she’s still smiling and I was afraid to see it fade later that time.My sisters, brother and I were just crying silently at the back. At that moment , my Aunty who was a pastor told Mom some thoughts from the bible about losing someone. That time,for sure , my mother was already wondering yet she still managed to smile. And that moment broke ,I could hear how mother went hysterical and crying so hard. I wanted to comfort her but I just couldn’t. I was afraid I could make her feel more pain by seeing her daughters cry. So we just stayed on the kitchen while my relatives were comforting my mother.

That was how the moment went. Weeks after that were even worse. I often saw my Mother crying at my brother’s room while holding a notebook and reading his notes or sometimes tracing faces of my brother’s photos. The notebook was wet when I came near to her so I comforted her. It was too painful seeing my Mom like that for weeks but we managed to handle it with the help of my relatives.

At the present time , leaving the flashback behind, the day went dark as I could see how the gloomy sun set on the West. The skies turned orange as if it was feeling my pain. I looked at the family picture again and realized it was wet and a bit blurry already so I decide to place it back to the table. My eyes were swollen but my heart felt a bit relieved already. I stared blankly again at my legs stretched straightly while contemplating things.

One time while I was watching my favorite series in the TV , you shouted with your eyebrows almost forming a straight line and your eyes burning while looking at me , “Hoy Panyang , hugasi ni diri!” (Hey Panyang , wash the dishes!)

Yes , I would if I could turn back the time.

One time while I was eating alone then you threw your dirty clothes at me and shouted, “Labhi akong mga sinina oh” (Wash my clothes)

Yes , I would if I could turn back the time.

One time when I was playing Tetris Battle , you approached me and said , “Tudlui ko anang computer bi” (Please teach me how to use the computer)

Yes , I would l if I could turn back the time.

One time , when I passed by you and your friends in the basketball area just approximately five meters away from our house , you shouted teasingly , “Kan-a lang ang cake ug ice cream nga naa sa  ibabaw sa piano.” (Just eat the cake and the ice cream that I place on top of the piano)

Yes , I would surely nod and smile at your joke if I could turn back the time.

One time I went home at eleven in the evening because of a group project , you were in the bench at the basketball area and you told me , “Sunod ha , ayaw na ug dugay uli.” (You better not go home late next time)

Yes , I would hug and say “thank you for waiting” if I could turn back time.

But… but no , there’s no such thing as rewind for a certain chapter of life. What’s done is done.

How can life be this unfair? How can time be so fast? How can regrets follow afterwards so easily?

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 http://galleryhip.com/leaves-falling-animation.html

Photos can make you happy or sad ; nonetheless , even a single photo can make you feel both. I diverted my gaze to the window pane and I saw no leaves falling anymore. I was wondering , “Why are there no leaves anymore? Are they tired of falling onto the ground?”- just like how my tears feel right now? I sat straight for it can be enough already to look down from my window. There , I saw how the ground was filled with dried leaves. Just by seeing it , I concluded one thing : “There’s always this time that the tree will stop shedding leaves because it just has to before leaving nothing for his own beauty”.Just like in life , one has to stop shedding tear before totally leaving nothing but chaos to his life. So I slowly laid back to the wall again but at the last glimpse on the window , I saw a single leaf falling down. I closed my eyes and felt the pain of relief and a single tear dropped down my cheeks and I swore that that will be the last tear I’d shed.”I miss you , Kuya”…

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Blog Outline , Notes and References

Blog Outline , Notes and References

Topic Outline: Peer Pressure at its Peek Towards Teenage Depression

 

Introduction:

  • A short line from the interviewee about his experience
  • Teenage depression : definition , symptoms and cases

 

Body:

  • Peer pressure : definition , forms and effects
  • Connection between peer pressure and teenage depression
  • Reasons why peer pressure is the major contributor to depression
  • Psychology study : Driving game conducted in Temple University

 

Conclusion:

  • Realization on the interconnection between the two
  • Strong arguments proving the point of peer pressure as the major contributor to depression
  • Quotation from the psychologists

 

 

Blog Notes

 

1.Everyone , especially teens , want to be liked by their peers. When children become teenagers , they are still trying to figure out who they are and who they want to be.   Most teenagers are looking to be popular in their group of peers. Some of the ways they attempt to reach their popularity is often through trying drugs and risky behaviors. They may also change who they are to become who the popular crowd would like them to be. This can lower the teenager’s self-esteem quite a lot. This type of peer pressure often claims many teens mental state which cause depression.

