Depression, anxiety, suicide are real and present dangers for anyone at anytime at any age. So many children, pre-teens and teens are coping poorly with their emotional well being. And it's really difficult for any of us to reach out and ask for help. Sometimes a vigilant and caring teacher can become a savior just by making eye contact and listening. They spend the most time with kids on a daily basis. They know what they are seeing.
Redditor u/sgtdogface wanted to hear from teachers on some pointers when trying to assist a student with some emotional issues by asking.... Teachers of Reddit, when can you tell if a student is going through depression or self-loathing? If so, what do you try to do to help?
In a year of substituting, the biggest thing Ive learned is this:
If a student doesn't seem right. They aren't. If you ever think to yourself, "Huh, thats a strange thing to say?" "Huh, thats not normal for that age group?"
Its because it isn't. My first week a 5th grade boy said to me, "You look like my stepdad (Im a giant burly, bearded man), but you don't seem mean like him. Are you going to stick around?"
My heart BROKE. I excused myself and had the special ed aid look over my class while I went directly to the counselors. AlphaIOmega
Just Being Human....
I used to work in schools and I have to say that I always saw the kids I knew needed help as often as I could. They were the kids who didn't have supplies, didn't turn in work, had unreachable parents, were quiet, got bullied etc.... essentially not thriving. All kinds of things can impact a kid's mental heath. I would go out of my way to find them before and after school, show a specific interest in their day and always try to bring their mood up. I also made it clear that I was around and they could come to me if needed. I was (i think) pretty influential in removing a child from a very very difficult home life when I was subpoenaed. The guardian ad litem had told me that the child provided my name as his best friend :'). Basically: show you care and treat kids like humans. tacobellquesaritos
Any change in behavior. Usually personal hygiene, attendance, level of interaction. But honestly, as a once extremely suicidal grad student, it was surprising how little people noticed. I showed up for work for barely 4-5 hours, I was quite a bit withdrawn, but I also over-compensated : sometimes I'd make an effort to dress nicely, be more cheerful because I didn't want any one to see what was really going on. I'd hang around till almost midnight to make up for lost hours. Depressed behavior is often contradictory. There's no one way to predict - some people withdraw, some people throw themselves into things further in an effort to distract. You are seeing them for a few hours a day, it is hard to tell what's going in their life. That's why any change from baseline is important doesn't matter which direction it moves in. For me, it didn't end well. I'm still alive and I suppose that's good. Startiblastfast
Mrs. G the Superhero!
Not a teacher, but I was a student going through this. I was in a small town with virtually no mental health resources. I was lucky enough to have a few teachers see what I was going through, and cut me a bit of slack after watching me go through DHR battles with heavy abuse at home. I went from being a model student with straight A's to someone who showed up when I wanted with no work to turn in.
One teacher in particular started inviting me to dinner, and she requested me as her student aide during my free periods. She would ask me how my home life was, and if things were bad she'd plan sleep overs with her daughter who I'd become close friends with. She made me feel like I was welcome in at least one spot in my life. She and her daughter made me feel loved when I wasn't at home. She probably saved my life in high school.
Thanks Mrs. G. raviolibabie
Make a Connection....Giphy
It's always hard to know, so the best thing you can do is let them know you care. If you start with a casual 1-on-1 connection and make it known that you'd like to listen, you can sometimes save a life. NickVerrall
The Open Door....
You can tell by changes in attitudes, participation, and grades. These aren't the only indicators, but they are the ones I key off of for my students.
All you can do is make yourself available. There are certain things we are required to report, but all of my students know that if they are having an issue, my door is open, and confidential unless it is a mandatory reporting issue. I am up front with them that there are some things I have to pass along because I don't want to betray their trust.
When students do come to me with concerns, I let them talk. A lot of the time, there isn't much I can actually do, other than be a sounding board for them. I'll make suggestions after they are done if I think they would benefit from speaking to a counselor or give advise if they want it.
I always ask for non reporting issues if they would like me to inform their other teachers so they know what is going on, and if they say no it stops with me. If they say yes, it is usually because they are not comfortable bringing it up themselves. Even if students don't say anything, as a group we let each other know if we notice something is off. Because if they don't talk to me, they might talk to another teacher. Prathin
Nothing is Fine....
