I am called a “survivor.”
My son, Jake, took his life at age 19 by jumping in front of an oncoming truck on a Montana Interstate. Absolutely horrible and our lives will never be the same. Was he on drugs or alcohol? No. Was he on anti-depressant medication? No. Did he share his feelings with his friends or parents? No. But he was, apparently, a ticking time bomb of depression and sadness.
Suicide among teens is the second leading cause of death behind accidents. And sadly, according to the CDC, more than 40% of all teens between the ages of 14-18 have or will consider suicide at least once.
According to WebMD, here are some of the most common signs of teen depression:
- Complaints regularly of pain, headaches, or fatigue
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty making decisions
- Excessive or inappropriate guilt
- Irresponsible behavior
- Loss of interest in eating
- Memory loss
- Preoccupation with death
- Overly rebellious behavior
- Feelings of hopelessness
- A sudden drop in grades
- Sleep pattern changes
- Withdrawal from friends and family
- Feelings of helplessness
- Unexplained crying
- Extremely sensitive to rejection or failure.
As a parent, you need to be proactive about teen depression, even if it makes you unpopular. Because if you are wrong, you may become a statistic.
What can you do?
- Have great in-depth conversations with your teen, in particular at the dinner table
- Get rid of cell phones at dinner for everyone
- Text “BRIGHTER” TO 741741 for 24/7 text responses about your teen and your teen can do the same (please share this with them)
- Ask your teen’s school counselor for names of local teen counselors
- Go to www.abrighterday.info and research both Evolve and BetterHelp for one-on-one counseling for you and your teen and ask us for coupons to offset costs
- Don’t be passive about taking action, but communicate very well with your teen
It is so important that you, as a parent, find a way to always be in front of your teen’s possible depression. One day they will thank you for this. Don’t worry if it’s today.
For more information, feel welcome to reach out to me at 510-206-1103. Come join our mailing list at www.abrighterday.info.
All my best,