 

http://www.dreampositive.info/is-peer-pressure-causing-teens-to-become-depressed/

“Is Peer Pressure Causing Teens To Become Depressed”.2014.para3.Retrieved on November 29,2015

 

Peer pressure basically revolves on the thought of being liked by the group despite the personal  doubts. During the adolescence period , the teenagers are still coping up with the environmental factors that can affect their goals in life. As a normally insecure spirit within teenagers , they tend to do things they haven’t done ever just to prove that they deserve the fame and all. However, the self-esteem of the teenager may be deteriorating already without further notice as long as the teenager has been blinded by overwhelming cheers from his friends.

 

  1. Teenagers are easily influenced by the changes taking place around them and they are equally influenced by the people that they interact with on a daily basis. One of the most influential groups in this mix of relationship building is the peer group of teenagers. The collective power exercised by any peer group is so forceful that peers can impact the behavior and ultimately the character of children around them. Parents have been asking this question for a while as to whether peer pressure causes depression among teens or not. Yes, it is true but this doesn’t mean that other factors don’t lead towards teenage depression because the variety of pressure applied on children comes in different forms. The most common factors that lead to depression among teenagers will be discussed here along with the effect of peer pressure on the mental health of children. We’ll also look at ways as how to avoid peer pressure.

 

http://www.secureteen.com/peer-pressure/teens-plummeting-into-depression-due-to-peer-pressure/

“Teens Plummeting Into Depression Due To Peer Pressure”.2015.para1.Retrieved on November 29,2015

 

Teenager has this attitude of going with the trend simply by the influence of his peers. The main source of most teenager’s attitudes is his friends. Peer is composed of different influential attitudes that have a great power in shaping the behavior and character of the teenager.

 

  1. Children are introduced to the world of social interactions on a step by step basis. Once these kids reach teenage years the complexity of relationship building increases and popularity among the peer group takes priority because being popular in a group means that others voices in the group can be hushed up with ease. Peer pressure can also lead teenagers towards drinking, drugs or other dangerous habits and can prove emotionally draining for teenagers. In the struggle to fit in and be accepted by the larger peer group, teenagers can easily fall victim to depression.

 

http://www.secureteen.com/peer-pressure/teens-plummeting-into-depression-due-to-peer-pressure/

Teens Plummeting Into Depression Due To Peer Pressure , January 9,2015 , Paragraph 3

 

Opening into the world of social interactions , teenagers can be easily influenced slowly but vastly. It is  the time when fame is prioritized so the teenagers will do everything to gain that and also  the complexity of building a relationship takes place. Being peer pressured is actually listening to your friends’ voices instead of yours. And this , unfortunately , will lead into engaging in dangerous habits like drinking , smoking, using drugs and other negative habits. This case is mostly the brink towards the teenage depression.

 

4.Teenagers are risk-takers — they’re more likely than children or adults to experiment with illicit substances, have unprotected sex, and drive recklessly. But research shows that teenagers have the knowledge and ability to make competent decisions about risk, just like adults. So what explains their risky behavior?

In a new report, psychological scientists Laurence Steinberg and Jason Chein of Temple University and Dustin Albert of Duke University argue that some teens’ risky behavior reflects the unique effect of peer influence on the still-developing teenage brain.

Their report is published as part of a special issue of. The issue is focused on understanding the teenage brain.Teens spend an increasing amount of time with their peers, and the feedback they get from their friends and classmates may tune the brain’s reward system to be more sensitive to the reward value of risky behavior. This sensitivity leads teens to focus on the short-term benefits of risky choices over the long-term value of safe alternatives.

 

http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/news/releases/teens-brains-are-more-sensitive-to-rewarding-feedback-from-peers.htm

“Teens’ Brains Are More Sensitive to Rewarding Feedback From Peers”.Association for Psychological Science. Para1,2&3. Retrieved on November 29,2015

 

Teenagers are tend to be risky. However , research shows that teenagers still have the knowledge and the ability to think between risking or not. Psychological scientists Lauren Steinberg and Jason Chein of Temple University and Dustin Albert of Duke University who argued about the unique effect of peer pressure. Their report was publiished on Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. The issue focuses more on the teenage brain.

 

 

  1. “The articles in this special issue on the teen brain provide the latest findings from human imaging and animal studies on topics that range from self-control to peer influence to policy,” says B.J. Casey, guest editor of the special issue and Director of the Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Casey emphasizes that, rather than portraying the teen brain as somehow ‘defective,’ “the contributors paint a picture of a brain that is sculpted by both biological and experiential factors to adapt to the unique social, physical, sexual and intellectual challenges of adolescence.”

