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PSA -- Our children and mental health


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3 hours ago, RnR said:

I'm afraid we'll look back in horror on the long-term consequences of locking a generation of children into homes for a virus that largely did not pose a major risk to their demographic.

And we knew that by last summer-- which makes all of this all the more regrettable. So thankful my kids have been able to attend school since August.

We were pretty strict with the isolation the first couple months last spring, but then started allowing the (now) 16 year old to spend the night at friends' house or have friends over to our house overnight.  Not large parties, but get-togethers within his bubble of 10 or so friends.  They have been doing these almost every weekend at one house or another the past 9 months or so. There were several exposure incidents where we had to get him tested and stay home ourselves for a few days, but not that big of an inconvenience. 

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Just before Covid, my wife met up with some college friends, and every single one of everyone's kids was a mess other than one of our kids, who has since had her own problems.  Some trans issues, suicidal, severe anxiety, depression, just a mess... and this was pre-lockdown.

All three of our kids see therapists... it seems like something everyone in that generation should do.  Maybe we should have too, or maybe it's something about the online world, or the fact that this generation is so squeaky clean (stats on every vice are down)... whatever the reason, many are struggling.

Regarding suicides, a wave went through our nice little town about 3 years go, just a rash of a dozen suicides in the schools.  I wonder if it always goes in waves, with kids realizing it's an option, or seeing how the first kid got worshipped after they were gone, or something else entirely.

One of my boys has been to the hospital a couple of times for suicidal ideation.  I can't seem to figure out a way to help him.  He's on some medicine, he sees a therapist, he has a comfortable home and loving family, we go mountain biking and play video games together... on paper, things should be good.  But he's antisocial, unsuccessful in school (despite a super-high IQ and parents always willing to help), he gets himself into miserable situations by lying, procrastinating so badly he fails classes... I don't know, man - I feel like we could lose him and I don't know what else to do.

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Aside from the awareness I hope this thread brought about, it also should show everyone that we aren't alone with this stuff. And it doesn't mean we aren't good parents when our kids are going through these issues. It's heartbreaking reading through some of these posts, but there's some comfort as well to see that we aren't failing them just because they go through this. 

I wanted to add another part that I think plays a part, even moreso for us as parents. We hear or read stories or see things on Facebook, or whatever it might be about kids that accomplish these amazing things. And I know I've seen that at times and wondered where I went wrong when all these other kids are so successful, no problems, etc. But then I read this thread and it goes to show that not everything is always as it seems. 

Thank you to everyone who has shared in here. I wish every one of you the best as you go through these challenges.

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I love you all.

We are starting the patient intake process for counseling next week for my youngest..she's almost 14.  She has had trouble completing tasks most of her life and it is now coupled with what seems like depression and most certainly OCD behaviors.  I have OCD and have medicated my entire adult life so I am sad its my hereditary fault but also happy that I can empathize and help more than my parents ever did.

The heartbreaker is as of late she covers her ears when she's in the room with me, because I make some sound with my mouth she says (??).  So yeah my angel can hardly be in the room with me right now.  It will get better we will make it through.

I love you all.

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2 minutes ago, Buck Bradcanon said:

 

The heartbreaker is as of late she covers her ears when she's in the room with me, because I make some sound with my mouth she says (??).  So yeah my angel can hardly be in the room with me right now.  It will get better we will make it through.

 

Just an FYI, and not sure if this is new with her or not, but my wife has a really problem with weird sounds. Like repetitive chewing noises or tapping or weird stuff that you would never think.

Apparently there is something to this - there is a disorder called Misophonia. My wife has never been officially diagnosed or anything, but it really fits what she experiences. 

Might be something your daughter is experiencing. 

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4 minutes ago, ChiefD said:

Just an FYI, and not sure if this is new with her or not, but my wife has a really problem with weird sounds. Like repetitive chewing noises or tapping or weird stuff that you would never think.

Apparently there is something to this - there is a disorder called Misophonia. My wife has never been officially diagnosed or anything, but it really fits what she experiences. 

Might be something your daughter is experiencing. 

Thank you very very much.  Sincerely.  Will look this up right now. ❤️

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So...he has seemed down the last few days.  Slept like 3 hours late yesterday afternoon.  Part of that problem is that he games at night, and a couple of his friends stay up quite late ad he tries to as well.  We have cut him off by 11pm because his classes start at 7am.  I know he has snuck back down some days after Im in bed (wife is out of town for the week).

He has recently gone through a breakup (last week)...which he did not tell us about til 3 days after it happened.  Wife texted today a picture from the girl's instagram account all snuggled up to a new guy. 

The good is after last year's hospitalization right before his 16th birthday...and then a delay the last few weeks at the drivers center (covid went through the center, then snow and ice canceled another appointment last week)...he passed his driver's test and has his license.  So happy for him...but adds to my anxiety and worries I already have about him.  But he does drive pretty well.

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17 hours ago, Tick said:

or maybe it's something about the online world

I know there is a lot more awareness these days, but you really have to wonder what part the "online world" plays here.

Just thinking back to when I was a kid.  We were exposed to the larger (sometimes depressing) news events, but now kids are bombarded with the large and small (sometimes depressing) news events every single day.  It's tough to be depressed about things you are not aware of (ignorance is bliss), so what happens when you are aware of everything?

Anecdote:  The age range on my family's SnapChat group is 16 to 73.  When you post something like, "did you guys see/hear about....?  The response from the younger people is always, "yes, I saw/heard that."

We monitor screen time for our younger kids with good reason, but then forced screen time and took away social interaction when schooling went virtual.

