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Our Mental Health Blogs

Mental Illness: How Young Is Too Young to Diagnose and Treat?

Mental Illness: How Young Is Too Young to Diagnose and Treat?

I have a a four-year-old nephew, Landon, who is exhibiting traits of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). He insists the blocks be arranged by color and cries when they are not. Autism has been ruled out, so the next suspect is OCD. But is it really OCD, or is it just a phase? How young is too young to make a diagnosis of mental illness? And when a diagnosis is made, at what age should treatment start?

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Anxiety, ADHD, or Both?

Anxiety, ADHD, or Both?

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. Humpty Dumpty . . . whoa, did you see that squirrel run across that wall, well, I guess it’s a fence, chasing . . . eggs . . . I need to go to the grocery store because we have no food because I keep forgetting to go and I’m tired of fast food . . . that squirrel was fast and he’s gone . . . I love fall . . . I keep forgetting to schedule my daughter’s senior pictures.

Wait. What was I doing? Oh yeah, reading this nursery rhyme.

Ugh! How am I going to be able to hold down a job if I can’t even read a stupid nursery rhyme? I guess I wouldn’t have to remember going to the store then because I wouldn’t have any money. I’m so useless. How am I supposed to concentrate when there’s so much pressure in my head? Make it stop! What is wrong with me?

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Paying it Forward – What ADHD Newbies Need to Know

Paying it Forward – What ADHD Newbies Need to Know

At some point in every adult with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder‘s (ADHD) life, there comes a time when she needs to pay it forward. Friday, I had the opportunity to pay forward my history with this disorder to an adult ADHD newbie, a person freshly diagnosed. He was four months post-diagnosis and, he reported, sought help due to some issues at work with attention. At 30, having been diagnosed over 10 years ago, I feel it is my duty to pay it forward and to let newbies in on any insights I might possess that took me years to learn. What should every newbie know – and what should we diagnosed in years past let them in on?

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Why Do Kids Have Attention-Deficit Disorder (ADD)?

Why Do Kids Have Attention-Deficit Disorder (ADD)?

Is attention-deficit disorder (ADD) caused by genetics, as is often reported, or is it due to factors related to home environment, as another new study has indicated?

If the question on everyone’s lips right now in the ADD community is nature or nurture, the answer is: a little of both.

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Moving on from Parenting a Child with Mental Illness

Moving on from Parenting a Child with Mental Illness

Hiya readers. Moving can be a challenge. It can stress you out. It is hard to leave something behind and scary to face a different future. At some point, all of us – parents and children – go through this. For kids, it can be moving on from one grade to another, one classroom to another or even from one subject to another. For parents, it can be moving on from one job to another or from being a parent to parenting a child with mental illness. Transitions are hard, but they happen to all of us.

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Stress and the Mentally Ill Child

Stress and the Mentally Ill Child

April is Stress Awareness Month according to Brownielocks.com. Stress is common to all people, but it is especially challenging for a child with mental illness. I know how stress affects me, but I can also tell when it affects Bob. Parenting a child with mental illness also means dealing with stress as a trigger instead of being a by-product. Here are some tips to help your child with mental illness.

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Preparing a Mentally Ill Child For Life Change

Preparing a Mentally Ill Child For Life Change

Parenting a mentally ill child is not easy, but it becomes more challenging when major life changes happen. Your child may overreact to small changes and much more so over big ones. Major life changes can include switching schools, moving or having a new sibling. How you present major life changes can drastically improve your child’s reaction to it. Here are some tips below to help you prepare a mentally ill child for a life change.

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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?

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. Often times, the act of asking for help is a challenge. 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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Don’t Underestimate Your Child with a Mental Illness

Don’t Underestimate Your Child with a Mental Illness

Sometimes, the parents I’ve worked with underestimate their children with with mental illnesses. They can find it hard to see the little victories and tend to only see the negative things. As a parent, I have been there. When Bob was struggling in school thanks to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and I received complaints from the teacher or spent hours nagging him to finish his homework (until his tears of frustration came), it was SO very hard to see the positive things. But, there are days like today, when Bob surprises me.

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Have a Little Faith in Your Child

Have a Little Faith in Your Child

As I thought about what to share in this post, I thought about how words matter. But, along with being careful about our words, we need to have faith. Faith is something more connected to spirituality or religion. But, I’m not talking about that kind of faith. I’m talking about the kind of faith that encourages people to be at their best and do their best.

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