My son turned to substances to self-treat his mental illness
Mental illness among youth is often undiagnosed and untreated, leading youth to self-medicate with substances.
His depression and anxiety started around middle school and grew worse toward the end of his father’s battle with cancer. After my husband’s death, my son’s substance use escalated from marijuana and alcohol to prescription drugs. He struggled socially even though he had a wonderful sense of humor, intelligence and a warm heart. He showed great promise and enthusiasm for history, music and writing. Adolescence can be a harsh place for those who feel and observe more in life. His increasing anxiety and chronic depression became so debilitating he had to eventually leave school his sophomore year, suffering another bout his senior year. It was a struggle for his teachers and me to get him through to graduation.
“Like most young people, my son’s substance use was propelled by mental illness.”