Twilight and Teen Depression

Who doesn’t want to be Bella Swan, the object of blood-lusty hunk Edward Cullen’s affections? Who doesn’t want a perfectly dramatically lovely and sexy romance– hot young people with an eternity ahead of them of hot-pillow-tearing sex and a pledge of endless love?

Reading the Twilight Saga gives a natural high and lots of sighing– when will I have my own Edward Cullen? Unfortunately for daydreaming teens, vampires don’t exist (save for the wanna-be blood suckers with no natural powers and super-human strength whatsoever, or even remotely good looks). Edward Cullen will never exist outside of Miss Meyer’s beautiful books and the silver-screen adaptation.

Fantasizing, dreaming– will this lead to teen depression? And not just teens, these books have an adult following as well– I’m just wondering if grandma reads them too. Adults with their less than perfect marriages, their shameful affairs, their boring significant others– will they too be depressed that they can never have a romance like Bella and Edward?

Maybe. But authors should not be blamed for writing beautiful fantasies– like Jane Austen’s timeless Pride and Prejudice– my mom’s just like Eliza’s, fretting and getting her nerves all tangled because her working daughter is still single. So what if so and so likes her, they’re just not good enough for her beloved doctoral-graduate daughter unless he’s Asian, a surgeon, single, non-smoking, drinking, gambling!

Eliza may have found her Mr. Darcy… Jane Austen died at the young age of 40, never having married.

I admire Stephanie Meyer. I admire her success and am of course envious. I also feel slightly sorry for LJ Smith, who wrote about vampire soulmate stories with her wonderful series The Nightworld, which never gained the popularity Twilight has. I highly recommend the juicy Nightworld Series, LJ Smith has dreamed up an Edward Cullen a long time ago.

I myself am a writer who loves to fantasize. I have a million characters and a million stories, none of which are realistic in the sense that it’s happened to me– my real enough to embrace and for my readers to relate to– with ups and downs, hopes and dreams… If we say that fantasy stories are the source of depression for heartbroken teens, then what about romances with perfect Adonis-male-leads who are always billionaires and great in bed and yaddy ya? What about all the sci-fi novels out there, the Lord of the Ring, the horror genre? Etc, etc…

I don’t hop bandwagons, but I do admire the Twilight Saga, it’s given lots of readers great fantasies… as for the teens who suffer from depression knowing they will never have a romance like the one in the novels, too bad. Life is life and you realize true romance has always been the creation of creative individuals– poets, songwriters, authors, and yearning females, waiting, waiting for Prince Charming, with or without his fangs.

28 thoughts on “Twilight and Teen Depression

  1. Hi. Guess what? You are right. Adults do read too and I can tell you that yes, books like this and romatic movies can cause depression for young and old. Especially when the story is told from the first person perspective about feelings every woman has had at some time and longs to have again. The feeling of young/first love and youth, adventure. Add to that the inner need we have to feel someone would die to protect us they love us so much. This can cause a mourning feeling when we realize we will never have these things in our real life again.

  2. I am 15 and suffered from bad depression in and out for my whole life. When it got to its worst point I was at the verge of running away from home because to be honest, i am too much of a coward to kill myself. When I read Twilight, I cant explain how it felt. My depression just fell away from me, almost in an instant. I was filled with so much hope and happiness it was like I had been thrown into a new body and a new mind. So, you know you can understand why I disagree with that opinion about fnatasy and depression, because it has the opposite effect for me πŸ™‚

    • i’m glad. although there will never be an edward in your life, life is too beautiful to be depressed and suicidal all the time. there’s so much out there to live for

      • This is ironic. In one of my comments I mentioned how daydreams even unrealistic daydreaming can lift up one’s soul. I don’t something has to be real to make your life awesome. There is definitely so much to live for even if you stay single all your life, speaking for mysself.

  3. It may sound silly, but Stephanie Meyer and her books showed me that. Before, I did know I had a lot to lose, but when you are that depressed you don’t care. I have written a letter (that may or may not reach Stephanie Meyer) thanking her for giving me my life back. πŸ™‚

  4. Hollie, I am so glad you found some relief reading about Edward and Bella. I found your comments because I specifically searched for Twilight and depression in teens for a research paper that I am working on.

    I have some very good news for you… I can explain some of the hope that you found in that book.

