Tuesday, October 20, 2015


As I was growing up I saw kids as young as elementary school damaging themselves with drugs.  In middle school my classmates started dying in car accidents.  Then in high school alcohol and cars led to more deaths.  When I was a high school teacher a kid that worried me died in a car accident.  This has not changed.  But I did not hear of suicides among my classmates while growing up.  Maybe there was a veil of silence around the suicides and I was unaware of them while I was growing up.

Now I do hear about young people committing suicide. I have to say that depression is real and needs to be addressed.  I read of a successful financier, a friend of Sandy Weill of Citigroup, who suffered from depression, had the best mental care possible, had a supportive family, and still committed suicide.  His wife, looking for him, found his Italian shoes placed by the door to the apartment rooftop, went up and discovered her husband had jumped to his death.

Depression is dangerous.  Patrick Kennedy recently wrote a book to address the problem:  A Common Struggle: A Personal Journey Through the Past and Future of Mental Illness and Addiction.  It took courage to talk about his family's problems.  Depression cuts across all social classes.

It is difficult sometimes to get your teenagers to talk to you, but when they do talk, we have to listen to them.  And I mean really listen, not lay down the law or argue with them.  Our kids are stressed in college and after graduation.  We cannot relax once they have left high school or college.  I cannot say what anyone should do if they are worried for their child, but it might be wise to look for help.

You have seen the increase in mass shootings in America.  We have always had guns in this country.  We would not be a country if our founding fathers were unarmed; we would still be a British colony.  What has changed has been an increase in the pressure we feel in our lives.  We are under pressure and some of us have better ways of coping with the pressure.  Because the anti-gun lobby has hijacked this issue, we are not discussing the sources of the pressure we feel and how some can cope while others crumble under the pressure.

Perhaps there are more young people killing themselves.  The veil of silence might be hiding an increase in suicides. Or the liberal news media might be so focused on our guns that they are ignoring an increase in suicides because that does not fit their anti-gun agenda.

I worry for our kids.


No comments: