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      National Mental Health Awareness Month, 2016   05/01/2016

      Proclamation 9433 of April 28, 2016 National Mental Health Awareness Month, 2016 A Proclamation Nearly 44 million American adults, and millions of children, experience mental health conditions each year, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and post-traumatic stress. Although we have made progress expanding mental health coverage and elevating the conversation about mental health, too many people still do not get the help they need. Our Nation is founded on the belief that we must look out for one another—and whether it affects our family members, friends, co-workers, or those unknown to us—we do a service for each other when we reach out and help those struggling with mental health issues. This month, we renew our commitment to ridding our society of the stigma associated with mental illness, encourage those living with mental health conditions to get the help they need, and reaffirm our pledge to ensure those who need help have access to the support, acceptance, and resources they deserve. In the last 7 years, our country has made extraordinary progress in expanding mental health coverage for more people across America. The Affordable Care Act prohibits insurance companies from discriminating against people based on pre-existing conditions, requires coverage of mental health and substance use disorder services in individual and small group markets, and expands mental health and substance use disorder parity policies, which are estimated to help more than 60 million Americans. Nearly 15 million more Americans have gained Medicaid coverage since October 2013, significantly improving access to mental health care. And because of more than $100 million in funding from the Affordable Care Act, community health centers have expanded behavioral health services for nearly 900,000 people nationwide over the past 2 years. Still, far too few Americans experiencing mental illnesses do not receive the care and treatment they need. That is why my most recent Budget proposal includes a new half-billion dollar investment to improve access to mental health care, engage individuals with serious mental illness in care, and help ensure behavioral health care systems work for everyone. Our Nation has made strong advances in improving prevention, increasing early intervention, and expanding treatment of mental illnesses. Earlier this year, I established a Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Task Force, which aims to ensure that coverage for mental health benefits is comparable to coverage for medical and surgical care, improve understanding of the requirements of the law, and expand compliance with it. Mental health should be treated as part of a person's overall health, and we must ensure individuals living with mental health conditions can get the treatment they need. My Administration also continues to invest in science and research through the BRAIN initiative to enhance our understanding of the complexities of the human brain and to make it easier to diagnose and treat mental health disorders early. One of our most profound obligations as a Nation is to support the men and women in uniform who return home and continue fighting battles against mental illness. Last year, I signed the Clay Hunt SAV Act, which fills critical gaps in serving veterans with post-traumatic stress and other illnesses, increases peer support and outreach, and recruits more talented individuals to work on mental health issues at the Department of Veterans Affairs. This law will make it easier for veterans to get the care they need when they need it. All Americans, including service members, can get immediate assistance by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK or by calling 1-800-662-HELP. During National Mental Health Awareness Month, we recognize those Americans who live with mental illness and substance use disorders, and we pledge solidarity with their families who need our support as well. Let us strive to ensure people living with mental health conditions know that they are not alone, that hope exists, and that the possibility of healing and thriving is real. Together, we can help everyone get the support they need to recover as they continue along the journey to get well. NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 2016 as National Mental Health Awareness Month. I call upon citizens, government agencies, organizations, health care providers, and research institutions to raise mental health awareness and continue helping Americans live longer, healthier lives. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-eighth day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth.  
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nicky1995

My Son Is Depressed...what Do I Do Now

10 posts in this topic

Posted

HI all,

I have used this site alot over the last few months, mainly reading to get encouragement. I have not been well enough until now to express my feelings into words. My problem is my sixteen/seventeen year old son who is showing many symptoms of depression. He is in his last year at high school and sits for an important exam at the end of the year, hoping to pass and get into university. There have been many stressors for him, not only the teenage years but my illness with a severe episode which really traumatised him. He has seen a counsellor but is hesitating about going back. I am very encouraging of this because I know he needs help. We are very close and he is a kind and caring boy. He is deeply troubled but gets very stubborn about counselling. I have been to therapy and on medication most of my life and understand the feelings of ambivalence about counselling. He is also very private and not trusting. I also know that he has a very real fear of having inherited my illness, whilst this may be so (and I am hoping with all my heart it is not), he needs help for these issues. I am asking what is my best course of action for him. I cannot make him do something. It is a real concern. Thankyou for taking the time to read my post.

