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Our Mental Health Blogs

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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Discipline, School, and the Mentally Ill Child in Handcuffs: Social Stigma

Discipline, School, and the Mentally Ill Child in Handcuffs: Social Stigma

The story of Salecia Johnson–a 6-year-old Kindergarten student who was handcuffed and arrested following a destructive tantrum–received widespread media attention. That this unfortunate event occurred at all is bad enough–the public’s response has been even worse.

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Discipline, School, and the Mentally Ill Child in Handcuffs

Discipline, School, and the Mentally Ill Child in Handcuffs

Have you heard this story? About the 6-year-old kindergartener who, throwing an epic tantrum, was handcuffed by police and escorted to the police station? Who has been suspended from school until August–i.e., the remainder of the school year? Have you heard the comments from the general public agreeing with the actions taken?

I have, and I am outraged. If you’re not, you should be.

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Sex Education and the Child with Mental Illness

Sex Education and the Child with Mental Illness

It was a perfectly innocent scene–my boys, ages 10 and 3, sitting on the couch watching a mild-mannered cartoon. The three of us watched an animated teenage boy kiss his animated teenage girlfriend–nothing pornographic, just a light peck on the cheek.

And, out of nowhere, the older boy announces:

“I can’t wait til I have a girlfriend, ‘cuz I’m gonna have sex!”

Aaaaaand that’s about when my heart stopped.

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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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Should People with Mental Illness Have Children?

Should People with Mental Illness Have Children?

Should people with mental illness be allowed to have children? It seems like a good time to ask since our reproductive rights are again on the political line.

The quest for a GOP presidential candidate has raised a lot of brouhaha concerning reproductive rights in America. Whether certain politicians aim to force everyone to spawn or limit childbearing rights to a particular set is unclear. The debate, however, brings to mind the question: should people with mental illness have children?

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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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Why I Would Not Choose to Homeschool My Mentally Ill Child

Why I Would Not Choose to Homeschool My Mentally Ill Child

My response to a recent comment asking, “should I homeschool my mentally ill child?” I, personally, would not. Here’s why:

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What Parents Wish Teachers Knew About Children with Mental Illness

What Parents Wish Teachers Knew About Children with Mental Illness

My oldest son, Bob, is ten years old and in the fourth grade this year. As such, I have been involved with our local public school district for five years. Since Bob’s formal diagnosis (mood disorder, ADHD) in the spring of his kindergarten year, I have been working with–and against–teachers, counselors and school administrators in an effort to allow my son the best quality education possible.

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SAD in Spring: Spring Can Make Mental Illness Symptoms Worse

SAD in Spring: Spring Can Make Mental Illness Symptoms Worse

Yesterday morning, Bob said something I’ve never heard him say before: “I need to see my doctor.” (He was referring to his psychiatrist.)

I asked why, and his answer was clear: “Because I can’t sleep.” I felt awful for him, he looked almost near tears.

He’s not the only one. Every morning, as we inch closer to Spring, I find it more difficult to get to sleep (and stay asleep), and more difficult to awake and rise in the morning (What Is Seasonal Affective Disorder [SAD]?).

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