Kelly’s story about her son, Aubrey

by Kelly

Back in 2016 my 19-year-old son Aubrey who has struggled and started having seizures due to Xanax abuse stopped taking his anti seizure medication because he didn’t like what he had read about it!

Yet, smoking pot, dabs, molly, etc. is OK?

Shortly after that, he convinced us he would take the medication. Maybe he was, maybe he wasn’t – who knows. But right after that we found him badly impaired and he attacked my husband who had to defend himself and hit him back (not characteristic of my husband at all but Aubrey pushed him down and … Read more...

Thoughts on Chris Cornell’s Suicide

by Alyssa Ward, Phd,  LCP

I’ve been thinking about Chris Cornell’s suicide a lot. I had a conversation with one of my best friends about this yesterday and I felt the urge to share. Let me say first, I don’t know if Cornell was depressed–we don’t know what was going on or all the drivers, but my friend was asking why people want to die.

Several thoughts

As I tell the teenagers suffering with depression every week–depression is a trickster. Depression is a narcissist. When depression takes residence it’s like the person is inhabited by someone who is not their … Read more...

Suffering from suicidal thoughts since age 12

Note from Anne Moss: I am continuing in a series of posts from my most engaged readers. Like many who suffer, a strong faith can help.  As an advocate, I would be remiss if I didn’t add that a good support system, whether that includes faith, friendship, family, therapy, or even medication, can also work well. It depends on the individual. This one from Michael, who has lived experience.  

by Michael Widuch

I suffered suicidal thoughts first when I was 12 years old in the school year of 2003-2004 due to an unstable special needs school environment and unhealthy family … Read more...

Two teens will tell their story of depression on Channel 12

 

See the video

Drew Wilder of Channel 12 asked me if I knew of two teens willing to talk on camera about depression and suicide a couple of months ago. I mentioned the request to these two at the “No Eagle Left Behind” assembly at Godwin High School in March, a club they are part of.

Both of them immediately said, “I want to talk!” I was shocked at how enthusiastic and willing they were. So I sent their numbers and their parent’s numbers to Drew since he would need permission. The parents were overwhelmingly supportive. Again, another surprise.… Read more...

4 things we can do to help our kids cope with bullying

Bullying has been around forever. Nothing we do will make it go away completely. It’s part of childhood and adolescence and I believe meant to prepare people for adult life. There are bosses that are bullies, neighbors and relatives that are bullies and what we learn as children in terms of coping helps us later in these situations.

Funny thing is, although we are hearing more about it, bullying has actually decreased according to a big new study in the journal Pediatrics. In 2005, 28.5 percent of students surveyed reported experiencing at least one form of bullying. By 2014, … Read more...

4 things that are special about people who suffer with depression

We usually think of it as a weakness or a curse. It is a brain disorder but what if we started recognizing those with depression as gifted? Would it help sufferers see themselves as worthwhile if we collectively saw it differently?

1. Extraordinary gifts

At the therapeutic boarding school where Charles attended for about a year, the talent there was unlike anything I had seen before, particularly in the areas of art, music, writing and humor.

Most of these kids struggled with various mental health issues including substance use disorder but when you saw all of them together, I couldn’t … Read more...

Undependable

When you have a child that suffers from depression and addiction, there are many times you have to drop everything and react to a crisis.

I tried to anticipate things but what ended up happening was never something I planned for. I’m not blaming Charles. Not everything that happened was his fault. And given pathetic resources, we were left to manage something we had no expertise in.

From changing his placement at a therapeutic boarding school because a counselor was accused of sexual misconduct, to a rolling stop that turned into a police assault to when we found out he was addicted.… Read more...

Dangerous apps for kids and teens

A few years back, my marketing agency did a joke campaign on how staring at a cell phone could create “glowburn.”  Which meant that even after you put your phone away, the glow on your face remained as it was “burned” into your skin.

The truth is, our relationship with our mobile devices is not that healthy and it’s not for our kids either. Not only that, mobile phones and the apps can be dangerous.

Who is at risk?

Character traits — not technology — make young people vulnerable to becoming victims via popular apps. Those who are depressed, socially … Read more...

Godwin High School Teens Speak Out!

I have had the honor of visiting with this group, No Eagle Left Behind on several occasions now from Godwin High School in Henrico County. They have explored several programs and have planned an assembly with the school that focuses on mental illness. And they made this video which rocks. I’ll be in there again for the assembly with a teen speaker from Cameron Gallagher Foundation and for an opportunity for me to talk about the #umatter or #umatterchallenge through Beacon Tree Foundation.

Alex Chaffee from Cosby High School has helped me with this program in addition to Haley, … Read more...

Mental illness and addiction need to be treated together

dual diagnosis

So many times, I’d take Charles somewhere for treatment and they’d draw a line in the sand between mental illness and drug abuse/addiction. Everything seemed to be treated separately although they most always seem to happen together.

Substance use disorder is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III) as a mental illness. Mental and emotional symptoms of alcoholism exist long before the grave physical complications of the disease appear.

In a study of 133 of those with substance use disorder, 93% met the criteria for one or more psychiatric disorders other than substance abuse. Depressions … Read more...