    There is indeed an Edward, and he is All Human and All God at the same time. A lot like Edward, He has alabaster skin that shines too. Not sure about glitter, but definitely a diamond effect. Aaaaand. He LOVES you personally more than Edward loves Bella. It’s a forever thing too. He knows the number of hairs on your head and everything about you. Want to meet him? Find a bible and start reading in the book of John. (the sparlky stuff is in Revelation chapter one.) It is there that He explains how he is going to wipe away all your tears when he sees you, and how he has been saving your tears in a bottle. Remember when Edward tasted one of Bella’s tears?

    the ending of that book of Revelation is pretty awesome too. He rescues you and takes you to his Mansion. Jesus is not like Edward in many ways too. Instead of needing blood, he GAVE his blood for you.

    He’s waiting for you to talk to Him and for you to want to belong to Him.

    Ready?

    If you reply, I’ll get an an email.

    Mary

    • Mary, thank you for your comment and your advice, it is very kind of you to try and give me something to make me stronger, but I’m afraid even though Stephanie Meyer uses alot of Religious references in Twilight, which I respect, I have been brought into a non- religious household. But don’t feel sorry for me, or try to change my mind. Just because I am not religious, does not mean that I do not believe in things or have anything to put hope in. And I am actually proud not to need a religion to get me through hard times. I hope you understand and can respect that.
      Thank you again Mary.
      Holliexx

      • Hi Hollie, i sure do understand. Acxshully, Jesus saved his strongest rage for religious people. HE didnt like religion either. It is mostly about rules and money collecting.

        I dont feel sorry for you, quite the opposite… anyone fighting depression is my hero. I am curious though about what you are putting your hope in.
        People will disappoint you eventually, because no one is perfect. Except fictional Edward and even he was confused about a lot of things. Both Edward and Bella were self loathers throughout. Self loathing is not at all healthy and causes depression.

        The end of this life can be sad as we all start to wrinkle and fall apart and die. As purposeful and meaningful as this life is, my hope is in a very Personal Jesus and the journey to the next life. there REALLY IS a heaven.

        no, I dont feel sorry for you at all, dear Hollie. you are on quite a journey. Kind of excited for you. For all the women that you will be able to help out of the awful pit.

        Stephanie wrote a really good story about what all of us women are longing for. You are so normal to want to be loved like that.
        We were all designed for it. That”s healthy!

        Sending love to you, Wherever you are….
        Mary

  5. For those who love Twilight, mainly the girls, and to get ‘depressed’ by it, I think you are very sad and quite ridiculous

    • Oh my god. How many people like you do I have to sift through, before you get it through your thick skulls? you are the ridiculous one, for judging something you have never experienced. Yes, there are people (pretty much anyone who reads these books) who rely on these books more than they should. But if you stopped being such a D**k and bothered to even try to understand, then you might grasp how much of an effect these books actually have on people. When people like you leave comments like that, it makes people homicidally angry. So don’t.
      P.s. Why are you even leaving comments on here?

  6. I read the series. And I fell into a very deep depression that lasted months, it was horrible, I am 14…and I knew I’d never have that kind of thing. So I reread and reread and shut myself away from the outside world, trying my best to pretend it was all real. It took me alot of counselling and nights where I cried myself to sleep to get over it but I did. I’m sorry to say I can’t watch any of the movies or read the books or I’ll fall right back to where I started. It’s like an alcoholic, just because you’re sober now doesn’t mean you won’t go right back to it.

    • i am the same exact way i had it for 3 months. it went away but as soon as i saw new moon it came back. its all just addicting. and to think im in love with something that will never ever be real… 😦 i think were in the same place here.

  7. Samantha, I know how special and incredible these books are, and I do know why you felt like you did. I almost fell into it to, but you should never stop thinking about them. They brought me great sadness as well as joy. But I would never be the person I am today without them, and in a way I use my downfall as my strength, and you should too.

  8. ugh. twilight has ruined my life. i am in love with edward, even though he will never be alive out of the story books. i cannot go to sleep with out crying my eyes out. i dont know what happened to me. i want bella’s life so badly. i covet everything she has. i find myself tired a lot now, not wanting to be alone because when i am, im crying. im 13 years old. i shouldnt be like this. i love the books so much. ive read the series 2 times. theyre addicting. hes addicting. i wish i never would have started reading them. i wish i hated it all.

    • Hi mackenzie. I hope you are feeling better by now. If not, please tell someone like your mom or your aunt or your guidance counselor that you need to go see a counselor. There is help for what you have and it comes in many ways.

