When Kids are Silent
I met a teenage boy when I worked at a community mental health center. He had anxiety, depression, and a history of previous suicide attempts. All of the proper interventions and steps were put into place to prevent this teen from attempting to end his life - again. This was a teen who revealed to me as well as others, that he had "feelings" of being gay. He was sweet child but,
As a result of his emotional turmoil, he attempted suicide several times. That was far too many times for my taste, along with multiple hospitalizations. Ironically, he survived all of them. It seemed to me that it was best to work with him in a group session, as well as incorporating individual therapy with another therapist.
He seemed to thrive within my group session, and appeared as if he enjoyed it. However, all kids have to return home after therapy which is where his tension lied. Not to mention, the bullying that happened to him during school. This teen did not get a mental break from his "feelings" until our group or individual therapy sessions. Although the individual session was not with me, we did collaborate to address this teen's needs. Keep in mind, it is best for the therapist holding the group session not to become the member's individual therapist as well. Why? Because the clients are less likely to open up within the group sessions.
During one group and individual therapy session, there were no indications of this teen wanting to complete suicide, such as having suicidal ideation or a sad disposition. Nothing occurred during our sessions that would have warned us of the event that was about to transpire. He was just as active and content as he had been within these particular sessions. Unfortunately, after he left the agency, he stood in front of a moving bus and attempted to end his life - again. This was in front of the agency window and I saw it, yet he survived and was taken to the hospital - again. At the hospital I learned that he said,
"No one believes me."
Advice to Parents
If your children share their inner most feelings with you,
You see, the aforementioned skills work to give children the attention that they desperately need when faced with tough situations. Many children's lives can be saved if we just love them through their perceived challenges.
When I work with children who see no way out but death,
"Listen to Children"
Throughout my career, I, repeatedly heard the phrase, "No one believes me." Many of those children have been Nebulous Children. A few times, I encountered Nebulous Children who wanted to end their lives because they WERE able to see ghosts. This was tragic.
Tragedy does not need to happen to children as a result of adults not listening to them, or believing the things that they share. As adults, we sometimes forget that children are still developing and that their feelings need nurturing. It maybe difficult for us to understand that LGBTQIA children and teens, as well as Nebulous Children may have different experiences than us. However, those experiences can cause a significant amount of mental health issues. Reason being, adults tend to disregard or equate children's struggles to nonsense or deem them as insignificant due to their ages.
Collectively, children and teens become apprehensive of the potential for negative reactions from parents as well as society. This causes them to become afraid which turns into an interpersonal struggle. It is a fight to survive for them daily. It is the constant need to protect themselves from harm. It is the need to wear a shield of armor in a society that coined the phrase, "The Land of the Free." It is a society where anyone slightly different is deemed abnormal. At times the assumed abnormalities are justified religiously, but many times it comes from a place hatred hence, "Dark Angels."
It...is...serious. If a child tells you that they are LGBTQIA or a Nebulous Child,
Suicide is a serious issue for children and adolescents.
Help is available. Speak to someone today.
Please contact the Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.
Love, Dr. Lisa.