This will probably get buried, but I was actually dealing with this today. I have had a freshman (14-15 years old) in my class all year that is super quiet and withdrawn most of the time, but occasionally will contribute the most insightful, well-thought-out, knowledgeable responses in class. He clearly understands the content, but spends 3/4 of the class sleeping or tuning out.
Early on, I noticed that he was clearly bright but not engaging, so I continued to check in with him. He mostly stayed withdrawn, and when I asked him what was going on, he would just shrug. I reached out to home and received no response, and continued checking in with him one on one getting the same shrug.
This past week were parent teacher conferences, and he came in by himself (which a lot of kids end up doing due to parent work schedules). We chatted again, and when I asked him how he was doing, he said, "Well...you remember what it was like to be 15," which was the most detailed response I had gotten from him. I told him I had and shared that I had gone through some pretty severed anxiety and depression and didn't receive help until my 20s, and that I wish I had reached out sooner. I then shared with him that we have counseling services on our campus and asked if he wanted me to make an appointment for him, and he said ok, which honestly feels like a huge victory.
I try to get to know each of my kids, and the biggest way I do that is simply by asking them how they are doing each day. May simply respond with, "fine," but occasionally they will offer something more vulnerable. I guess to really respond to your question, I look for what I know and remember, and I try to support them the best I can. princess_mediocrity
The "At Risk."
It's often hard to tell, and even when we suspect something, it's hard to do anything that will actually help. This semester I see 126 different students over the course of a typical day. As much as I'd like to, it's simply not possible for me to get to know all of my students on anything close to a personal level. I can't be on the lookout for changes in students' behavior if I don't know what their normal behavior is. My school identifies certain students at being "at risk," based on home life, grades, etc., and assigns each teacher two of those students to mentor. I try to check in regularly with my mentees, as well as any student who seems to be acting differently. Of course, depression doesn't just strike the type of person my school labels "at risk."
Even if I notice that something seems off about a student (quiet when they're usually loud, loud when they're usually quiet, avoiding usual friends, unusual amount of missing work, etc), there isn't always much I can do. Depressed people don't want others to know they are depressed. My typical strategy is to quietly pull the student aside and just ask how they are doing. I've gotten everything from "Great! No problems here!" to "My step dad called me a worthless piece of crap this morning, and my ex-girlfriend is pregnant but she isn't sure if it's mine, and I'm failing four classes so I'm afraid I won't graduate, and I think you're about to send me to the principal because I have chewing tobacco in my mouth." If nothing else I try to be a listening ear.
Many of my students don't really have that. The counselors at my school are actually pretty good at helping struggling kids, so if someone needs to talk but doesn't want to talk to me I put them in touch with their counselor.
If a student says they are fine, but I think they might be struggling with depression or something related, I'll reach out to their other teachers, their coaches, and the school counselor to relay my concerns. We'll keep a close eye on the student, but we can't do much else without anything concrete. I've reached out to parents before if I have serious concerns. dromio05
A Group Effort....
I'm not a teacher, but in my senior year of high school, I went through a very rough patch towards the end. I missed 80+ days of school and barely graduated.
At the time I had a phenomenal creative writing teacher. She noticed the work I turned in, as well as my plummeting attendance to class, and when the final project was assigned (which I was not there for) she confronted my group and said to them "If space-reindeer doesn't do her part, she's going to fail my class, which she needs to graduate. You all need to grow up and reach out a hand to your classmate in need."
Each of my group members would individually text me to remind me to complete my project work on time. I know their grades were dependent on it too, but the support they gave me really helped lift me up and actually try to finish strong. I don't think I would have passed that class without them or without that teacher. space-reindeer
You're not a Miracle Worker....Giphy
We were talking about self harm and suicide in class and this kid raises his arm and puts it down just as quickly. I call on him and he just kinda shrugged it off and said nothing as wrong. Later in the semester I had a conference with this kids parents and the dad is ripping the kid for getting mostly A's and a B. I mean above the normal you can do better thing most parents do when they are disappointed. It still haunts me that I didn't get the kid to open up to me and ask what's truly wrong in his life. I think about it daily and feel like a horrible person for not doing more to help this student. firedonmydayoff
If you or anyone you know is suffering from depression help is a phone call away.... National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Oh, the beginning of the interwebs.
