As I was checking my Facebook this morning, I came across the disheartening news that Delilah’s son Zachariah passed away as a result of suicide. He was on the autism spectrum and had been struggling with depression for years. Although he was involved in therapy and had lots of love from his large family, it unfortunately was not enough to alleviate his sadness within his heart.
Delilah and her family are not alone in this matter; the reality of the matter is that teen depression is extremely common and can put severe strains on the family. Seeking help is imperative and being consistent with treatment can reduce stress on everyone as well. When a teenager is depressed, it not only affects them individually but everyone he or she is involved with (imagine the ripple effect). Family counseling can also be beneficial for the healing of the child’s caretakers and siblings. Having a safe space to share and process this can help people move forward and can help the family as a whole.
Psychoeducation plays a role in this too. Learning about teen depression and what signs to look for is important. If you are able to identify early warning signs or symptoms and seek treatment sooner, you are more likely to see change occur. Think of momentum ; it is much easier to stop a car when it is going 3 MPH rather than one that speeding at 100 MPH.
Teenage depression has been on the rise in the United States for a while now, so it is important that we have earlier interventions to start reducing this and our teen suicide rate.