Friday, December 30, 2011

Suicide in Teens

Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison speaks about suicide in teens.

This past summer I had the devastating experience of attending the funeral of an incredible young man I knew who died from suicide. He wasn’t the only boy in my small town to die from suicide this year, 2 other young men from the same high school did within months of one another. Their story is not mine to tell, but as a parent of a child who has wanted to die, their stories hit very close to home, so much so it rattled the walls of my heart.

Last night I was overcome with this fear, the fear of losing my son to suicide. I try to avoid such thoughts, but every once in a while the worry creeps into my mind, usually when I least expect it, I get emotionally knocked over and I feel the air get sucked out of my lungs.

I know that we’re doing everything possible to help our son avoid such an outcome, but I also know that as each year passes, he’ll gain more freedom and I’ll lose more control. I know it sounds ridiculous, but with him being so young, I feel like I can prevent this outcome, I can monitor his moods, follow his actions and support his care. But one day, he’ll leave my nest and go through his symptoms alone. How will I know that he’ll be ok? What happens when he becomes depressed and there’s no one there to support him? What happens if he refuses to take his medication? Or doesn’t get his prescriptions filled properly? How will I protect him?

I think to a degree all moms feel this way when their children grow up and move on, we worry about their safety, that they’re making mature decisions and so on, but with my son’s mood disorder, my worries feel justified.

Thankfully we both have time ahead of us to mature and adapt. In the meantime, I’ll be teaching my son how to monitor his symptoms, how to responsibly take and manage his medications and the importance of working with his doctors. I also need to work on trusting God, letting go of what I never really controlled in the first place. 

Thankfully I still have some time to grow up.


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If you or someone you know is in immediate danger because of thoughts of suicide, please call 911 now.

If you are outside the US, call your local emergency services.

If you are not in immediate danger because of thoughts of suicide, but need someone to talk with about your suicidal feelings, please do not hesitate to call one of the following national suicide prevention lines:


1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)

1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)


You are loved and you matter!


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Video Source:
Uploaded on YouTube by  on Oct 5, 2010





1 comment:

  1. A concern parent should really need to look closer on issues such as suicide especially those who are vocal that they want to die. No parent wants their kids to be harmed. I will keep the number in case the time comes that I will need it.

    ReplyDelete