      You are sad because sometimes life IS sad and lonely. What you dont believe right now is that this feeling is going to pass and be very temporary. You have a lifetime of love to look forward to.

      Please find a grown up that you trust.

      I’ll be notified by email if you respond to this.
      Please let us who read this know you are ok now.

  9. I’m not a huge twilight fan, i just saw twilight at home and then new moon after it had been in theaters for a couple of weeks. I dont know was it is but, after watching it, i feel depressed and hopeless. I dont want my old relationship anymore, i want one with love described in that movie, so much so that I’d rather be alone then to be without it. But i know its silly and love like that probably doesn’t ever exist, which is probably where the hopeless feeling comes in. Thanks for expanding on that topic on your blog, it’s nice to know that others might feel the same

  10. That feeling of hopelessness is a serious feeling and I urge you not to ignore it. It means something is wrong with what you are thinking and believing. Please find someone to talk to about it. I don’t know how old you are, but at any age, these feelings, although temporary, don’t feel so temporary. You can come out of this and find hope again.

    These characters came from Stephanie Meyer’s imagination. We were designed to be loved well, even better than Edward loves Bella.

    The One who made you is always thinking of you and always wants your best. But that is hard for us to believe because He is not visible to us, but that doesnt mean that His love isnt real.

    He designed you for Himself and also for relationship with a man when you are ready for that. Until and unless you get help with changing your ideas about you and love and what is real, you won’t be able to experience what you were made for.

    Please…Call somebody who can help you get help with these overwhelming feelings. There is hope, there is help. Pick yourself up and get it.

    • I really have to know- SAMANTHA, are you the same person who asked a question on yahoo answers about twilight depression? Coz each n every word written was exactly what Im thinking n going thru…n yes,this feeling might subside but itll never go away. Little things thru the day reminds me of Edward or Bella n puts me back in the same place.

      I saw the movies-twilight and new moon- and I dont know what happened to me.I literally felt changed.
      Im so depressed because I know Ill never find love the way Bella has in Edward. I can now see thru all the guys I know(like literally read their minds like Edward).They all just want one thing and it is so shallow.

      I am not reading the books because Im scared Ill feel even more depressed and hopeless after Ive read them.So Im trying to keep away…

      It feels like something is missing from my life- true and unconditional love.and it feels really hollow inside…

  11. One thing I am admire, is that all that different girls/womans (including me with 28 years) are dreaming about the same kind of man, feeling that he is our soul mate, when we are certainly very different kind of persons, with different tastes, dreams…
    I would not change anything about Edward, and I’m sure that all this ladys are thinking the same..
    I just can think that is because if I would felt that kind of love, I would accept anything.

    To the Doctor/owner: Please send me a e-mail.
    And for the other bloggers: please leave comments, I would love to hear your thoughts about it. Thank you.

  12. this obsession, for me, is best described as DEMONIC, seriously! i mean, for something to have that much control over you, doesn’t it seem demonic to you?? think about it. if you can’t take pleasure in your life, even if you KNOW it has very good points, then the twilight obsession is definately DEMONIC!! the devil is very crafty and has obviously worked his way into the hearts and minds of millions of people through a 4 book series, and he also does it through movies and other books, etc. (i’ve heard the same thing is happening with the avatar movie). all he wants to do is make your life look crappy… he takes a murderous, demonic, canabalistic creature and turns it into something beautiful and desirable, like a siren or sucubus luring you in with their sensuality and charisma, then destroys your life!!! he makes you hate your own life and want a life you CAN’T have. how sick! LOOK HOW IT IS DETROYING OUR LIVES!!! LOOK AT ALL THE POSTS!!

    i know a lot of you guys probably don’t believe in God and Jesus, but i DO, and i am urging you all to seek Him in prayer for this psychotic phenomenon. i truly feel that these books are taking huge strongholds on people’s lives and it needs to end!

    i find that i still have the urge to watch the movies and read the books, but the only way to resolve this issue is to FORCE yourself to NOT read the books or watch the movies, etc. and to ask God to help you. that is the only thing that has helpd me, and i promise it will also help you!

    if you need someone to talk to about all this, i would be more than happy to help you with this constant addictive craving. i have created a special e-mail for all of your questions… please e-mail me, i will do my best to give you advice and help you! GOD BLESS YOUR SWEET HEARTS, and good luck!

    e-mail: break-the-twilight-spell@hotmail.com

    p.s. dont be too hard of stephanie for it, she probably doesnt realize what she’s doing to people, and hopefully it wasn’t her intentions…but even the devil can give marvellous gifts to people. makes you think…

    • Hi XYZ,
      I agree with most of what you wrote here. but others who do not see things this way… your warning is easily dismissed.
      I hope someone reads your words and understands.

