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Our Mental Health Blogs

School Refusal and Your Child With Mental Illness

School Refusal and Your Child With Mental Illness

School refusal happens in families with kids who live with mental illness. School refusal is a nightmare. Learn more about how to handle school refusal.For a child with mental illness, school refusal can be common. School can be anxiety-provoking for children with mental illnesses (School Anxiety in Children: Signs, Causes, Treatments). School refusal is anxiety-provoking for parents. Working parents have the added layer of inflexible timelines. Being late to work daily may get them fired, and the employer doesn’t necessarily care about our struggles with our children. So what can we do as parents to get our mentally ill children past school refusal?

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Staying Mentally Healthy for Your Child with Mental Illness

Staying Mentally Healthy for Your Child with Mental Illness

Staying mentally healthy while parenting a child with mental illness is a struggle. But you need to try. Your child can't make it without you. Staying mentally healthy as a parent of a child with mental illness can be a struggle. It’s difficult to watch your child experience depression, angry outbursts, or suicidal thoughts. Being a parent means having an extraordinary capacity for love, and with that comes an extraordinary capacity for worry. Your child can’t make it without you, though, so it’s important to recognize when you need to reach out for help, too. You need to stay mentally healthy for your child with a mental illness.

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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 in childhood mental illness is our biggest enemy. Fight it.

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Advocating for A Child with Mental Illness

Advocating for A Child with Mental Illness

Two weeks ago my son Bob told me he got a Saturday detention for skipping gym class. He said they were swimming and he didn’t want to swim. Later, I went online and discovered Bob was failing physical education (PE). This was maddening to me since Bob was an athlete and strong swimmer. I knew instinctively this had nothing to do with swimming and everything to do with my son’s mental illness. The screaming question in my head was, “What do I do now?”

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My Mentally Ill Child and School Refusal

My Mentally Ill Child and School Refusal

School refusal is the most arduous test I’ve encountered while parenting my mentally ill son. Middle school is difficult for most adolescents. Seventh grade was the worst year for me and my son Bob. That is the year he refused to go to school.

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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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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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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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