My new release, Before I Let Go, is about teen depression. Aria Meyer is thirteen years old when she begins experiencing depression. Mental health is often a taboo subject among parents, but it doesn't have to be. Not when our children are suffering in silence. Depression rates are soaring among kids as young as twelve years old. It's troubling, to say the least. I was one of those kids.
In a Risk Behaviors Survey (2017) 7.4% of youths in grades 9-12 reported having made at least one suicide attempt in the past twelve months. I, too, had those thoughts at age twelve due to the bullying I experienced in school.
Adolescence may be a difficult time for children and parents. Trust is critical. Your children need to know they can talk to you about anything. Talk about your experiences as an adolescent. They need to know they are not alone.
Warning signs parents should look out for:
- Excessive sleeping, beyond usual teenage fatigue, which could indicate depression or substance abuse; difficulty in sleeping, insomnia, and other sleep disorders
- Loss of self-esteem
- Abandonment or loss of interest in favorite pastimes
- Aggressiveness and excess anger that is out of character
At times, Before I Let Go was difficult to write. I had to delve into what I'd gone through, and all of those emotions came flooding back. So I wrestled with myself. Do I tell some of the things that happened to me at thirteen or do I not?
Before I Let Go is written keeping in mind the age group it is intended for (12-14yr olds), but the protagonist, Aria, does endure some of the bullyings I experienced. I won't tell you which incidents actually happened to me. Maybe I will. Later. After the release.
Before I Let Go launches August 24th. I really hope it helps someone. Also, there is a giveaway for my subscribers. To celebrate the launch I'm giving away a Kindle Fire 8 and an Amazon gift card. To be entered, simply tell me whether you've purchased the ebook or paperback. Comment on this Facebook or Instagram post. Here's hoping you enjoy reading about Aria Meyer overcoming depression. (Winner will be chosen August 31st)