So I spent last Thursday at home at home with Halle, who was suffering an upset stomach. Once that seemed to have settled down, she was knocked out for a couple hours and woke up feeling better… and bored. And whiney. None of our movies interested her, so I pulled out Pride and Prejudice & Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood that arrived earlier in the week from Netflix.
It kept her still for the rest of the afternoon, and sparked a number of conversations about racism and sexism. I was struck very early how the world she is growing up in is so very different than mine when, not five minutes into the movie, she observed,
Can’t you get AIDS that way?
While I felt a tinge of regret that she should even have to think of such a thing, I was glad that she not only knows this information, but that she would apply it to this situation. While that concern never occurred to me (I mean, it’s just a group of little girls having a blood ritual), it’s clear in her mind that ANYBODY can have HIV or AIDS, and she knows how it is and isn’t, communicated.
Props to age appropriate, comprehensive sex education at our public school!
In March of 2006, my world was turned upside down as I learned my then nine year old had not only considered hurting himself, but also had a suicide plan. I don’t know if I could have gotten through it had it not been the support I received from friends in response to a rather cryptic prayer request…
GLBT Youth are not the only ones who are bullied or at risk for suicide. Teen Lifeline offers peer counseling for teens and those concerned about teens. Please add 602.248.TEEN to your child’s cell phone so that he or she has someone to call if they or a friend are in trouble (see the graph below). If you live outside Arizona and can’t find a local resource for support, you’ll find some national numbers below as well.
Suicide can be prevented. Most teenagers don’t want to die. The majority of those considering suicide give some sort of clue. Many young people don’t think about suicide as being permanent.
- Each year, nearly 26,400 teens in Arizona attempt suicide.
- Arizona ranks 3rd in the nation for teen suicide.
- Each year since 1985, Arizona has ranked in the top 10 states for teens who completed suicide.
- Breakup of the family including divorce and separation.
- Moving after establishing meaningful relationships.
- Experiencing a loss like a break-up, end of a relationship, or intense friendship.
- Pressure to attain unrealistic goals by self or others.
- Pressure to use drugs, alcohol, or engage in other destructive behaviors
- Statements like “I just want to go to sleep and never wake up”
- Statements indicating worthlessness or desire of death like “Everyone would be better off if I were dead”
- Depression or sadness lasting for more than two weeks
- Sudden and drastic changes in personality
- Behavior such as sleeping, eating or grooming in excess
- Giving away personal belongings that have special meanings
- Saying a final goodbye to family and friends or leaving a goodbye note
- Previous suicide attempts
- Using drugs and alcohol increases impulsivity and the risk of suicide
WHEN A FRIEND TALKS OF SUICIDE
Let your friend tell you about their situation and feelings. Don’t give advice or try to find a simple solution. Really listen to what they are trying to tell you.
If your friend’s words or actions scare you, say so. Your discussion will not encourage your friend to go through with their plan. Let your friend know you care.
At times everyone has felt sad, hurt, or depressed. You know what it feels like. Let your friend know that they are not alone and that you care.
If you keep this secret you could lose your friend forever. Try to get them to talk to an adult they trust. If they won’t, talk to someone yourself or call Teen Lifeline.
If you or someone you know needs help or needs to talk;
IN MARICOPA COUNTY
OUTSIDE MARICOPA COUNTY
This graph shows the topics teens generally discuss when they call the hotline.
- Make a List for Help (requires Acrobat Reader)
- Suicide Information Questionnaire (requires Acrobat Reader)
For more information on specific teen issues, please visit the following web sites as well:
These little gems usually appear in my Facebook status, but I am blogging this one specifically so you can share it with others… I know a couple of you have parents or other relatives who do stuff JUST LIKE THIS…
If you need to tell your adult child something important… say, that you have liver cancer and will be having surgery within the next three weeks… PLEASE don’t tell your her daddy that you tried to reach said child “several times” if you never left a voice mail.
Unlike the caller ID on your house phone, there is no “missed call” if the cell phone you are calling is off (while the grandchild who carries it because she uses public transit is in school) or in a dead zone (like the elevator at work or the depths of Super Wal-Mart) or the battery got worn down (because she took too many videos at volleyball practice, or pictures, or was using her phone as an MP3 player).
I’m just sayin’… leave a message.
A-D-H-wut? Oh, ADHD. It means attent…….hey that cloud looks like cookie monster!
“How many ADHD people does it take to screw a light bulb?”
Only one, but it took several light bulbs and several months to get it done because the ADDer…..
- Paid for the lightbulb then left it in the shop on the counter.
- Dropped another light bulb out of a hole in his/her shopping
bag didn’t notice and ran over it with a truck.
- Bought the wrong sort of lightbulb because s/he couldn’t be bothered checking which sort of light bulb was needed cause that’s boring.
- Left the light bulb under a pile of clothes for several weeks before s/he got around to trying to put it up.
- Couldn’t remember who s/he gave the ladder too so decided they had to go buy another.
- Took the old light bulb down put it on the floor next to the new light bulb got distracted by an idea in his/her head.
- Ran to get notebook to write idea down idea forgot about light bulb for an hour as other thoughts came to mind, remembered lightbulb couldn’t figure out which was the old light bulb and which was the new light bulb
Who invented such an inhuman thing as a light bulb?!