 

http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/news/releases/teens-brains-are-more-sensitive-to-rewarding-feedback-from-peers.htm

“Teens’ Brains Are More Sensitive to Rewarding Feedback From Peers”.Association for Psychological Science.para14. Retrieved on November 29,2015

 

According to B.J. Casey , guess editor of the special issue and the Director of the Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology at Weill Cornell Medical College , “The articles in this special issue on the teen brain provide the latest findings from human imaging and animal studies on topics that range from self-control to peer influence to policy.”

 

  1. Psychologists at Temple University conducted an experiment on teenagers, college students, and adults using functional MRI technology (studying peoples brains while they are actually doing stuff).Researchers got participants to play a six-minute video driving game while inside a brain scanner. Participants were given prizes for completing the game in a certain time, but players had to make decisions about stopping at yellow lights, and being delayed, or racing through yellow lights, which could result in a faster time and a bigger prize, but also meant a higher risk for crashing and an even longer delay. Each participant played four rounds of the game. Half the time they played alone, and half the time they were told that two same-sex friends who had accompanied them to the study were watching the play in the next room. The friends in the next room had no direct contact with the participants while they were playing the game.

Among adults and college students, there were no meaningful differences in risk taking, regardless of whether their friends were watching. However with the teenage participants the results were very different.

Teenagers ran about 40% more yellow lights and had 60% more crashes when they knew their friends were watching. It was observed that the regions of the brain associated with reward showed greater activity when teenagers were playing in view of their friends. Researchers suggest it was as if the presence of friends prompted the brain’s reward system to drown out any warning signals about risk, tipping the balance toward the reward.

http://understandingteenagers.com.au/blog/2011/07/the-teenage-brain-peer-pressure/  

“The Teenage Brain & Peer Pressure”.Chris Hudson.para4-7.No date.Retrieved on November 29,2015

 

Psychologists conducted an MRI technology , studying peoples’ brains while doing stuff , on the teenagers , college students and adults. The participants got to play a six-minute video under the brain scanner. Prizes were given to those who finished the game in a certain period of time. However ; there are rules to be followed. Players had to choose between stopping at yellow lights and getting delayed or racing through yellow lights which could faster the time and get a bigger prize. The higher prize did entail the higher risk of accident and would have a longer delay. They were given four rounds ; half of the time they played alone and half of the time they were told that they had two same-sex friends watching them at the next room. Eventually , there was no certain direct contact with the friends but the thought of having friends observing them made them more risky. Between the college students and adults , there were no absolute differences. However , the teenager participants have different results. Teenagers ran 40% more yellow lights and gained 60% crashing when they knew their friends were watching.

The psychologists observed that the regions of the brain associated with the reward sped up its activity from the simple thought that they got their friends’ eyes. In totality , the researchers suggest that the brain’s reward system of a teenager tend to drown out any warning signals about risk and chose to tip the balance towards the reward.

 

  1. “The presence of peers activated the reward circuitry in the brain of adolescents that it didn’t do in the case of adults,” Dr Steinberger said. This is because the part of the brain involved in reward processing is also involved in the processing of social information, explaining why peers can have such a pronounced effect on decision making. The effect is believed to be especially strong in teenagers because brain changes shortly after puberty appear to make young people more attentive and aware of what other people are thinking about them.

http://understandingteenagers.com.au/blog/2011/07/the-teenage-brain-peer-pressure/       

 “The Teenage Brain & Peer Pressure”.Chris Hudson.para9. No date. Retrieved on November 29,2015

 

He also added that , “The presence of peers activated the reward circuitry in the brain of adolescents that it didn’t do in the case of adults.” In his statement , it can be said that aside from the reward system in the brain ,  there’s also this social processing which may be the cause of the peers having the pronounced effect on the decision making of a teenager.

The effect is too strong on the teenagers due to the changes of the teens’ brains that puberty has got into. They already appear to be more attentive and aware at what other people might think about them.

