ENDING THE STIGMA OF DEPRESSION
As a teenager, people always said I had a beautiful smile. I won beauty contests and was in National Honor Society. What people didn't know was that behind that smile I spent many dark days and nights struggling with symptoms of clinical depression. I often thought "I wish I had never been born."
Since that time I've discovered the joy of being alive. I have so many great reasons for living. While I got the help I needed to overcome the depression, I haven't forgotten the struggle. Or the lessons learned along the way that helped me conquer depression.
Despite what many people think, young kids, even preschoolers, struggle with clinical depression. Left untreated episodes of depression come back and get worse with time. The suicide rate among young children has increased dramatically. Suicide should not be a leading cause of death among children. With age appropriate treatment, like play therapy, a child can flourish. Depression doesn't have to spoil childhood.
Suicidal comments and threats are especially dangerous for young children because kids don't understand the permanence of death and are more likely to act on impulse. When a preteen or teen makes a comment about wishing they were dead, it could mean that they're struggling with feelings of depression or anxiety. These are hard feelings to manage alone. Suicidal statements are becoming more and more prevalent among children as young as 5 or 6 years old. This is a tragic trend that must be stopped.
Not sure if your child is suicidal? Download this free resource Could Your Child or Teen Be Suicidal?
Having someone to help sort it all out makes a huge difference.
I was honored to be invited to contribute a chapter to the Save a Life, Send an Email book project. The book is a project put together to raise awareness about depression and to raise money to support depression awareness. In the book I share some of my personal story of overcoming childhood depression.
The Save a Life, Send an Email Book Project was launched on April 13, 2015 with a mission: to stop the stigma that accompanies depression and spread awareness about suicide prevention with a portion of the book sales going to support the work of To Write Love on Her Arms. In the first week of publication, the book achieved multiple #1 rankings on Amazon in 5 countries. A Facebook community, Save a Life Send an Email was created to spread of message of hope to people suffering from depression. It's our aim to let people fighting suicidal thoughts know that they matter.
Numerous people reached out to share their stories of loved ones who had suffered from depression or ended their lives by suicide. Many expressed their deep appreciation. Finally, someone was talking about the silent shame of depression and suicide.
The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance of Greater Chicago signed on to support the project. Best- selling author, Seth Godin gave an original quote that can be found in the book. The book is available on Amazon for 99 cents. Proceeds of the book sale (after Amazon fees and taxes) go to support To Write Love on Her Arms, an organization that spreads awareness about suicide prevention.
Kids with depression need help gathering and storing happy childhood memories. Happy childhood memories are a treasure. They shouldn't be darkened by depression's gloomy attitude. Depression doesn't have to end lives.
Recently there have been reports of celebrity suicides in the news. Too often, there's a report of a teen suicide, perhaps even at your child's school. Talking about the issue, directly and with caring compassion is the best way to prevent death by suicide. Don't hesitate to reach out for help.
Purchase the book on Amazon.com: The Save a Life Send an Email Book