Edited by WDIK2
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On 2/25/2021 at 1:03 PM, shuke said:

When I went to college I probably talked to my parents once a week for the first couple months but after that it was about once a month.  I could be remembering differently though.

When my older brother went to college he basically cut off contact with my folks for weeks at a time until my mom instituted the “We talk on the phone every Sunday” requirement.  30 years later both my brother and I have phone calls with my mom every Sunday.

I feel for all the folks in here with struggling kids.  I worry about my younger kid, she basically spends like every waking hour staring at a screen.  They’ve been virtually schooling for almost a year now, they’re supposed to resume partial in-person school in April, that will be good for her.

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On 2/24/2021 at 4:04 PM, ChiefD said:

Do you have any good resources for warning signs for kids? 

 

Change in their schedule, "new friends", not wanting to hang out at all with the family. 

I think Sports/teams, The Arts, Clubs at school, your child needs to be involved in something. 

Also don't be afraid to look in the mirror mom and dad as to what you might be doing to cause some of this grief or anxiety they have. 

-Kids like schedules btw in case you didn't know, they like routines, they are not wandering nomads in search of this or that, they are children and they need a track to run on created for them by mom/dad/adults/teachers/coaches, etc...

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Ya'll are some wonderful people ❤️

I feel what a lot of you are writing but from a different perspective. I struggled with "anger problems" growing up, even seeing a therapist/counselor at various times. It was never resolved but I was able to get a little better at controlling it. But that just meant suppressing those emotions which resulted in larger blow ups. This continued until very recently.

My mom passed a few months ago and it wasn't until after that and trying to process those emotions that I discovered I have actually been living with depression most of my life. I guess with men it can show up as anger (I've spent most of my life either being okay or pissed off, never what I would call happy) and especially when I was younger, wasn't commonly diagnosed. So that set me on a new path of learning as much as possible about positive psychology and implementing things like 20 minutes of meditation each day. 

I have a long way to go still but my mental health is the best it's ever been. My relationships with friends and family are the strongest they've ever been and I'm actually happy. It's actually kind of weird but in a good way. 

Sorry I don't have much to contribute to the thread and maybe this is off topic. For what it's worth, the two books that have helped the most so far are The Book of Joy and The Happiness Advantage. 

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@CR69

I get that...I found out years ago my mother suffered from depression.  Was hospitalized not ling after I was born.  Whether that caused the tension with my father or was part of product of that relationship and divorce I don’t know.  
 

I have lived with anxiety for a while and only after my son’s depression came to light did I really see what I had been living with and trying to cope with (both depression and anxiety...though never suicidal).   
Have used different techniques to self medicate over the years...fitness, alcohol...food.   

No I do a little therapy but have found better more healthy coping techniques as well(not that fitness was a bad one...but how I did things was not sustainable)

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25 minutes ago, sho nuff said:

@CR69

I get that...I found out years ago my mother suffered from depression.  Was hospitalized not ling after I was born.  Whether that caused the tension with my father or was part of product of that relationship and divorce I don’t know.  
 

I have lived with anxiety for a while and only after my son’s depression came to light did I really see what I had been living with and trying to cope with (both depression and anxiety...though never suicidal).   
Have used different techniques to self medicate over the years...fitness, alcohol...food.   

No I do a little therapy but have found better more healthy coping techniques as well(not that fitness was a bad one...but how I did things was not sustainable)

Ah yes, self medication. My attempts were typically illegal and addictive, not a great combination with my personality lol. Meditation, yoga and exercise each day help me find balance and start my day in the right frame of mind though. 

We try to get our daughter to participate, some days more successfully than others. I’ve been thinking about paying her to do meditation but can’t decide if that’s evil or not haha. I think starting these routines at a young age would really help as she gets older. 

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On 2/25/2021 at 11:09 AM, RnR said:

I'm afraid we'll look back in horror on the long-term consequences of locking a generation of children into homes for a virus that largely did not pose a major risk to their demographic.

And we knew that by last summer-- which makes all of this all the more regrettable. So thankful my kids have been able to attend school since August.

We have been so fortunate to live in an area that prioritized the kids and had in session school available this entire school year with the majority of extra curricular activities in place.  My 14 yr old son has experienced a full 8th grade year with football and basketball seasons played in their entirety and just started track this week.  He did miss 3 basketball games quarantining while I had COVID and has to wear a mask all day and he doesn't get to do choir performances, but I consider us very lucky.  Online school was available, but I don't know anyone who chose that option for their kids.

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Yes and he has self medicated with alcohol, tried marijuana, and now settled in on vaping sometimes.

There isn’t a person in this world I would wish this type of thing on anyone and seems so many us are going through it.

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On 2/25/2021 at 12:03 PM, STEADYMOBBIN 22 said:

Ill also add that the self harm thing is A LOT more prevalent in this younger generation. We had no idea our oldest also "self harmed" herself. Both of our daughters explained it to us like it was no big deal. everyone does it. Almost like a rite of passage. I think as humans we are wired to overcome struggle and hardship. These kids today dont have it hard. Maybe theyre reaching for something to overcome? I dont have an answer, only questions. 

The thought of cutting myself never ever occurred to me coming up. I cant even wrap my head around it. Even when we talk to our kids - I admit to you guys that I pretend to be sympathetic or understanding about it. 

 

 

I never knew this either.  My wife and I were talking about our 10 year old and how hard she is on herself already.  She mentioned we just need to watch her as she gets older because cutting has become a major thing for girls.  My wife is a teacher and even though she's at the intermediate school level, she hears the stories from the other teachers and how many of their daughters and daughters' friends have fallen into this.

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