Her son was suicidal at just eight years old

Her son was suicidal at just eight years old

Published by Grace Mcgachy
5:40am 9th September 2019. (Updated at 8:13am 9th September 2019)

Please note this article contains sensitive content that some readers may find distressing. 

"My son is screaming at me why did you stop me, I don't want to live any more". 

Kay from Fakenham has been speaking to us about her son who struggled with his mental health throughout his childhood and as a teenager. 

This week on KLFM we're going to be talking about mental health every single day to try and encourage people to speak out and end the stigma. 

sick child

 

Kay's son attempted to take his own life when he was just eight year's old and showed signs of depression when he was just five. 

"He tried to run in front of a car just after school.

I was very very lucky that day to just literally grab his coat in time.

Outside the school gates in front of all the other parents and my son is screaming at me why did you stop me I want to die I don't want to live any more." 

Kay told KLFM her son was very unhappy at school and so made the decision to educate him at home. 

"I had to give up my job to take him out of school I had to watch him 24/7.

If he went to the bathroom if he was more than two minutes I was outside the door listening.

I was constantly on edge, constantly stressed and when I think about it I was probably going through my own depression alongside him. 

child watching tv

 

Figures from the Children's Society show that 1 in 10 school children have a diagnosable mental health condition. 

Kay explained that now her son is an adult he has learned to cope with his depression.

But she feels it took away his childhood: 

"His depression was just like this enormous magnifying glass that focuses only on the dark areas of his life.

It takes away all that light and all the happy memories and all the the things that had been good in his life

I'd love to be able to take him back through a good half of his childhood if not more without the depression."

mental health campaign kay's son
As an adult, Kay's son has learned to cope with mental health issues

Depression doesn't just affect adults. Children and teenagers can get depressed too

But they can often struggle to talk about or even identify how they're feeling.

Kay says sitting her son day every single day and talking to him and asking him to explain how he was feeling made a massive difference. 

sad

 

Signs of depression in children (from the NHS)

  • Sadness, or a low mood that doesn't go away
  • being irritable or grumpy all the time
  • not being interested in things they used to enjoy
  • feeling tired and exhausted a lot of the time

I think my child is depressed

If you think your child may be depressed the NHS advises you to: 

  • Talk to them. Try to find out what's troubling them and how they are feeling.
  • Whatever is causing the problem, take it seriously. It may not seem a big deal to you, but it could be a major problem for your child.
  • If they don't want to talk to you, let them know that you are concerned about them and that you're there for them
  • Encourage them to talk to someone else they trust
  • If you think your child is depressed, make an appointment with them to see your GP.

 

If you are worried about any aspect of your child's mental health, you can call the charity YoungMinds' free parents' helpline on 0808 802 5544 for advice.

For more information on where you can get mental health support read KLFM's online guide.

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