Mental Health affects everyone. Including me. This is a hard post to write, and It is written with the consent of our son, who is still struggling.
Our oldest son was a victim of bullying. He was told for over a year that he shouldn’t be alive, that he should take his own life. He thought he could handle it. He thought he could just push the words away.
A year ago I first heard the words “your son has claimed he wants to take his life”. I laughed. that sounds so horrible to me now. Our son is often dramatic, he actually loves drama, and is a wonderful actor. I was sure there was just a test he wanted out of, or a class he wanted to miss. When we arrived at school it all became clear this was not an act. we did the best we could having never dealt with anything this severe with our children before. He started therapy, and unfortunately, staff changed, and the therapist he ended up seeing was not a good fit. He seemed ok. I should have known. He asked to stop therapy. He asked, we discussed as a family, and we obliged. His consent and participation in therapy was the only way therapy would work.
The fall was pleasant. He started high school. Ran cross country. got a part in the school musical. Marched in the Marching band. His grades were wonderful. We thought that season of his life was behind us. How naive.
Fast forward to December – we had a few appointments after a meeting with school. We discovered just how deep his depression was, and just after New Years, we had to make a choice. We placed him in the care of the Children’s Mental Health Hospital. As a parent – Bradley Hospital was amazing. They loved our son, and helped him navigate through where he was at. He spent 11 days inpatient, and then 4 weeks in their partial program. Those moments are his – and I pray someday he will want to share. I can only give my perspective.
Finding a therapist that was a good fit for him has been hard. We still have not been able to secure a child psychiatrist who is accepting new patients for medication management. We have 4 different applications on his phone so we get notified if he types the words “I want to end my life, I am going to kill myself…” or any variation of this. He knows this – and in his clear moments he appreciates it. I wish all his moments could be clear.
I want to place him in a bubble and just remind him how loved he is, how much he is needed, how his Mental Health journey is not unique – there are so many people like him. People who feel like there is no choice. No voice. No place to turn. I want him and everyone that is dealing with this to know that they are loved. That SOMEONE cares. You are needed.
If you or someone you love needs help – call someone – 911, your doctor or here: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org