Those were the days.
We definitely did not see what was to come.
Maybe it should've stayed simple.
We'll never know.
Computers rule the world now.
Let's see where we are in another twenty years.
RedditorEzucraAaAa wanted to wax nostalgic about the good old days of technology and its humble beginnings.
"Redditors, what's something the internet was crazy about but is now forgotten?"
I miss the simplicity of not having a thousand apps. I'm simple.
Ah Memories...the messengers aol GIFGiphy
"Search engines before Google existed. Alta Vista, Lycos, Web Crawler..."
"Downloading custom cursors for your computer. I gave my family computer so many viruses back in the '00s trying to click things with a lightsaber."
"Amazing. I had totally forgotten about all the virusy stuff I downloaded to my home computer, purely so the cursor would disappear and reappear. My parents had zero knowhow with computers either, so likely had no idea wtf I was downloading. Cursors were cool though, despite all the malware."
"During the early days of the web, when most websites weren't plastered with advertising... Website view counters."
"Back in the day of counters, one day I went to my website and the counter was in the thousands. I just thought it malfunctioned and ignored it. Years later I learned that my website, which had a MIDI collection, was published in a newspaper in another country. I couldn't say for sure if that was true and whether it aligned with the counter change."
"Yea the internet was simpler too, layout style I mean. I like old style HTML webpage layouts. I personally don’t like hyper modern logos and designs on interfaces. Something about old slightly pixelated designs about them home screens and app logos really made them satisfying. I’ve even went as far as seeing if I could install some extensions that could change the layout of sites, make them feel older, give them that 2000’s html look."
Found ItLooking The Loud House GIF by NickelodeonGiphy
"I used to waste so much time with stumble upon."
What a strange and crazy place the internet was.
notificationBaby Love GIF by LINE FRIENDSGiphy
"Poking on Facebook."
"I had a friend that poked me and I never noticed the notification. He died. I now have this unreturned poke as a reminder that I’ll never be able to poke them back."
"Many flash games are not dead. BEHOLD! The flashpoint project. They have saved thousands of the old flash games in a playable format. Go forth and relive your childhood Also paging u/The_Middler_is_Here"
I will find you...
"There was a rhythm game that I don't remember the name of that me and some friends would challenge each other in, and it had the song Guitar vs Piano 2 which introduced me to Envy, who was a pretty big newgrounds artist at the time. I wanna go check out their stuff again now, I'd completely forgot about them till now."
"Forums. There used to be so many, incredibly active and dedicated forums."
"A lot of the forums I visited were ruined by photobucket when they decided they wanted paid a lot of money from their users. So many build threads and tutorials ruined."
"IMDb had the best message boards back in the day. Chatting with your internet friends around the globe about every nuance in your fave movie. Man I miss that. Reddit is close, but nothing beats the olden days."
FunEgg Hatch GIF by The Roku ChannelGiphy
"Do you guys remember those egg things that hatched little creatures after a while? You'd put one on your website and then the artist would update the source url with images of it hatching? There were all kinds of little fun things like that."
Those were the days!
Do you have something you'd like to share? Let us know in the comments below.
Not all television and movies are loved by all.
A story and its characters have to appeal to you in order for you to be engaged.
It can take next to nothing for us to lose interest and let the screen go black.
Redditor BarooTangClan wanted to compare notes on all the entertainment we've said "that's enough" to.
"What will make you instantly stop watching a movie or show and why?"
I hate bad acting, writing, storytelling... I hate bad anything.
Stop JumpingFight Scene GIF by Operation FortuneGiphy
"Fight scenes with a million visual cuts. Gives me motion sickness. Contrast the absolutely masterful work in John Wick. long cuts, realistic use of weapons (mostly), 100% skill."
"When the actors whisper the whole movie and you have to crank the volume to hear what's being said - but the soundtrack or some other misc noise starts blaring at a higher volume directly after."
"I basically had to watch Stranger Things up in my attic with the windows and doors closed. I was worried the neighbors would think something was wrong or be annoyed if I watched it downstairs in my single family home. It was ridiculous."
"spice things up"
"Love triangles out of no where in a second or third season to 'spice things up' because studio writers are hacks and their idea of relationship drama is 'potential infidelity' at all times. It's the most tired trope on the go**amn planet and the second I see it rear its head I dip right the hell out."
