Nashville returned on June 1 for the second half of its season. In the episode “Back in the Saddle Again,” Deacon (Charles Esten), Maddie (Lennon Stella) and Daphne (Maisy Stella) were trying to cope and move on with their lives following the death of Rayna (Connie Britton).
This article contains spoilers so if you haven’t seen the episode “Back in the Saddle Again” please do not continue reading.
Deacon threw himself into taking the helm at Highway 65 and Maddie worked on her new single. But for Daphne, resuming life as usual proved to be difficult. Always a good student, she began falling behind in her studies. When Deacon received a phone call from the principal at her school that Daphne was in danger of failing history and repeating the entire year, he offered her assistance with her final class project, which was forth fifty percent of her grade. Together, they came up with a model replica of Amelia Earhart’s plane. Daphne was less than excited about the project or concern over the prospect of repeating a grade. She asked Deacon “What does it matter when we don’t know when we’re going to die?” And when another student running knocks the airplane model out of her hand, Daphne leaves it on the ground, ditches school and disappears for the day. Viewers see that she meets Liv, a young homeless girl, who takes her to the abandoned building where she is living with some others. But both Deacon and Maddie were frantic that something happened to her. When she is found by Maddie, instead of accepting her sister’s hug in relief that she was okay, Daphne shrugs Maddie away, preferring to be alone.
It’s logical to assume that Daphne’s change in behavior can be attributed to grief over the death of her mother. But a therapist informs Deacon that Daphne’s sadness and moodiness is a sign of depression. Depression in teenagers (especially girls) is often easy to miss as angst and mood swings are considered a normal part of that life cycle called growing up. And with hormones thrown into the mix, feelings intensify. Parents need to know the warning signs of depression as it isn’t just mood swings. It is a serious mental condition that can lead to serious ramifications such as low self esteem, drug and alcohol use, eating disorders, self mutilation and sometimes suicide.
Nashville using Daphne Conrad for this story line was a smart choice on the part of the writers. Whereas Maddie has been the overly emotional and often rebellious of the girls, Daphne was the quiet younger sister who only wanted a happy family and to sing with her older singer. But with the death of the mother she adored, Daphne’s world has been turned upside down. Hopefully, Daphne’s condition was diagnosed early enough to prevent any further tragedy. This is sensitive material. The topic of teen depression is a subject that can’t be ignored. Parents may feel that if their teen isn’t perfect, it says something negative about their parenting. And the often mentioned moodiness and “going through a phase” make parents miss the warning signs. On Nashville, the therapist suggested Daphne meet with her twice a week and told Deacon that he can help at home by just showing Daphne love. Maisy Stella is doing an excellent job portraying Daphne’s struggles. When television can entertain and education at the same time, it’s a double win for the viewer. Here’s hoping that Nashville will continue to explore Daphne’s battle with depression. This is an important topic for both kids and parents.
Comments? Sound off below. Or tweet @thenerdygirlexp and @stacyamiller85 .