This podcast focuses on how to talk to kids about depression, substance misuse, and suicide from my perspective as a mother whose child died by suicide in 2015.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 10 and 34-year-olds, only behind the unintentional injury, in the United States. Much of suicide has a correlation with depression and substance misuse—and while there is an epidemic of teen depression and suicide, only 45% of teen girls and 33% of teen boys who have experienced an episode of depression got treatment in 2019. It’s time to start … Read more...
My name is Jeff Watts. I am a husband, dad, teacher, co-founder of an orphan ministry, diagnosed with a mental illness, a four-time psych hospital patient, and a suicide attempt survivor.
I’ll start the part of my story having left home with an associate of arts degree in psychology from a community college. I wanted to be a counselor. I went to an out of state university and lived in an apartment on my own away from the support of my parents for the first time.
The lack of early intervention and continuity of mental health
care for our youth in Virginia is tragic. Our state ranks at 47 for treatment
of childhood major depression–the leading risk factor for suicide. That means
7 out of 10 kids most at risk for dropping out of school, ending up in prison
or dying by suicide don’t get the help they need.
My family lived that statistic. My son died from it. After years
of struggle with depression and addiction, the funniest and most popular kid in
school killed himself–my 20-year-old son Charles.
The diseases of despair are deaths by suicide, drug and alcohol poisoning, alcoholic liver disease and cirrhosis.
“Mortality from deaths of despair far surpasses anything seen in America since the dawn of the twentieth century. (The trend for middle-aged whites reveals a more dramatic rise but only goes back continuously to 1959.) The recent increase has primarily been driven by an unprecedented epidemic of drug overdoses, but even excluding those deaths, the combined mortality rate from suicides and alcohol-related deaths is higher than at any point in more than 100 years. Suicides have not been so common since 1938, and … Read more...
I’m 58 and I’ve attempted eight times, nine if you count the train incident, over a period from 1978 to 2011. So, yeah, I’ve struggled with depression and lost at times. Three of those attempts, and the train incident, occurred while taking prescribed psychiatric meds.
I’ve been on just about every anti-depressant, plus meds to counteract (unsuccessfully) the negative effects of the anti-depressants. I’m talking about two to four months of waiting for any, ANY, positive effects. The last psychiatrist just looked at me after we went through the list of meds I’d been on and sighed. … Read more...
How did it all happen? What was he like? Why did he default to drug use? I talk about the cultural differences between my generation and theirs acknowledging the amount of content that comes at them daily.
Next one-third is how our family coped with the grief