“My son was just diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder. I just don’t understand . . . We pay plenty of attention to him!”
First, I must give props to Google… I didn’t find http://www.ritalindeath.com/ until page three. It usually comes up in the top ten links in other search forums. There are others like http://www.adhdfraud.org/ use similar scare tactics, and of course there are those that claim adhd can be cured or that your child can unlearn ADHD and those that offer free lawsuit information. One of my favorites is the one that tells parents that ADHD is a result of parents not raising their children by biblical principles for the last 100 years or so.
There was never a reason for creating the labels ADD and ADHD in the first place, unless you include expanding drug-company profits and a plan to drug and debilitate millions of children.
There aren’t enough ‘highly qualified’ medical professionals who specialize in ADHD… not just to diagnose, but to provide ongoing treatment beyond refilling prescriptions. In addition, the information available to parents who attempt to research ADHD is often questionable, conflicting, and confusing. Finding a support base is challenging, both in your community or online.
ADD and ADHD are fake “diseases” created so parents can legally sedate their children. Your child is not special, your child is just a shithead.
~ response on an internet bulletin board
There is a wide misconception that ADHD is a drug company driven disorder, or a result in lax skills in modern parents. I’ve spoken with people who think ADHD has only been around since the 1980’s. Most ADHD websites will indicate that ADHD has been a diagnosis, under different names, for about 100 years… but I found a source even older than The Story of Fidgety Phillip (Dr Heinrich Hoffman, 1845).
There is, however, considerable evidence to suggest that ADHD is not a recent phenomenon. 2500 years ago, the great physician-scientist, Hippocrates (493 BC) described a condition that seems to be compatible with what we now know as ADHD.
He described patients who had…. “quickened responses to sensory experience, but also less tenaciousness because the soul moves on quickly to the next impression”. Hippocrates attributed this condition to an “overbalance of fire over water”. His remedy for this “overbalance” was “barley rather than wheat bread, fish rather than meat, water drinks, and many natural and diverse physical activities”.
An interesting description from “The Father of Medicine“, huh?
A lot of people will make the argument because there’s no blood test or x-ray to diagnose ADHD, that it’s not real, or that it just got made up recently. But there are a lot of medical conditions throughout history that existed LONG before there was a test to diagnose them, or a way to treat them. Does that make them any less valid?.
We’ve had diabetes for hundreds of years, and we’ve had hypertension for hundreds of years, and we’ve had asthma for hundreds of years. . . . We’ve had cancer. We’ve had lots of things for hundreds of years. That doesn’t necessarily make it a good thing. And when you sit back and you allow yourself to be informed by research . . . our studies show that these kids have bad outcomes when we don’t help them.
So, what’s our responsibility as a society if a child has a bad outcome for untreated asthma? Should we treat it? Yes. If he has a bad outcome for untreated ADHD and we can do something about it, would it be ethical to withhold treatment or say, “Well, just let parents handle it?” I took a Hippocratic Oath that said that if I could intervene and help in a medically responsible way that was safe and effective, that was my job. And that’s my job as a medical scientist, as well.
Dr. Peter Jenson, former head of psychiatry at the National Institute for Mental Health
I’ve had some personally surreal moments over the last few months. Normally, this is the kind of post I would restrict to my preferred list… you know, the people who know me intimately and to whom I can share the deep dark or completely nutty things and know that even if they judge me for it, they’ll still love me anyway. But this one, even though it falls into both categories, I think I’ll just leave out there. It’s going to contain a lot of mess and may not make a damn bit of sense to anyone who doesn’t know me ‘like that’ but on the other hand, maybe someone will see something in it that they need.
In March, Tyler had an appointment with a leading developmental pediatrician in the field of ADHD, at a Child Study Center. We were to review some screenings for depression and anxiety. Tyler was showing some significant signs of both. As the PNP was asking questions to Tyler at the end of the appointment to get an idea of how often he was feeling depressed/sad and anxious/worried, she asked him if he ever thought about suicide. Tyler had, and of greater concern, when she asked him how he’d do it, Tyler had a suicide plan. Read more…
I try not to ‘relive’ my life through my children. I make a conscious effort to try and NOT transfer my own emotions and experiences onto Tyler’s life, even while I try and tap into those same emotions and experiences so that I can empathize with what he’s going through, and help him. I’ve noticed I keep saying to myself, things like… we’re going to be OK. I suddenly feel like I am reliving my childhood. I was not a stranger to ‘dark’ fantasies… wouldn’t everyone just feel terrible about the way they’d treated me, if I were dead… whether in some horrible accident, while heroically saving someone from a house fire, or by taking my own life. Read more…
Thursday we had the follow up appointment with Dr. Kessler’s PNP, Theresa Rimer. Dr. Kessler is the director of St Joe’s (not luke’s) AZ Child Study Center, who was on the panel that rewrote the AAP criteria for diagnosing ADHD in children, but you probably know that from the blog link. Sorry, I’m still a little in awe that we see this guy. After we got the referral in 1/2005 when I was worried, we also scaled back on his meds. Things had been better, but in October I noticed some changes in his behavior (socially) that I thought coincided with the last school change, and in November, a spike in other behaviors that coincided with a trial of strattera and Joel announcing that he and Sandy were having ‘baby surprise.’ Read more…