Back in 2011 and 2012 the old ranching couple, Doris and Philip Smith, faced difficulties as an intense drought settled upon their humble ranch in Panhandle Texas. Having been ranchers for most of their lives, at 73 years old, Doris comments that she’ seen droughts, but “never like this before.” Having gone on for too long and too intensely, the humble couple ended up selling off much of their cattle to stay in business. There simply was not enough rain to support them, so they had to make sacrifices. A drought of near biblical proportion plagued Texas, and with it came the dust storms, fire, and wind. The land was decimated. Five inch cracks across the field where the Smiths would grow wheat. The ranch declined, and slowly they had to depend on other places to survive. Buying wheat to feed the cattle from faraway sources, too the whole neighborhood coming together to try and support themselves. The Smiths, surprisingly, kept in good spirits. Not letting the drought bring them down, they managed to joke about their situation and stay positive. Even if it was the worst drought they had scene, they knew it wouldn’t be their last.

 “The farmer always looks to the next year”-Doris Philip

Droughts, nowadays, are common. With the changing climate many places in the world have been afflicted by unusual severe weather. Droughts, however, are especially detrimental to ecosystems and civilization. Instead of being destructive, short-lived forces of nature, droughts sap away at the life of an area before draining it away completely. I can imagine, that it would be difficult for some people to comprehend the damage done by drought when tornadoes and hurricanes do so much more visible damage. Today, America still suffers profuse effects of drought. For example, California is very much suffering, even if the recent rains have quelled it a bit.

“Approximately 20 percent of teens will experience depression before they reach adulthood.”-Teen Depression Information

Much like a drought, depression saps away at life. Slowly overtime it begins to creep into the bones of the person and drains their life away. Similar to how certain areas are more susceptible to drought, who is more susceptible to depression? The youth of America are common sufferers of this disease. A bleak life, lack of energy, everything seems to be barren and dead to teenage sufferers. No matter what, it’s impossible to do what you want, let alone what you need to do. Falling deeper and deeper into a pit until the point where self destruction becomes pleasure, those are the feelings of a depressed teenager. Yet, the general population doesn’t notice this. Because like a drought, the effects of depression don’t happen all at once in a grand scene where everyone can see and be entertained and give their false condolences. Depression is unseen, and happens over time. It can’t be fixed all at once, and the effects are cumulative. As such, they can’t be fixed by one session of therapy. A drought can’t be fixed by one day of rain. This is what the teens are dealing with, and yet no one bats an eye when they cry out. The people who are supposed to help never really try.


To deal with a drought cities often have to rely on outside sources of water. The greenery dies, and pools drain in order to cut back on water. Sacrifices have to be made, and the best anyone can do is conserve and rely on the support given to the city. The only true cure for a drought is time. Only in time will the water be replenished. Though, sometimes this doesn’t happen. Like a drought, people with depression have to rely on outside resources to get better. They have to use up all of their reserve energy or try to conserve the last bits of motivation they have. Depression can only be solved with time and proper support. That’s why I think it is important to put more effort in improving the “resources” or self-help programs available to depressed teens. They shouldn’t be demonized or ridiculed. People don’t ridicule ranchers who suffer in droughts. Time and effort can bring a lot of change.

Now what? What you should get out of this is that problems that don’t happen in grand ways often don’t get recognition. It seems that things that aren’t grand don’t catch the eye of humanity enough to be deemed important. These unknown problems, depression in teens and the somewhat ignored drought in California, seem to grow up into massive disasters. They are left to fester and develop into uncontrollable issues that no one saw coming. So, my advice for you is to keep you eye out for the little problems. What happens over time can be the most dangerous.


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