Teenagers and Mental Illness

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:2

Yesterday, my plans were turned upside down when I received a text from one of my daughters concerning one of my grandchildren.

When she had the opportunity to call me about the situation, it threw me for a loop.

My youngest grandson had attempted suicide.        man-person-school-head

Believe me when I say this, this is not the kind of call any parent or grandparent, or anyone, would like to receive, much less confront.

Let me put it out here plainly, A number of years ago, I would never have revealed a family matter of this nature to anyone.  But things have changed in my life. And it is because of the power of Christ within me that this post is being written today.

As quiet as it’s kept, mental illness for years has been a taboo subject and conversation within many families, especially, in the black community.

If this post can help someone. I am indeed thankful to the Lord for using me.

Teenagers and mental illness has been around since the start of mankind.

Nevertheless, let’s get to the heart of the matter by first throwing out the way words of shame and embarrassment will stop people cold in their tracks in sharing their concerns about getting help for mental illness, either for themselves or a loved one.

Imagine the anguish of experiencing hearing voices in one’s head or even to the extreme of thinking about self-inflicting wounds or committing suicide. Yes, these are signals that immediate attention is needed to get professional help.

Young people today are more prone to face mental illness due to this society that offers them everything without little consequences. Drugs, alcohol and social media (cyberbullying) are a powerful concoction that can fuel a young person with mental illness.

So you may ask. How does one recognize they are dealing with mental illness with a young person in their family or even outside the family?

Well, yesterday, I came across one interesting article on the website of the American Psychiatric Association.  This report title is Warning Signs of Mental Illness.

[ One half of all mental illness begins by age 14 and 75% begins by age 24.]

There is a tremendous responsibility we have not only as parents, grandparents, and guardians. But as adults who must be ever the more diligent in listening to what our young people are saying or acting out.

One thing that the Lord has shown me is that self-indulgence to push our young ones to fulfill their flesh rather than feed their spiritual soul will lead to a path of destruction.

Today God has given my family yet a clearer understanding of who He is.

My grandson is now getting the treatment he needs as well as knowing that God spared his life and not man. This was the favor of God on my grandchild life.

For those who don’t believe in God or His existence, we will continue to pray that one day your eyes and heart will be open to the truth.

In the meanwhile, the Word of God says, “pray without ceasing.” And not only pray but be proactive in the lives of others. Always have faith to believe in the impossible, and trust God in all circumstances, rather good or bad.

Please keep my family in your prayers and especially, our young ones who need to know not only is there a God in heaven. But He is also working miraculously here on earth.

Mental illness is nothing to frown on. Seek professional help and keep God in the process of healing.

Here is a brief list of websites that provide valuable lessons and resources about the disease of mental illness (specifically for middle and high school age group).

  1. Breaking the Silence 
  2. Teach with Movies
  3. Edutopia
  4. Adolescent Mental Health in the United States 
  5. Youth.Gov 
  6. Cry for Help -Teenage Mental Health and Suicide (highly recommend viewing the videos)
  7. Christianity Today-Mental Illness and Christianity:Scripture and Science

Psalm 91:1-2    He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

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