11 Apr Awareness of Depression/Suicide in Teens
My wish is for there to be more help and resources for teenagers who have depression and have attempted/ are considering suicide.
My name is Stephanie Austin and I am a 33 year old single mother of 2 boys, Tyler 14 and Jordan 12. Last year when Tyler was in 8th grade he was diagnosed with severe depression, anxiety, and has had ADHD since he was 5. I as a parent was overwhelmed and had no idea where to even begin. Even the doctors couldn’t really give me any ideas and and to get into Children’s hospital was a long wait.
Tyler began cutting, experimenting with drugs, drinking, and gave up on pretty much anything. Including band, which he loves more than anything. And I felt there was nothing I could do to help him. So one night he had a really bad episode, and we ended up in the ER at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. He was threatening to kill himself, to kill other people, and was inconsolable.
I was absolutely terrified. So we sat in the ER at Children’s and it was almost 5-6 HOURS before anyone came in to talk to us. That was bullshit. And their excuse was they were busy and had lots of other patients. And as working in a hospital, I understand that, but that many hours is ridiculous. So Tyler got admitted for a week to a Psych ward at Children’s College Hill. It was terrible. He came out almost worse than when he went in, knowing how to use cue words to manipulate us and so forth.
We were finally able to get him into a psychiatrist about a month after he was discharged to try some antidepressants. He hated the psychiatrist. So that didn’t help.Then he ended up in the ER again with more self harming thoughts and this time we had him placed at the Linder Center of Hope outpatient program. I could never ever say enough good things about this program. It was like school, they went and learned just like school, but they also learned how to appropriately deal with the feelings they were having and how to communicate better.
The staff was much more understanding and super supportive. So then we found a therapist by our house that works with a lot of kids like Tyler. And he absolutely loves her. She has been a Godsend for Tyler, and for me because I see her as well. Tyler is an awesome, smart, funny kid who is very very talented in music and is in Marching Band and Winter Drumline. And with the help of his therapist and medication he is finally in a much better spot. He still struggles with anxiety and school. But he is much happier.
So my wish is when kids get those diagnosis, or are dealing with suicidal feelings, or feelings of helplessness there are more resources out there to help the families. Or that even families who have been through this get together and form a group to help other families.