Posts filed under ‘adolescent depression’

The Voices Heard Before Suicide

Suicide is a profound tragedy…

My daughter was a young girl when my brother committed suicide. I was devastated. He had been suffering with a chronic illness and told us he was praying to die, while we prayed for him to live.

He had talked about dying years before that because he was so unhappy. Suicide is seldom unplanned, and victims leave clues.

It is up to us to pay attention to those clues and intervene. That’s easy to say, and harder to do. There are lots of external influences that will make it challenging to notice the clues.

These days children are dealing with life issues that they don’t want to talk about. Bullying. Sexual abuse. Peer pressure. Parental expectations. Excelling in school. These issues are further exacerbated by the separatism that technology provides. Many of these issues young people face without appropriate coping skills. When an unpleasant event occurs they feel that life can’t go on and so they attempt suicide or they are successful. 🤯

I recently heard the story of a good kid who received detention at school and then was reprimanded by his s parents at home. Concerned that he had jeopardized his chances to get into a Ivy League school for college; he committed suicide. Did he leave any clues that he was fragile?

What about the girl who can no longer face school or online bullies and decides that suicide is a better alternative to living. What behaviors did her parents notice before she took her life?

How do we stop this madness?

Suicide is beyond devastating! It’s really bad when it happens to a child that you think is safe; has a good life; and looks normal.

Are there warning signs? They’re probably aren’t many if any unless you are watching intently and you are in tune with your child; even then there’s no guarantee that you will be aware of what’s going on.

Here is what I can tell you:

• Watch for changes of behavior

• Mood swings

• Quiet and withdrawn in an otherwise outgoing joyous kid

There’s no guarantee that you’ll catch the clues then, but it least if you start a conversation beyond ‘how was your day’; if you talk about how to build resilience; if you let your child know that there is nothing worth taking their life over…

Have those hard conversations now when everything is good. Let your child know that correcting their behavior is your job, but that you are always proud of them and love them.

Interested in learning more about your family’s dynamics? Contact me – Ms. Parent Guru to receive information about my inspiring parenting programs for Aging Parents, Mothers and Daughters, Mothers and their Sons, Fathers and Daughters or Fathers and their Sons.

Click Here to become a part of my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Family Dynamics Strategist, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

August 30, 2019 at 3:37 pm 2 comments

How to Stay Positive

This is a strange time right now, if my mom were alive, we would say “Mercury is retrograde”. If you’re a feeling type, you may just ‘feel’ strange. For me, I watch patterns. I’m used to things flowing evenly and smoothly, so when I start to misplace items, or the people around me become weird, I pay attention to myself and them. Sometimes, my intuition takes over and I feel uncomfortable with my environment, or my social community – the world. That’s definitely happening right now. Besides clients telling me how overwhelmed they feel, I’m reading (or hearing) news reports about more killings and suicides. 

While I know we are not responsible for other people, sometimes those within your circle of influence will say things in an effort to ask for help. I’ve had it happen with my children, my students and friends. If they needed more than a listening ear, I referred them to a (school) social worker or psychologist.

What about you? How do you stay positive when your personal world is turning upside down? Taking a page from one of my thought leaders who deals with mindful-living, here are five things happy people do (to stay positive):[1]

  • They don’t tie happiness to external events
  • They exercise – exercise is shown to help with depression by raising endorphins. Endorphins trigger a positive feeling in the body, which makes you feel good.
  • They have close relationships; ideally 3-5 with people whom they can discuss important ideas or problems
  • They spend money on experiences not things
  • They don’t ignore negative emotions. Sometimes we will tell ourselves that we are imagining the problems and if we ignore them, they will go away. Not true! When you won’t allow yourself to grieve, get angry or feel disappointed, it stuffs those emotions down deep and they will surface much later, when you least expect it.

We are wonderful, complex people, living in a fast-paced, highly technical, global fishbowl. We are subject to make mistakes, lots of them and it’s not the end of the world when we do. Many of us have been taught that a project isn’t complete unless it is perfect. There is no such thing as perfect – especially to entrepreneurs, inventors and creatives. It is just as important to have fun as it is to work. Interact with people that you enjoy.

Talk to someone when you feel you can’t go on.

Interested in learning more about your family’s dynamics? Contact me – Ms. Parent Guru to receive information about my inspiring parenting programs for Aging Parents, Mothers and Daughters, Mothers and their Sons, Fathers and Daughters or Fathers and their Sons.

Click Here to become a part of my parenting community.

[1] https://hackspirit.com/7-habits-authentically-happy-people-nothing-positive-thinking-3/

June 8, 2018 at 1:55 pm Leave a comment

3 Ways to Protect Your Daughter

I went to a local viewing of Lady Sings the Blues last week and remember how much I enjoyed the music. The clothes and make-up were beautiful and the singing by Diana Ross was superb. Her life story was hard to watch and I couldn’t finish the movie. I was also reminded of how easy it was for her to be BILLIE-HOLIDAY  marginalized as a young black teenager. Everybody that was supposed to keep an eye on her had other ideas. Her mom sent her to live with her aunt (mom’s sister); she was left home to clean the house, and was molested because nobody was really looking out for her. As she became a young successful woman, it was easy to assume she was living a great life because she had the ‘look’.

