Good News & Part 2 of Teen Post
I want to thank all of you who prayed for and offered good wishes for Antoine. 18 year old Antoine suffered from a heart attack but was released from the hospital on Friday. Although he will not be able to start college on August 28th, we are so happy that God returned him to his family and friends. He is still under medical care with heart specialists but the doctors feel confident that he will be okay. Thanks again......He is aware that so many people were praying for him.....
Thanks again and many blessings to you all.
Working with Teens
When you work with teens it is amazing what they will tell you once they feel comfortable enough to open themselves up to you. What I have found is that they bottled their feelings up so tight inside that if the lid (their feelings) is not removed through discussion those feelings bubbles to the top and can explode.I have found teens who are very sad. Many feel that they will not live past the age of 25. Can you imagine thinking that your life is so hopeless that you can't fathom living to an old age? Well the teens that I have worked with make these statements often. Other professionals have told me that they too get the same negative thoughts about death from the teens that they work with.
The other thing is that no matter how bad the teens' mother is or was they always pine for them. Many of these teenagers remain depressed because they can not get past the loss of their parent to drugs, street life, death, or abandonment. You can put that teen in a mansion, educate them, and give them all the love in the world, but that means nothing. They want that parent even if the parent abandoned them at a young age. Constant thoughts of being with the missing parents may cause the child to become destructive and give up on life, thinking they were unwanted and loved.
When kids are hurting they hurt others. Teens who are bullying, fighting, stealing, and killing are doing this because they hurt. Not all of them, but many of them are lacking that basic feeling of love. So they strike out at others. Not realizing that talking to someone who can help them may start the healing process.
Unfortunately, in the African American community we have distrust with therapy, and mental health. Many of our elderly family members resisted counseling because they believe that all you needed to do was pray or that if folks think that you are crazy they would find a way to use it against you. Many of them unintentionally allow their illnesses to take over. In addition, there are some African Americans who believed that employers would somehow get their hands on their personnel files and misused their information, thus causing them to forego any kind of counseling.
Now the same thing is happening with our children, neighbors and friends. Our children believe that going to get counseling is for weak folks, crazy people, stupid folks and it sure isn't them. I know of a young guy who is 14 and a girl who is 13, both needing to continue their counseling but neither willing to take medicine. Trust me when I say that I don’t believe in giving young children medicine just for the sake of giving it, but I have been in this field long enough to know that for many children it works. With the girl when she is without medication she is violent, angry, and promiscuous. She was molested by her uncles and her granny allowed it to happen because she didn't want her sons to go to prison. So this child when on medicine goes to school, completes her homework and goes to counseling. Without the medicine, her negative behavior escalated until the only thing left to treat her was to admit her into a mental hospital so they could help her. But she doesn't want the medicine because she said that she isn't crazy and she isn't. But her pain is so deep that the medicine helps calms her. On the other hand the boy believes that only crazy people go to counseling. Yet, when he talks about his feelings he becomes alive, goes to school, laugh and acts like a normal teen. But when he stops going to his sessions, he becomes very angry, sleeps a lot, stays out and will not go to school. He said that he is not crazy and only crazy folks go to mental health centers.
What if we change the perceptions about mental health, do you think it would make a difference in the quality of life for many of our teenagers?