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Parents don’t always realize that their teen is suicidal
- By Claire McCarthy, MD, Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing
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It is so important to be aware because I think for many teens (even adults), it is hard to reach out. Too many times, people reject that cry for help with platitudes or memes or other things that do very little. In fact, far too often I think we dismiss people that really need help because we either don’t know how to respond with compassion or we get too busy. This is an epidemic that needs all hands on deck.
Lucky for me, coworkers underestimate suicidal ideation of their colleagues. The despair, the hopelessness, one experiences being stuck in a dead end job with no chance of betterment is intolerable for many. Some find solace in alcohol, others in opioids, but the path to freeing oneself of the pain they experience leads to the same destination. We have a cutthroat society that does not care about the ‘other.’ The high minded individuals in their ivory towers can pat each other on the back all they want, but no one is addressing the true lack of opportunity for so many, be they teenagers or adults. This has been an issue for years now, and since people are more interested in voicing their outrage for whichever inconsequential issue is dominating social media, and then in turn the news, nothing is being done to give people hope for a better future, a promising tomorrow, one filled with family and friends, nature, and the opportunity to feel valued and respected in society. Some day after I’m dead, perhaps, these members of society will not be made to feel inferior or excluded. We could regain the hope that permeated our society. Luckily for me, few will read this comment and even fewer will actually try to understand someone else’s perspective.
Wilfred, the tone of your comment is not unlike this post, grim. I am praying for you and encourage you to seek help. Your creator cares about your feelings and is there to help you if you only ask. I hope you reach out to Him and or the people He has put in your proximity who will help. There are people who care and people who WILL listen to your perspective, including me.
Please check out http://www.gettingbetterfoundation.org This family run foundation’s mission is to help build hope and trust in a world sometimes fueled by media hyped negativity. You are valued and we are all aligned.
I was reading this because I’m concerned about my daughter when I came across your comments. It breaks my heart to hear about and feel your pain – and I don’t even know you. What you talked about is all too true, but its not the end. You can find joy and peace inside yourself, in spite of the horrors and injustice in our world. The high and mighty are full of fear too, they hide behind their status, stuff and masks – I suspect that very few of them are truly happy. Being stuck in a job you don’t like isn’t fun, but you can find happiness anyway, and then you can share it. I agree with Jasmine that seeking a connection with the divine – the Universal consciousness, creator, God (don’t get hung up on the name or what others believe and preach) – is part of the way out. Look deeply inside yourself. Focus on what you can change (yourself and your perspective) and not on what you cannot (everyone else). Once you find it, the best way to keep peace and joy is to share it – give it away!
An underrated cause of depression in teens is acne. As a Dermatologist for 30 years, I see it every day. People with acne are stressed. Once acne is under control – they feel better. As parents, we need to remember that and help our kids get their acne treated as soon as they possibly can. Check out https://www.mdacne.com/article/how-to-stay-positive-while-fighting-acne for some more relevant advice.
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