"The whole concept of a love triangle to begin with an incredibly juvenile. Any healthy functioning adult who found themselves in a love triangle would soon choose to find themselves single."
Save your lips...
"When couples in a movie/show have a fight and one of them instantly goes to a friend and end up kissing her/him after talking for 5 minutes. I cringe so hard i turn it off and never watch it again."
"This pissed me off so much in Manifest. Girl is desperate to get back her ex-fiancé, he finally breaks up with his wife to get back with her and she's like 'nah, it's not fair to your wife, let me do this other dude I just met through a calling and be pissed at you for being jealous.' Michaela was the worst and everyone acted as if she were a saint the entire time."
Talk to MeIn Love Flirt GIF by OriginalsGiphy
"Shows where a single polite conversation could fix everything."
We are going overboard with the witty repartee. Talk normal...
Shut UpScared Home Alone GIF by FreeformGiphy
"Annoying main character, especially if it's a kid."
"Kids who have a quippy, sassy retort to everything, and everyone just kind of crumbles before their wit."
"Shows where kids in high school talk like they are 30 years olds who have done everything, been everywhere, know it all and use a ridiculously flowery and extensive vocabulary in every conversation. Like, have any of these writers ever been to high school? Literally no one talks like that. Even worse is when, in addition to this, all the adults talk normal or are just plain stupid, like so weird parallel universe."
"If the movie is too dark. Not graphic, just literally dark. I lose all sense of intensity in dark scenes and I'm not straining my damn eyes trying to figure out what the hell is going on."
"I've seen about 10 percent of all DC movies recently. I've seen all of the individual films in full, just actually saw 10% of each of them."
"Movies in the late 80s had a lot of dark but you could see the depth because of different shooting techniques. Now you cant see crap because its a CGI fest drowned in black color so you can't see crap because you have no depth in a scene. Compare night scenes in dark alleys in 80's movies and movies now. Utter crap show in the new ones."
Pay Attention Storytellers
"Bad editing would be a big one. A lot of modern horror movies can't help but edit the movies like they're trailers, with added noises to scare the audience because they are afraid the script alone isn't enough to keep people watching."
"I remember this is where the first transformers movie lost me. When the transformers are fighting at the end, it's all a big, jumbled mess of metal and I can barely tell what's going on or who is who."
Dramawill devry soap opera GIF by General HospitalGiphy
"When they go straight to relationship drama right away when it wasn't the selling point of the show."
Do better, Hollywood. It's not that hard.
I fear death.
I wake up in cold sweats dreaming about it.
I think about it in my waking hours.
It's an obsession and clearly, I'm not alone.
But there are more preferred ways to exit.
All we can do is hope to be lucky enough to skip the mercilessly awful.
Please just let me go quick and in my sleep.
RedditorCallMehRiverwanted to hear about all the ways none of us what to leave this life.
"What Do You Think Would Be The Worst Death Imaginable?"
My list of the worst deaths is long. My imagination runs amok.
Trappedseason 6 friends GIFGiphy
"For me? Being trapped in a small tube or cave (like the ones you have to wiggle through) and getting stuck to where you can’t move your arms. And all you can do is wait to die. I’m getting chills just thinking about it."
"The more I hear about cavers that get stuck, the more I think that's a crap way to go."
"There’s a great YouTube channel called Ask a Mortician and this was her #1 worse way to die. I can’t remember the exact details or their names, but two well-known divers went into an underwater cave."
"One of them became entangled and died. Years later, his friend dives back down there to try and retrieve his body, the body itself is rotten and his head comes off and the other guy also becomes tangled and dies. Really sad."
A Long Process
"Believed to be in a coma but coherent through the whole 20 year process until they pull the plug."
"Oh man this just reminded me of a story I read on here about a guy who lost the ability to move and speak but was completely conscious. Had to just lay there and be awake but trapped in a useless body. His family thought he was brain dead or something and he couldn’t communicate to them that he was 'all there.' Crazy"
Slow & Steady
"Being slowly impaled by a growing bamboo. It was a form of torture probably used by the japanese during WW2 against Allied prisoners."
"The scariest part is that once you have symptoms, you 100% will die. A 100% mortality rate has to be a psychological torture in itself."
