Today we’re going to focus on how to help your teen with depression through an interview with a great guest, 19 year-old Sadie Sutton, host of the podcast She Persisted. She was first diagnosed with depression when she was 13 and by the age of 14, had been hospitalized four times for severe depression, anxiety, and suicidality. Realizing things were going nowhere fast, her parents took her to McLean Hospital, a residential inpatient program. And it was there – life changed.
Why should you listen and share her story? Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among people aged 15 to 24 in the US. 20% of high school students report serious thoughts of suicide and 9% have made attempts. Ohio State football player Harry Miller’s revelations that he attempted suicide, shared his struggles with his coach and got help. He says, “This is not an issue reserved for the far and away,” wrote Miller. “It is in our homes. It is in our conversations. It is in the people we love.”
Here are some of the salient points from Sadie:
- Her parents, especially her dad, didn’t realize or even perhaps believe, that a teenager could be clinically depressed – and his efforts to “snap her out of it” or “tough love” made things worse.
- Prior to McLean, none of her therapists or the programs she entered asked for her commitment to the process of healing they proposed. In fact, they flat said that her stay would do her no good if she wasn’t going to choose to do the work. And that requirement is what caused her to actually do the work of healing.
- Her parents took part of family therapy and learned a new way of talking about conflict, of expressing emotions, or negotiating, and of being aware of your impact on others.
- She’s a huge fan of DBT 9 Dialectical Behavior Therapy and she talks about some of its basic tenets.
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You can hear more about this and many other topics by listening to my podcast, SelfWork with Dr. Margaret Rutherford. Subscribe to my website and receive my weekly newsletter including a blog post and podcast! If you’d like to join my FaceBook closed group, then click here and answer the membership questions! Welcome!
My book entitled Perfectly Hidden Depression has been published and you can order here! Its message is specifically for those with a struggle with strong perfectionism which acts to mask underlying emotional pain. But the many self-help techniques described can be used by everyone who chooses to begin to address emotions long hidden away that are clouding and sabotaging your current life. And it’s available in paperback, eBook or as an audiobook!
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