      We all have an unseen enemy and our enemy does his best to maintain his cloak of anonymity and invisibility. His other task is to get us to be dissatisfied with our lives. Same as he did with Adam and Eve. Same technique. Dissatisfaction causes a lot of problems. Romance novels set up an expectation of an ideal which does not exist, much like men’s magazines set up an ideal woman for men to look at but not relate to in a real way. Edward is not real. Thing about Bella is that she is more real and didnt have much to offer Edward. That is the draw here. Many girls identified strongly with Bella, hoping that perfection will love them anyway. The answer is God. ❀

      • what people dont realize is that there IS someone who will love us to the purest form…JESUS!!! come on people, it’s right in front of your nose. If you want to experience the bliss of pure love and protection, then Jesus is who you need!

  13. XYZ, be careful. It seems to YOU as though it is “right in front of your nose” but for one reason or another, the Truth is not always so evident to all. Jesus spoke in parables in order to reveal to some but hide from others. We dont know why. Some heard thunder and some heard a voice from heaven at the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan.

    Saying that it is right in front of someone’s nose when they can’t see it is insulting at worst and frustrating at least.

    • people can take from my post what they want, they have the free will and ability to decide for themselves. i KNOW that this is the truth, wether or not others would like to believe or admitt it. I know Jesus has come through for me time and time again, and i’m only hoping that others will be able to accept Him and benefit from all the good things He has to offer, like so many others like myself have.

      all i’m saying is “give it a try” and if you don’t think it’s worth it, then at least you’ve tried and made a good effort to help yourself. I don’t believe people should jump all over my comments, because i think it’s one of those “don’t dis it til you try it” scenarios. it’s one of those things where most people will turn to God when that is all they have left. I know i tried everything, and when i was at the end of my rope and nothing else helped, i turned to Him, he gave me the answers, and i felt silly for waiting so long to turn to Him. Had i done that in the first place, i might of saved myself a lot of wasted time and self torture.

      basically the point i want to put accross is “try Jesus FIRST, don’t push Him on the back burner and use Him as a last resort, let Him be your FIRST resort, and see how amazingly wonderful your life will be with Him…and of course, save yourself the anguish of trying everything else first and discovering that none of those things help, while it just keeps growing worse!”

      i REALIZE not everyone believes in God, all i am suggesting is that people give Him a try…what do you have to lose anyway, besides the bad things you want to get rid of in the first place? i hope you will all consider this perfect and beautiful way, as other things will most likely not help. plese don’t freak out on the way i view things, i am not implying that anyone’s beliefs are not sufficient, just that there is an easy alternative if the things you are doing are not working for you… and if you are LOOKING for advice (which people are asking for on here) on how others deal with their problems…well this is how i dealt with mine, and it worked for me, so i’m just sharing my experience (like everyone else is doing on here) in hopes that it will help you too!!

      GOD BLESS YOU ALL!

      • p.s.

        as a Christian, we are commissioned to spread the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to everyone who will listen, and like I said, if you want to listen “great” if not, then don’t. we are all intitled to our opinions, it doesn’t mean i think anyone else’s is inadequate.

  14. yes. we are commissioned to spread the gospel. But HOW?
    telling some one…. “come on people, it’s right in front of your nose.””

    this is what I am taking issue with.. and why I said be careful.
    these words are insulting.
    We are commissioned to spread the gospel with LOVE.

    • well, you do it how you want to, and I’ll do it how I want to. there is no “wrong” or “right” way. Criticizing me for the way I want to spread the word is also not a good example of showing His love, neither is arguing with me in front of people who might not Know Him. All you are doing is showing people that Christians can’t get along. So thanks for that. Also, I find your hypocracy funny, seeing as how you are insulting me as well about the way I do things. Next time, it would be wise to think of what you are doing and saying to someone who is genuinely trying to spread some good around, instead of trying to belittle me for the way I want to do things, because frankly, the methods I want to use are MY business.

      Man, there always has to be someone who gets themselves all wound up over silly things! Ever heard of turning the other cheek? Apparently not, I suppose arguing symantics is better.

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