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Our Mental Health Blogs

Battling the Isolation of Childhood Mental Illness

Battling the Isolation of Childhood Mental Illness

The isolation caused by childhood mental illness can limit your family's fulfillment and capacity for mental health. Learn to limit associated anxiety instead. A child’s mental illness isolates the whole family. Social anxiety, unpredictable outbursts, sensory issues–all these things can make the outside world exhausting for your child (Mental Illness, Isolation, and Loneliness). Judgment, stigma, and fear make it exhausting for parents. Isolation is our biggest enemy. Fight it.

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How to Advocate for an Individualized Education Plan

How to Advocate for an Individualized Education Plan

Parents must advocate for an individualized education plan (IEP) for their children living with mental illness. Here's how parents can request accommodations.If your child has a mental illness that interferes with their learning at school, your child has a disability. This means your child has the right to accommodations. One way to get those is through an individualized education plan (IEP). This document encompasses interventions and legal protections for your child. It is your sidekick in advocating at school; the Robin to your Batman. Below are steps to take to get that IEP.

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Does Your Child Have ADHD? Non-Clinical Clues from a Mom

Does Your Child Have ADHD? Non-Clinical Clues from a Mom

Figuring out if your child has ADHD can be hard. What behaviors are normal and which are not? Learn about determining if your child has ADHD.

What are the clues that your child has attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD? To start, HealthyPlace has a quiz you can take (Free Online ADHD Child Quiz). It includes many of the typical signs of ADHD. However, as a parent, I realize you didn’t come here to learn how clinicians see the disorder. You want to know how ADHD looks and feels on a daily basis. You want to know if you’re overreacting to behaviors or not. You want to know if your child has ADHD.

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Manage Problem Behaviors Caused by Childhood Mental Illness

Manage Problem Behaviors Caused by Childhood Mental Illness

It’s important to know how to manage your child’s problem behaviors caused by mental illness when you’re not there. When your child struggles with mental illness, going into public can be terrifying. More terrifying is wondering what your child is doing in public when you’re not there (Parenting Children with Behavior Problems). One of my son’s diagnoses is attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). I’ll discuss more specifics about parenting children with ADHD throughout March, but for now, just know that ADHD sometimes makes children socially awkward and they display problem behaviors that you need to manage even when you’re not there.

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Accepting Your Child’s Mental Illness in the Stages of Grief

Accepting Your Child’s Mental Illness in the Stages of Grief

This is a story of accepting my child’s mental illness and moving through the stages of grief. I want this story to serve an emotional purpose. For others parenting a child with mental illness, I hope it normalizes your experience. For people who haven’t been through this but want to support a parent, I hope it makes those feelings real for you. Mental illness in children is gut-wrenching to watch. As a parent, the grief can be crippling, and because others don’t always understand, the grief can be lonely. We need understanding when parenting a child with a mental illness if we’re going to push through the stages of grief towards the hope on the other side.

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Introduction to Melissa David, Author of ‘Life with Bob’

Introduction to Melissa David, Author of ‘Life with Bob’

Hi, I’m Melissa, and I parent a child with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD), and anxiety. I am many things. I’m a clinical social worker in Minnesota. I am a writer and a gamer. I am a fan of cats, and I’m a bit of a geek. I am a parent of two beautiful children. And, yes, one of them happens to have a mental illness.

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Saying Goodbye to “Life with Bob”

Saying Goodbye to “Life with Bob”

A year ago I made a one-year commitment to writing Life with Bob about parenting a child with mental illness. My year is up and I am ready to say goodbye to Life with Bob. Its time to redirect my attention to my son whose name is Jack, not Bob.

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My Mother with Mental Illness

My Mother with Mental Illness

My mother with mental illness died last week. She was 85 years old. Here I share my recollection of being raised by a mother with mental illness.

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Siblings of Children with Mental Illness

Siblings of Children with Mental Illness

Raising siblings of children with mental illness is challenging. My husband and I have spent so much energy on my 17-year-old son Bob who lives with bipolar disorder and social anxiety, his younger sister, Hannah, is sometimes neglected. Hannah, the sibling of a child with mental illness, has witnessed multiple crises in our family. She has been the trigger or target of her brother’s outbursts. It is no wonder she is struggling with mental health issues of her own.

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A Letter to My Son with Mental Illness on Mother’s Day

A Letter to My Son with Mental Illness on Mother’s Day

Today, I write a letter to my son with a mental illness on this Mother’s Day:

Seventeen years ago today, on Mother’s Day, your dad and I climbed on an airplane and flew half-way around the world to adopt you. Back home, your nursery had a crib, toys and baby clothes. On the plane, we had a diaper bag, stroller and baby food. In our hearts we had dreams, hopes and excitement for the baby who would make us a family.

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