Did I ever think he might be better off dead?

I know Charles thought this. He wrote it. And my wondering it is not the same as wishing it. I never wished it. But I did have this as a fleeting thought after a particularly difficult crisis. Was my intuition trying to warm me what was to come?

When you have struggled with a child’s mental health issues combined with drug abuse problems for many years –and you’ve watched that struggle, at some point, you wonder if they are going to make it.

The lack of support and search for resources is utterly and completely exhausting. You advocate and advocate … Read more...

How could I resent your child’s cancer fundraiser?

Part of my grief process is to let go of such insane resentments and just do something about it instead.

It sounds crazy. It sounds inhuman. But there were times when I felt jealous that others got such overwhelming financial and even emotional support in their struggles to get medical help for a child who was ill. My resentment was never directed at a specific family. It was resentment that society could turn their backs on mental health while embracing physical health so passionately.

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Send a card, reach out, listen w/o judgement

The outpouring of support when your child has a physical ailment … Read more...

Why did he kill himself? Answering the why

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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.

And why he ultimately gravitated to … Read more...

Signs of depression in teens. Not the same as adults

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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...