I just wished Elenora/Billy Holiday’s and her mother had had a real conversation and her mom was able to offer her some true support. I believe this is where some of us are with our sons & daughters. If we’re bold enough we ask the right questions:

1. Are you having sex?
2. Are you using/selling drugs?
3. Are you dating older men?
4. Are you being sexually abused by my new husband? 32-your-childs-teacher-mom-daughter-homework

We need to be prepared to handle the answers that we may receive? Here are some ideas:

1. If your daughter’s behavior changes ask her “what’s going on“.

2. If she tells you an unbelievable story, believe her.

3. If she is being harassed or abused, support and protect her without judgement.

If we want to turn around our current and future generations, we have to be courageous and fearless. Our kids certainly are.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Founder & Creator of Finding Superwoman

clynnwilliams.com

August 23, 2016 at 12:59 am Leave a comment

When Suicide is the Only Answer

Today’s blog is dedicated to Karyn Washington, creator of FOR BROWN GIRLS, a beautiful 22 year old African American woman, who committed suicide because of her struggles with depression and mental illness. Ms. Washington dedicated herself to uplifting dark skinned black girls and women to give them a sense of well-being. Who was there to uplift Karyn?

Below is a reprint of her story as told by BlackMediaScope:Karyn Washington

“Karyn Washington, founder of “For Brown Girls” and the “Dark Skin, Red Lips” project has died at the tender age of 22. And this was not a natural death. This was a suicide. Karyn, who dedicated herself to the uplifting of dark-skinned black girls and women, and worked so that they would have a sense of well-being, was struggling with depression and mental illness, and was unable to extend the love she gave to others to herself.

This is often par for the course with black women, who often shoulder so much burden (one of the only things the community will give us kudos for, the quintessential ‘struggle’) and to admit any weakness of the mind and body is to be considered defective. Vulnerability is not allowed. Tears are discouraged. Victims are incessantly blamed. We are hard on our women, and suffer as a result. When your community tells you that you’re better off praying than seeking the advice of medical professionals and medication, you feel shame when you feel your mind is breaking. There is no safe place. To admit to any mental frailty is to invite scorn and mockery, accusations of “acting white.”

Because only white people suffer from depression. Only white people commit suicide. Black women are strong. Black women are not human. And this is a LIE. Let Karyn’s story be an example that if you need help, seek help. Just make a phone call…we are too important. RIP Karyn.”
See more at:
http://www.blackmediascoop.com/for-brown-girls-founder-karyn-washington-dead-at-22/#sthash.M8Z1Rq0h.dpuf

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Author & Parent Coach

www.clynnwilliams.com

Trying to Stay Sane While Raising Your Teen (St. Paul Press, 2010)
The Pampered Prince: Moms Create a GREAT Relationship with Your Son (St. Paul Press, 2012)
Raising Your Daughter Through the Joys, Tears & HORMONES! (220 Communications, 2013)

April 11, 2014 at 3:28 pm 2 comments

I Accept You Just As You Are

Have a teen or adult child with a secret? Not just any secret, their sexuality secret? Did they tell you or you just ‘knew’ that they preferred same sex mates? What did you do with that information? Did you ostracize them or tell them that you accept them for who they are?

The beautiful thing about being parents, is that we not only have the task of raising teens into wonderful adults, we also need to listen with non-judgmental ears when they tell us things about themselves – especially things that may be different from us. If your teen feels that you don’t or won’t accept them for who they are, they begin to lose trust in you and in themselves. If you won’t accept them, what’s the chance that society will accept them? Who do they go to share their “weight of the world” secrets? Many teens who feel that they can’t talk to anyone (their secret is so bad), commit suicide.

genderbread

Here are some words you may share if or when you need them.

“It’s time for you to move forward with your life and stop worrying about whether you will be accepted for who you are. I’ve known (intuitively) that you had a different sexual preference since your high school / college days. It’s okay with me. Don’t worry about your father either. None of us has the right to cast stones. There is no reason to feel ashamed or have any other feelings that make you feel depressed, unworthy, needing to hide. It’s important (to me) that you live an authentic life, full of love. Be who you are and leave those other concerns behind you. You are important to me. You are safe and perfect just as you are. I love you.”

As parents, we have the responsibility for raising our children, and we also have the choice of accepting them for who they are. We may not like decisions that they ultimately make, but God doesn’t always like the decisions that we make. Accepting our kids for who they are helps them build self-acceptance and self-esteem. We also have to be okay that our friends, family and church may not agree with or accept our child’s sexuality. Thinking now about how you want to handle discussions with your family, friends or pastor, would be a great idea.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Author & Parent Coach

Trying to Stay Sane While Raising Your Teen (St. Paul Press, 2010)
The Pampered Prince: Moms Create a GREAT Relationship with Your Son (St. Paul Press, 2012)
Raising Your Daughter Through the Joys, Tears & HORMONES! (220 Communications, 2013)

December 8, 2013 at 1:09 pm

Recognizing Adolescent Depression

Parents: Are you able to recognize the signs of depression in your teen?
Here are some signs:
1. Physical manifestations of clinical depression are: headaches, muscle aches, low energy, sudden change in appetite or weight, insomnia or hypersomnia
2. Your teen may also seem restless, irritable, anxious, or belligerent
3. Your teen may have feelings of sadness, hopelessness, despair, worthlessness, or lack of interest in usual activities
4. Your teen is skipping classes or not paying attention in class

To find out more, check out this site: https://www.about-teen-depression.com/depression-statistics.html

If you think something is wrong, it usually is.
MsParentguru

May 14, 2012 at 10:22 pm 2 comments


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