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Our Mental Health Blogs

Side Effects of My Child’s Psychiatric Medications

Side Effects of My Child’s Psychiatric Medications

My child with mental illness has experienced many unpleasant side effects from his psychiatric medications. They range from mild and unwelcome to intolerable and dangerous. During the early stages of my son Bob’s treatment, I voiced my concern about side effects to my son’s psychiatrist. He said, “Pick your poison.” He meant I had to choose between horrific side effects of my child’s psychiatric medications and my son’s mental health. Ugh.

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Giving Psychiatric Medication to a Child with Mental Illness

Giving Psychiatric Medication to a Child with Mental Illness

There is a pill container in my kitchen sitting on the windowsill above the sink that contains psychiatric medication that I give to my child with a mental illness. It contains 14 compartments, labeled the days of the week, AM and PM. The compartments have dosages of antidepressants, antipsychotics, mood stabilizers and acne medicine. My son, Bob, takes a handful of these pills every morning before he goes to school and every night before he goes to bed.

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What Is Treatment for My Child with Mental Illness

What Is Treatment for My Child with Mental Illness

My son Bob is doing really well right now. I wish I could say he has been cured of his mental illness, but that is not the case. In fact, he is symptomatic everyday. My son is doing well because he is treatment compliant and his mental illness treatment is working. So what is treatment for a child with mental illness?

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My Teen Stopped Taking His Psychiatric Medication

My Teen Stopped Taking His Psychiatric Medication

Yeah, I spit ’em out. I flushed ’em in the toilet and ran ’em down the garbage disposal. I slid ’em into my pockets and held ’em under my tongue. Why? Because they make me feel normal and I hate feeling normal!

Shocking. My child with mental illness stopped taking his psychiatric medication without telling me.

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To Medicate or Not to Medicate Your Child for Mental Illness?

To Medicate or Not to Medicate Your Child for Mental Illness?

Choosing to medicate or not to medicate your special needs child can be a difficult one. As a therapist, I decided to medicate my child as a last resort.

The decision to medicate your child for a mental illness is often an agonizing one. Many parents that I work with struggle to find the balance between dealing with their child’s behaviors themselves and letting someone help them. Medicating a child is not the easiest decision to make for some parents while for others it is the easiest thing to do.

As a parent who does choose to medicate my child, I have to say that medication in and of itself, does not resolve behavior issues. Yes, medication does help, but I believe it to be a last resort option. Below are descriptions of some of the parents I’ve worked with. So would you choose to medicate or not to medicate your child for a mental illness?

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Child’s Psychiatric Medication Not Working? Now What?

Child’s Psychiatric Medication Not Working? Now What?

Is your child’s psychiatric medication not working anymore? I know the feeling. For the last four months, I’ve noticed changes in Bob’s behavior. Not for the better either. At first, I thought that his 12th birthday (and the onset of hormones) may have triggered the behavior changes. But, I realized that it was his ADHD medication and it was possibly time for a change.

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Stigma Surrounding Psychiatric Medication

Stigma Surrounding Psychiatric Medication

It’s dark when I pull into the parking lot. I’m nervous–will he have what I need? Will the price have gone up? What if I can’t get it? How will I get through tomorrow–the next day, the day after that–if I don’t? My fears are unrecognized, but I can’t help noticing the smug, disapproving look on his face as he hands me what I came for.

This isn’t a back-alley drug deal; it’s a simple transaction between me and my pharmacist. So why do I still feel like a common junkie?

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Children with Mental Illness: The Spring-and-Fall Phenomenon

Children with Mental Illness: The Spring-and-Fall Phenomenon

I don’t know about your neck of the woods, but mine is literally blossoming with signs of Spring. Trees are budding, flowers are blooming–we even dug the lawn mower out of hiding yesterday.

With the return of Daylight Savings Time and April 1 less than a week away, I’m holding my breath and crossing my fingers, wondering–Will Bob’s psychiatric symptoms get worse in the next few months, or do we have them well enough under control?

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What Teachers Wish Parents Knew About Children and Mental Illness

What Teachers Wish Parents Knew About Children and Mental Illness

There are two sides to every coin, right?

Having offered up my list of what I, as a parent, wish educators knew about childhood psychiatric illness, it seems only fair to play devil’s advocate.

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How to Find a Psychiatrist for You or Your Child

How to Find a Psychiatrist for You or Your Child

My most recent post asked if a parent and child should see the same psychiatrist. The consensus was a resounding “NO.” (Honestly, can’t you people make anything easy?) Admittedly, upon giving the situation further thought, I’d rather preserve my flawless appearance with Bob’s psychiatrist and let someone else be privy to my hot-messiness.

And so the search begins. (Sigh.)

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