I have a 16 year old daughter that has been battling depression since the 7th grade. This was unbeknownst to me until this past November when she wrote a letter to her brother, who has been battling anxiety for several years, that she wanted to end her life. She could not feel comfortable talking to anybody for the fact that she would be known to all she was mentally ill. After a few visits to a family practice doctor, the doctor finally decided to submit her to a mental health facility as she was having suicidal thoughts again. During her treatment, her medical/therapy team and ourselves confirmed that she did not have any stigma with her illness and that she has nothing to be ashamed about. She’s been a little bit more talkative with us, still hides some thoughts, but with the assistance of therapists and psychiatrists, we are hopefully on the right track in locating the correct balancing medication for her. We have now moved into the adult meds as the FDA approved meds for her age are not working. It’s been a very difficult road for all of us, but we are hopeful that we can get this under control for her and get our sweet loving daughter back.
School has been extremely difficult for her, friends are unkind and immature to say the least. She plans on attending community college next year and hopefully full time the following. Her job has been a godsend for her, as she is working with older people who don’t judge her and gets along wonderfully with them as she is the youngest!
In discussing this with friends and co-workers, we all have been touched in one way or another by a friend or family member diagnosed with depression. Patience and understanding is a must, sometimes very difficult, but well worth our efforts.
Thank you for speaking up and showing our children, who today have so much more stress in their lives then before, that they are not outcasts or shamed by this as they did not choose to get depression or anxiety. This is an illness as any other out there and there is hope for them.