I recently read a wonderful post written by the Musings of Fred. It discussed how the signs of mental illness in minors are often ignored. This post hit home with me. It was extremely true for my particular case growing up. Not only were my signs of mental health issues ignored, but even when they came to light, they were just not addressed.
Why does this happen? Why does it take so long for parents to step in and get help for their children? Honestly, I don’t have the answer. I am not a psychologist or psychiatrist. I have done no research whatsoever. So I am not here to give some scientific answer.
I just I just wanted to give my thoughts. And I wanted to see what everyone else thought.
For me, I honestly hid my emotions and feelings of depression quite well. I am not sure my parents actually knew up front. My mom did find a suicide note when I was in 6th grade though, and she asked me about it, and then it was never talked about again. Some teachers asked me about my depression, but again, did nothing. One teacher seemed to care, but he abused his power and molested me. This is when it all came to light – my 8th grade school counselor found out about the molestation, she told my parents, I was cutting and I was suicidal. My school counselor urged them to put me in therapy. I did not want to deal with anything and did not want to go. My parents never discussed anything with me and I was never put into therapy.
My mental health deteriorated over time, Deteriorated a lot, suicidal thoughts were awful, life was awful, my parents never stepped in, teachers never stepped in. No one seemed to care even though everyone seemed to be aware.
I think a lot of people were in denial. How could I be having problems? My grades were still perfect 0 straight A’s in fact. I was in all AP classes. How could someone doing so well in school really want to die, how could they be destroying their lives – they had a bright future. I don’t think my parents wanted to believe that I had been molested. I don’t think they wanted to believe that their child had a mental illness. I don’t think my teachers wanted to get involved and as some told me, I always seemed to be better at the end of each semester when my grades mattered.
I told people I didn’t want help when I was younger, and yeah, I was scared of getting help because of what my teacher did to me. I had told him about being depressed, and he took advantage of me. But I also longed to not feel the way I was feeling. I wanted someone to save me from my mind and how much it was torturing me.
I hope that people quit ignoring the kids and adolescents that need help. I hope that those that are reaching our for help, and those that are silently suffering because they don’t know how to reach out for help or feel they cant, can receive the help they need. Too often people do see the signs – teachers, pastors, friends, and family, they do see the signs – but the blind themselves to them. They don’t want to believe it could happen in their kid. They are too preoccupied with their own problems or work. They think it is just a phase.
We can’t look the other way anymore. I truly believe if someone had helped me when I was younger, I wouldn’t have had such a hard time in college, I would be suffering as much as I am now. Yes, I said I didn’t need help then, I said I didn’t want therapy then. I was 13 or 14 though. I didn’t know what I wanted. I was scared. I didn’t want my friends to judge me. I shouldn’t have been able to make that decision, I was a kid.
If you want to know more about warning signs in kids from preschool to the teen age years click here.