 

  1. The successful formation and navigation of interpersonal relationships with peers is a process central to adolescent development in all cultures. In European-American cultural contexts, an everincreasing amount of each day is spent in the company of peers, from 10 percent as early as two years of age to 40 percent between the ages of seven and eleven (Voydanoff and Donnelly 1999). By high school, teens are spending more than half of their time in the company of their peers (Updegraff et al. 2001). Because adolescents spend a large amount of their time with peers, it is not surprising that they play a highly influential role in adolescents’ lives. The credibility, authority, power, and influence of peers is greater during adolescence than at any other time in life.

http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Peer_pressure.aspx

“Peer Influence.” International Encyclopedia of Marriage and Family. 2003.para1. Retrieved on November 29,2015

 

According to the study , there has been an increasing amount of time spent by a teenager with his friends. As cited in the Encyclopedia.com entitled “Peer Influence” , Voydanoff and Donnelly (1999) stated that 10% is spent from the two year old kids and reaches 40% from the range of 7-11 years old. In additional , Updegraff (2001) stated that during high school , teens tend to spend half of their time with friends.

 

9.The desire for young people to fit in and impress their peers is very powerful.  Teenagers are also very conscious of others watching them and evaluating them all the time.  It is the combination of these two things that influence teenage behavior when they are in the public space.

 

http://understandingteenagers.com.au/blog/the-teenage-brain-peer-pressure/

“The Teenage Brain & Peer Pressure”.Chris Hudson.para12. No date.Retrieved on November 29,2015

 

The amplifying of the teens’ desires to fit in and to impress their peers is getting too powerful.The effect is too strong on the teenagers due to the changes of the teens’ brains that puberty has got into. They already appear to be more attentive and aware at what other people might think about them.

10.A 2012 World Happiness Report has reportedly ranked the Philippines “among the least happiest in Southeast Asia, or 103rd out of 155 surveyed countries worldwide.” That bit of news should be as welcome as a skin rash to advocates of the Philippine tourism slogan “It’s more fun in the Philippines”. It could actually lead them to a depressive state, which could slightly increase the number of Filipinos who are suffering from depression.

Incidentally, the country also “has the highest incidence of depression in Southeast Asia, according to the Department of Health (DOH).” 2011 data from the World Health Organization (WHO) showedthat “the Philippines has the highest incidence of depression in Southeast Asia with 93 suicides for every 100,000 Filipinos.”

 

http://getrealphilippines.com/blog/2012/10/reports-say-filipinos-are-sad-and-depressed-in-the-philippines/

 ”Reports say Filipinos are sad and depressed in the Philippines”.Ilda.2012.para1 & 2. Retrieved on November 29,2015

 

According to the 2012 World Happiness Report , the Philippines is ranked as “the least happiest in Southeast Asia or 103rd out of 155 surveyed countries worldwide. In additional , Department of Health (DOH) also stated that we have the highest case of depression in Southeast Asia. The 2011 data from the World Health Organization (WHO) showed that “the Philippines has the highest incidence of depression in Southeast Asia with 93 suicides for every 100,000 Filipinos”

 

 References:

“Is Peer Pressure Causing Teens To Become Depressed”.Canadian         Positive Psychology Network. 2014.para 3. Retrieved on November 29,2015

“Teens Plummeting Into Depression Due To Peer Pressure”. Secure Teen.2015. para 1. Retrieved on November 29,2015

“Teens Plummeting Into Depression Due To Peer Pressure”. Secure Teen.2015 .para 3. Retrieved on November 29,2015

“Teens’Brains Are More Sensitive to Rewarding Feedback From Peers”. Association for Psychological Science.2013.para 1,2&3. Retrieved on November 29,2015

“Teens’ Brains Are More Sensitive to Rewarding Feedback From Peers”. Association for Psychological Science.2013. para 14. Retrieved on November 29,2015

“The Teenage Brain & Peer Pressure”.Chris Hudson. Para 4-7. No date. Retrieved on November 29,2015

“The Teenage Brain & Peer Pressure”.Chris Hudson .para 9. No date. Retrieved on November 29,2015

“Peer Influence.” International Encyclopedia of Marriage and Family. 2003.para 1. Retrieved on November 29,2015

“The Teenage Brain & Peer Pressure”. Chris Hudson. para 12. No date. Retrieved on November 29,2015

Reports Say Filipinos Are Sad and Depressed in the Philippines” . Ilda , 2012 , para1 & 2. Retrieved on November 29,2015

Youtube Video file.”The Truth about Depression BBC Full Documentary 2013″. grahamNhaveigotnews . 2013. Retrieved on November 29,2015

Youtube Video File.“The Simple Message That Brought This Middle School Class to Tears”.Champion of Choices. 2014. Retrieved on November 29,2015