All posts by Parenting For Good Mental Health

Hello, My name is Tricia. I am the proud mom of two amazing young men. My youngest son was always a very energetic and highly reactive child. Life with him was often like a roller coaster ride. He had to work very hard to learn how to manage his emotions and behaviors. By the time he turned 10, he had learned to manage them fairly well. But one night while watching the movie The Mummy, his anxiety was triggered. Night after night, he just could not get the scary images out of his head. This went on for almost a year where he would cry in bed at night. Nothing we tried seemed to help. So we decided to take him to see a psychiatrist where he was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, depression, OCD, and bipolar disorder. Unfortunately, the care and medications that he received from various professionals did not really help. By educating myself, I began to learn that there were many more options that had not been provided or suggested. I believe that had I had more information sooner; his care could have been better tailored to his needs. This was a very difficult time not only for my son but for our entire family. We had to develop new ways of interacting that did not cause fights over the littlest things. We had to learn the hard way what not to do in a crisis. My husband had to learn that you don’t have to have a reason to be depressed or anxious. Sometimes you just are. And that it is not helpful to say to a depressed person, that they have no reason to be depressed. Having never experienced these feelings himself, my husband really struggled with understanding these things. But now that he gets it, he wishes he would have understood sooner so he could have been more supportive to our son in the beginning. Thankfully, our son has found his own way through the darkness. And he has developed some skills and tools for managing his mental illness. He is successfully working a fulltime job and even has his own place. I am very proud of all that he has achieved. But his path could have been easier and less painful for him had we known about these other options sooner. As parents and caregivers we need to educate ourselves on their illnesses and the evidence based care options that are out there. We have a limited number of clinicians that treat children and teens, so we sometimes only get to see them once a month. What kind of impact do you think you could have on your child if you only saw him once a month? We need to bring as much to the table as possible. The clinicians can only work with the information they are given. The more you can tell them the better they will be able to tailor your child’s care to his needs. We also need to know how to be the parents our child needs because what works for other kids does not always work for ours. I would like to help educate others so that their path to recovery might be made shorter. There is a lot of support out there, but sometimes we do not hear about it. NAMI is the first support that I will recommend. NAMI the National Alliance on Mental Illness is the largest grassroots mental health organization in America. Through NAMI you will find support and education that can help you to better facilitate the care your child needs. https://www.nami.org/

Don’t Wait Until You Are Drowning to Learn How to Swim:

Originally posted on parentingforgoodmentalhealth.com:
I know as my teen goes storming out of the house that our fight could have been heard several houses away in our quiet neighborhood. I worry about where he is going, and what he will be doing. It won’t be anything good with him in this state of mind.…

F

Five Tips ​on Remaining Connected with Your Teen:

https://parentingforgoodmentalhealth.com/2016/09/06/five-tips-%e2%80%8bon-remaining-connected-with-your-teen/

How Pretty Little Liars helped me

You may be surprised to learn that having a child diagnosed with a mental illness can cause you to go through the five stages of grieving, these are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. You will not necessarily experience them in order, and you may move in and out of them more than once. I ...

M

Mental Health Crisis: The Cycle of our Lives (Part 2)

Originally posted on Musings of an Addled Father: A Road Map to Mental Health:
The Emergency Department For whatever reason, your child has found him/herself in a mental health crisis.  When the crisis happens, no matter where or how it started, the most common direction is to your local Emergency Department (ED).  In the remainder…

When My Child was on Fire…

I lost sight of the goal. The problem became bipolar or willfulness. I no longer could see that he was a teen going through typical teen development, and I began to lose my connection with him. I no longer sought to understand; I just tried to fix everything. I moved away from empathizing, and I ...

But by the Grace of God…

Sometimes people looking in from the outside may not realize the herculean effort it takes to parent a child with a mental illness. Somedays it feels like it takes all of our strength just to breathe, and other days, we struggle with keeping our own temper under control while being under verbal assault. Unfortunately, we ...

Do You Struggle with Anxiety but Try and Hide It from Your Kids? Here is why I believe you shouldn’t.

  As humans, it is perfectly normal to feel anxious. Some of us may feel it more than others, but we all feel it. I believe we can use our moments of anxiousness to teach our kids that it is not only normal but it can also be useful. It can help us not jump ...

How Do Your Emotions Affect Your Parenting?

Do you find yourself losing your mind over the littlest things? Are there days that you are not the parent you work so hard to be? This may be due to some unresolved issues from childhood. I know I know such a cliché, but is it really? “Hilary Jacobs Hendel, psychotherapist and author of the upcoming ...

Allowing Your Child to Help Influence His Care, Can Make a World of Difference

Are you allowing your child to be a part of his care plan? Studies have shown that treatment is much more effective when the parents and the child are influential in the development of the child’s care. This is especially true when they are in there teens. The more that they feel they have a ...

The Importance of Evidenced Based Therapy for Your Child

It is important to know and understand what type of therapy your child’s clinician is trained in and utilizes. Not all therapies are created equal, so you should try and find a clinician who uses evidenced-based therapies of which there are many. There are people who are in therapy much longer than necessary because the ...