Teens and adults dealing with depression and suicide (either themselves or family or friends in crisis) have different perspectives. This web page is dedicated to sharing thoughts among teens. Topics such as "what it felt like", "how you handled it", "what you want others to know", or even your "favorite music that got you by" are of interest. Share you thoughts by sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will post them below or add to our message board below.
Hi. I just turned 17 years old. When I was 14 and 15, my life pretty much sucked. I don't even know why I felt that way but I cut myself and did some pretty dumb things. I look back and I can't believe that was me. I felt hopeless, angry and slept a lot. Somehow, I started to feel better. My parents were worried and took me to a counselor (which I hated but it helped). I finally started to appreciate my life and the possibilities I had. I joined field hockey and basketball teams at school and that kept me busy (and felt good -- maybe it was the exercise). I painted the picture you see on the right to illustrate that you aren't alone. It may seem dark and hopeless but if you can ask for help, it can get better. I've changed so much over the last two years and a lot of people helped along the way. Now, I want to do well in school and become a psychologist to help others. Hang in there...time helps. ------- Casey from California
My Artwork in 2007
Open Letter to Fellow Teens, from Marion in San Diego:
We all have our faults. When I’m in shock, I have a tendency to go completely numb. For example, when my cat had a seizure in my arms, I just watched and realized that there was nothing I could do. I didn’t actually feel the pain until about a week later. Sometimes, the absence of pain was a way to escape, but sometimes it made me feel empty. To me, cutting was a way to feel the pain that others around me could feel but I couldn’t. Some criticize that it’s a cry for attention, but I did it in a way that was discreet and hidden. Sometimes, it really served as an escape, but then I realized the danger I was putting myself in and made a commitment to myself to stop. I exercised and took vitamins and reconnected with friends I had lost touch with, but I think it was the personal commitment that made the most difference. Your family and friends care so much about you. But that personal consideration makes all the difference.
Here are some links that I recommend for kids or parents:
A Girl Scout Badge on Awareness of Teenage Depression? The Girl Scouts offer a badge on "Breast Cancer Awareness", previously a taboo subject in our society -- thank you Girl Scouts. But, statistically, depression is a much more likely illness that scouts (girls and boys alike) will face, whether personally or having a friend suffer. Can we create a badge to help get the word out about teenage depression to educate kids ages 12-18 and their parents? Listen to to a teen's perspective on this...........
I am a past Girl Scout, now a graduating senior fulfilling the required community service hours for graduation. I chose to work with Foods-4-Thought.org because their concern for teen depression and suicide hits close to home. The harsh realities of teenage depression symptoms expand beyond euphemisms. Suicide is not simply about “mental health” and “hormonal imbalances.” It’s about cutting and eating disorders and feeling completely empty no matter how many extracurricular activities you participate in.
My supervisor with Food-4-Thoughts.org mentioned that the Girl Scouts might be publishing updated versions of their IP and studio2B books, especially those regarding girls health issues. It has been my experience that Girl Scouts uses euphemistic language to make harsh realities tolerable, but what’s so harmful about telling the truth? I think that the new IP books should include detailed stories of individuals. Those of us that have been through scarring experiences and come out on top are almost always willing to share our stories with others in order to prevent others from making the same mistakes; I know I am. I encourage the Council to be more realistic about the issues that plague young adults and even children. If they are able to identify with other girls, maybe they’ll be more perceptive of their own symptoms and more comfortable asking for help.
In the least, please try to include Food-4-Thought in a references or help section. Their concern for children and teenagers is profound and they try to offer young people with depression and their families a forum to connect and share, to find comfort and community
Food-4-Thought Inc. is a Non-Profit Organization Dedicated to Raising Awareness About Teen Depression and Suicide, 'One Conversation At A Time'.