Affection of depression and suicide on you

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Suicide and depression and the prevention of both is not something people like to talk about.

But as I keep trying to emphasize to people, suicide is real and it does happen. No family is immune to it. Depression can happen to anyone. Unless we fight it, the statistics will continue to rise.

Work is beginning for this year’s Out of the Darkness Community Walk for Suicide Prevention and Depression Awareness.

Please be looking for more information on this walk to come soon. In light of this upcoming event.

Depression in children and adolescents is real. It is more than “the blues.” These problems are real, painful and can be severe.

Studies have shown that at any point in time, 10 to 15 percent of children and adolescents have some symptoms of depression. Mental health is important for people of all ages. It is just as important as other health issues. It affects how people feel and act and how they handle stress and various life situations.

Mental health trouble in children can be caused by many different things. Some examples are: exposure to environmental toxins, exposure to violence, stress from poverty or other hardships and loss of important people in their lives, whether it be through death, divorce or broken relationships.

If you suspect a child or adolescent has a mental health issue, get help as soon as possible.

The following are just some of the possible signs that a child may need some type of help: having sad and hopeless feelings that don’t go away, being angry the majority of the time, feeling worthless or guilty, being unable to get over a loss due to a death, being extremely fearful, being overly concerned about physical appearance, expressing concern that their mind is out of control, a sudden decline in performance at school, losing interest in formerly enjoyable things, avoiding friends and family, hearing voices, experiencing suicidal thoughts, extremely poor concentration, having persistent nightmares and showing signs of eating disorders.

It is critical that we protect our children. We have an obligation to protect their mental health. We take them to the doctor for physical checkups, and we take them to the doctor when they have some type of “common” sickness.

If we suspect a child has some type of mental health situation going on, it is just as important that we take them to a doctor to have this checked out. There is absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about.

Our children are precious. Within the past month in our country there have been two 12-year-olds in different states who took their own lives. This is absolutely heartbreaking. Let’s do whatever we can to help our children.

This article addresses the issue of depression and preventing suicide in children and adolescents. I am thankful that I have not had to deal with this specific area. Losing a child to this, or even having a child with severe mental issues, must be extremely difficult to handle. Every human being is important. Every life is worth fighting for.



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