Looking back after my son Charles Aubrey Rogers’ death, I see that he did exhibit signs of being suicidal. Of course I have often asked myself what I missed. I had been a mental health advocate and board member at Beacon Tree Foundation for several years prior to his suicide. Although I had been to one suicide symposium, I still did not connect the dots when it came to my own child.
Frankly, he didn’t check that many of the boxes on the list of suicide risks they presented that day.
Charles in Wilderness Program for troubled teens. It was here that we finally got a great diagnosis. He did embrace the program after 4 weeks or so.
I learned a lot about Charles after his death by suicide from his RAP diary where he wrote his songs. You can see his notebook in his hands in the picture on this page. Many of his friends know what I’m talking about since he carried them with him. They were his lifeline.
It’s in those pages I saw just how much he hurt. Every single day.
Those of you who have a child with special needs, mental health issues, learning or physical disabilities know how hard it is for that child to earn a high school degree. There are countless road blocks, problems, run ins with teachers over homework etc. Providing Charles with the support to finish high school was so difficult and expensive, it was a full time job in and of itself.
We enlisted the help of an educational consultant, Martha Kolbe who has since passed away. I would highly recommend that step. While we ultimately had to choose a boarding school, there … Read more...
Signs of depression are different for teens than they are for adults. Some teens can look so happy and well adjusted because they are masters at hiding depression.
Charles could be moody, sullen sometimes but he was actually hypersocial– always needing to be surrounded by people.
He was often described as “unmotivated,” another telltale sign of depression.
Charles always got sick. He caught absolutely everything.
I never knew it until recently but getting sick all the time is a sign of depression– especially in teens. Charles was diagnosed with depression at wilderness but he never admitted it. Too much stigma. … Read more...