"Not only that, you feel irrational fear. Your brain is literally being eaten apart by the virus and it fu*ks up everything on it. You can't drink water because it hurts you. You feel dizzy, present a fever, excessively salivate, everything hurts and it only gets worse. I'd rather take a bullet and die when the symptoms are still tolerable."
Why can't we all just go engulfed in calm and quiet?
"Some pulpy sci-fi book I read a while back had one of the best deaths of this real piece of crap bad guy. Left to die in a drowning sea lab under the Antarctic ice, he freezes himself in a state of the art suspended animation pod with some kind cold fusion power source that would keep it running for millions of years."
"But he forgot to inject himself with the drug that would put him to sleep. So basically he is in suspended animation at the bottom of the Antarctic ocean while his mind is perfectly awake and conscious in a near unbreakable machine that won't run out of power for millions of years and nobody knows about it."
"As an RN I have always thought that the worst way to die (natural process) is ALS. Lou Gehrig's Disease."
"My mom and grandmother have Huntington's disease, which is essentially ALS, Alzheimer's, and Dementia combined into one really messed up genetic disease. I have a 50% chance of inheriting it and if I hit 40 and there's still no cure I can't promise I'll feel like continuing on with my life because that disease is absolutely freaking miserable."
"The fact your chromosomes can be so destroyed your body basically lost it's genetic code and with it the ability to make any new cells. It's literally a 'dead man walking' and you slowly rot away in agony. Stuff is so unimaginably f**ked up."
"What's also bad about radiation is that it affects your nerves and brain cells last, so you have everything in place to feel all the pain of the rest of your cells being destroyed."
GooNot Listening Season 2 GIF by The Fresh Prince of Bel-AirGiphy
"I want to believe anything that slowly kills you painfully to be the worst. Such as slowly being crushed or something where the pain is beyond compare and yet not enough to throw you into shock or unconsciousness."
"Alternatively, being rapidly crushed into goo would probably be the least painful. I'm talking one of those massive industrial hammers they use for large steel work. Basically smooshed before the nerve signals make it to the brain."
Now I'll never sleep again without nightmares of death.
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/
Most Americans think nothing of their humdrum daily activities or amenities available to them.
However, others with a different perspective might romanticize the things that are otherwise commonplace ideas and concepts for US citizens, like going to a diner or riding the school bus.
One Redditor looked to foreigners to hear of their American desires to respond to the following:
"Non-Americans of Reddit: what is an American thing you have always wanted to try?"
The things depicted in film really captivated foreign audiences.
"To visit a diner like in the movies. In the middle of the night, it’s raining and just a few people there with great music from a jukebox."
Iconic Student Transport
"Ride a yellow school bus even if I'm too old. Growing up I always loved seeing them on TV."
Just Like The Ones We Used To Know
"A white Christmas."
"Living in an Australian state where I've never even seen snow in our winter, let alone experiencing that classic Hallmark movie moment of waking up to a street full of it and sitting around a fireplace while opening gifts/preparing a feast."
"Guess it's not strictly American, but the imagery and trope is something I've only really seen from American Films."
They may be ubiquitous for us, but they sure seem to be novel ideas to foreigners.
Let's Be Frank
"One of the hotdogs from those little street cart things."
"A friend of mine from Indonesia said, 'the food chewer in the sink.'"
"Apple Pie made by white-haired grandma, placed near window, who says 'oh dear...' as I levitate towards it."
"Proper tailgating before a ball game, the kind where there's ribs and stuff."
"Deep fried foods at a state fair. I'm from Scotland and we love to deep fry everything and I wanna know if it's just as good or better."
There are places to see!
Places To See
"America’s greatest invention!"
Backpacking In Nature
"I always wanted to hike The Appalachian Trail if that counts. Or see Yellowstone."
"Being able to start a whole new life 'elsewhere' without having to leave my country and going through an arduous immigration process."
My cousin told me she looks forward to visiting a Trader Joe's someday when she visits America for the first time.
Her bucket list option was hardly surprising. My parents used to bring treats from TJs as a novelty souvenir gift item, and my relatives ate it up. Literally.
Let's face it. The snacks at TJs rocks.
Even store locations in New York City would have ridiculously long lines during busy hours because the West-coast-based grocer was a novelty on the East Coast.