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Posted

Hi nicky,

I think talking to your son about this might be a good idea. Since you say you're very close, I'm sure he cares about your concerns as well. Graduating with the burden of additional problems is a very stressful process (I'm going through it myself), and he probably knows he needs help. It takes a while to get used to confiding in a therapist, but if he gives it some time, he will see the benefits. Of course you can't force him, you can only try to convince him. Let him know you want to help him and that you would like him to give counselling another try, because you think that's best for him. It is nothing to be ashamed of. He has to realise that if he doesn't get help for his issues, they will get worse and he certainly doesn't want that.

I hope both of you will feel better soon.

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Posted

Have you tried talking about what exactly bothers him about therapy? Maybe he feels he can't work with his current therapist or otherwise wants more control over the process. Therapy works best if he's 100% behind it and if you try to pressure him into it you might just cause more damage than good.

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Posted

Also, ask him what KIND of therapist he would like...

maybe starting him off in something not so formal may help - that's what my mom did with me when I was a little younger than your son. Maybe something that is therapy, but not just sitting in an office staring at the person your pouring your heart out to. I know they have play therapy for younger kids.. maybe it is worth looking into if they have something available in your area that works with your son's interests - does he like art, if so .. art therapy?

Maybe asking him straight out why he doesn't want to see a therapist would work.. you do say your close so hopefully that is something he would be willing to tell you.

Unfortunately though, your right when it comes right down to it... you can't fully FORCE him unless your willing to do, or he does something drastic. And I am hoping that it doesn't come to that point. Until then, try to not pressure him about it, but do ask him occasionally. And I think NocturnAngel was right about being honest and upfront with your concerns. Your son sounds like a caring and sensitive individual, and maybe him know that he is adding stress to you, MIGHT get him to open up more.

Wishing you both the best...

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Posted

Hello Nicky. This is my first post - came here in desperation as I can't stop crying, and I'm not sure I can help other than to say you are not alone, I have a son who is a little older - 19, in first yr at Uni and may have to drop out due to depression/anxiety. I don't mind ultimately if that's what he really needs to do to feel better; what I can't bear is to see him so low. He is currently on medication - Mirtazapine - because he wasn't sleeping, and says he likes pills and doesn't want to talk to anyone. The Mirtazapine is like chemical cosh and I am hurting so much seeing him like this, when he can be so lively and active when he is well. He stays at home, doesn't want to mix or do anything. The awful thing for me tonight is that I feel angry, fed up, exhausted... as if I have no more resources left in me. I feel that I am supportive and encouraging but that I am trying too hard to sort out his problems. So maybe the answer is that he has to work this out himself and I have to pull back, let him do this, and regain some sense of myself. Your line ' I cant make him do something ' really struck a chord. It's true, incredibly painful though when it's your own flesh and blood. Like the others above, you can suggest your ideas about what might help, talk truthfully about why you think it's a good idea, but there's a thin line between advice and pressure - as I've found out. Myself, I think my son should stop taking these brain-altering chemicals and talk to someone about the things that have gone wrong for him over the last 6 months, But I can't make him do this. Does this sound bad - I find myself shifting between being completely and utterly 'there' for him, to just wanting to run away and never hear about the problem again. I wonder what I have done or not done that my son has ended up like this, and then I tell myself not to beat myself up on top of the anguish I'm feeling every day. .

