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Saturday, April 28, 2012

When Life Hurts

Last week I learned about a 12 year old boy from my home town who took his own life.  The word on the street is that he suffered with depression and he was bullied.  Both of which are so difficult.  There were many thoughts expressed as well as questions.  The question that was asked most frequently was, “how does a 12 year old feel that hopeless”.  He was a child.  I wrestled with this into the night when I learned about it.  Yesterday I saw his picture along with his obituary that told of the things that he enjoyed.  His picture still haunts me.  Why?  I didn’t even know him or his family.  I suppose there are many asking the question that I am asking today; what could have been done to save him?  Instead of trying to come up with an answer to any of it, I went to National Alliance on Mental Illness website  There is a well written guide called “What Families Need to Know About Adolescent Depression”.  The following is an excerpt:

It is important to not dismiss any of these symptoms as “acting out” or “just a phase.”

• sleep problems (commonly more sleeping);
• loss of interest or pleasure in formerly fun activities;
• loss of interest in friends;
• appetite changes;
• energy loss;
• sadness or irritability;
• concentration problems;
• hopeless or guilty thoughts;
• body movement changes—feeling edgy or slowed down;
• persistent physical complaints and/or frequent visits to school
   nurses; or
• suicidal thoughts or preoccupation with death.

For many adolescents, suicidal thoughts are part of major depression.
Suicide is seen as a permanent “solution” to what may be a temporary
problem. Although teenage girls are at greater risk of depression, boys have
a higher risk of suicide if they are depressed. But if diagnosed and treated
promptly, almost everyone—children, adolescents and adults—recovers
from depression.

I have felt the sting of depression and thoughts of hopelessness and know that there is a better day around the corner for you or your loved one.

Please reach out today to someone who is hurting.  If that one is you, please reach out to a friend and a professional that can help you.  You are worth it!

Blessings to all who stopped by today,

Amy Lynn Michael

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