I'm certain that this period of my life landed me a permanent spot on more than a few Kill Bill-style revenge lists. I was well on my way to being an adult with multiple felonies when my mom and school faculty started to piece together what was wrong.
I Had No Idea I Was Going Through Therapy
After my mom spoke to the administrative staff about how I was a walking cliche of troubled youth, I started seeing the school guidance counselor a couple of times a week to just talk. People may not realize that guidance counselors have degrees in educational psychology -- they're equipped to handle kids with mental health issues. They are the unsung heroes of any school, along with the janitors who clean up vomit and the lunch ladies who must heroically summon the will to not spit in the mashed potatoes every day. That's the Justice League that keeps a school running.
I had no idea I was going to therapy. I thought I'd won a lottery where I got to take an hour-long vacation from class a couple of times a week. I figured that if all I have to do to get out of class was rip out my heart, lay bare my soul, and reveal every dark twisted horrific thought rolling around in my childish little brain, then great! Better get a box of permission slips ready, because I'm about to miss so much class that by the time I get back, everyone's going to be uploading textbooks into their brain chips.
Everything I didn't know was tormenting me came to light without a hint of resistance. I wasn't put on medication, even though antidepressants are a common treatment for childhood depression. Someone just sat me down and asked me what was wrong. This helped tremendously. It still does.
I was fortunate in that this is all it took -- a chance to explore my mind with a trained professional who knew how to sweet-talk kids into spilling their guts. It instilled in me tools I still use today, and it makes one wonder how many kids need this but don't get it.
Earlier, I said that 2 percent of prepubescent kids suffer from depression. That figure comes from this study, which also points out that it's hard as hell to spot it. Depressed kids may only complain of physical things (like bellyaches), and may even excel in school. Some channel their low self-esteem into attempts to please everyone, rather than just becoming an an angry little shithead. Still, if you see a raging little monster on a path to becoming a terrifying adult, remember that they may be one trained professional away from turning their life around.
Luis is hiding in the bushes crying again. In the meantime, you can find him on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook.
Childhood is rough stuff. Remember, Disney movies will always be there for you.
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For more check out 5 Facts Everyone Gets Wrong About Depression and 7 Realities Of Spending Your Pre-Teen Years In A Psych Ward.
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