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Posted

So sorry you're going through this with your kids. It's one of the hardest things to watch our children struggle and not know how to best help them. But, at least it does seem like they're talking to you to a certain extent. So, that's a good first step. Of course, as has already been shared, counseling really seems like the best solution here. Unfortunately, our kids don't always see it that way. But, I really hope they'll continue to be open to this option. Also, another suggestion I wanted to make is to check out a book on this topic I've heard is really good called, Is Your Teen Stressed or Depressed?: A Practical and Inspirational Guide for Parents of Hurting Teenagers by Dr. Archibald Hart. Maybe it will give you some other ideas on how to reach your sons? Lastly, in my time at Family on the Family, I came across a couple counselor replies to other parents facing a similar situation here and here. So, perhaps you'll find some guidance from reading through them? I hope so! Well, your families will be in my thoughts and prayers. Hang in there!

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Posted (edited)

Hi Nicky,

I have a depressed 17 yr old also sittng for major exams at the end of the year. She has just been weaned off Prozac and it's really scary. I'm not sure whether they are going to try her on another one, or see how she goes.

HAve you spoken to the school, so they are aware of what your son is going through? They might be able to offer him extensions or the such if it is affecting his marks. Our school has been great, andm y daughter knows there are a couple of teachers she can go to if it gets too much. Like your son, my daughter is quiet, and high achieving and this can also add pressure to them.

My Dr put me on antidepressants just over a week ago because I've been strong for the last 2 1/2 yrs, and was going downhill.

I wish I could make it better for you...but I am realising I can't do it for my daughter either. She is off to see her psychologist in 3 weeks. She was offered an earlier appointment but didn't want to miss dancing. It's her choice , no matter what I think.

All you can do is offer your son help and try and look after yourself.

My heart breaks knowing we really can't do anything for our kids but offer them support . We want to make it better, but as I realise now, we can only offer help.

I can't counsel my daughter, because I am too close to the situation.

Talk to your boy, and if he isn't ready, just be there when he is. Perhaps he might want to change counsellors. It's worth asking

Keep the lines of communication open...I have decided tht is the best thing I can do for myself and my daughter. If she is talking to me, even in a small way, I can see where she is.

We have all been in the crying place. That's what makes us mothers. Better to express those feelings than hold them in. I think at one point everywhere I went, I was armed with tissues. Anything could set me off.

Do you have an activity that you do just for you? As harsh as it sounds, a small amount of time spent on yourself, will keep you feeling strong and able to cope.

Take care and post as often as you need us.

You are not alone. We need to support each other, and we know exactly how you feel , hang in there.

I wish I could give you more tangible help, but my thoughts are with you

Leebux xxxxx

Edited by leebux
cassmat likes this

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Posted

Wow I am glad to find this place, I have never felt so alone in my life, I posted about our struggle with our 13 year old up above. No one understands unless they have been going thru this, my sister, my best friend and I have nearly had to quit talking as she keeps saying my daughter needs to suck it up, etc....like this is a choice??

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Posted (edited)

Hi Cassmat,

We understand. It's a hard and lonely place to be and people sometimes don't understand. Generally that is through ignorance though.

.

You are right, that this ILLNESS is NOT a choice. The kids don't want to feel tis way.I hope you get her meds sorted soon.

Good luck with your daughter, and keep us posted on how you are going.

All we can offer is support,

Thoughts are with you and you are not alone

Take care

Leebux

Edited by leebux

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Posted

Hi Nicky,

I relate to your situation with your son. I've had depression most of my life, with some more severe bouts, and have a son who is 26. I always remember my teen years, feeling depressed but always thinking I just needed to improve myself somehow. And knowing that my mother committed suicide (I was 19), and finally realizing that she was probably depressed (no one talked about depression in the early '70s), and her mother had some sort of mental illness, the possibility that I also may have depression was so overwhelming. I had a hard time accepting that I could not 100% control my thoughts and feelings.

I think that we can help our kids by remembering how we felt at that time, about the diagnosis, and (for me) no longer feeling like I could do anything, or be anything I wanted, because of this thing I had no control over.

I don't know if this makes sense, so just know I'm thinking of you and your son.

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