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Holiday Mental Health Plans for Families with Mental Illness

Holiday Mental Health Plans for Families with Mental Illness

Do you have a holiday mental health plan to make the holidays fun for everyone in your family? Try this tip to develop a holiday mental health plan that works.

Maintaining mental health over the holidays can be a real challenge for teens and young adults with mental illness. With 64% of mentally ill people finding holidays stressful, according to a study by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), it is important to find ways to stay healthy during the holidays. So read on for holiday mental health tips.

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Both Sides of Bullying Affect Children with Mental Illness

Both Sides of Bullying Affect Children with Mental Illness

Both sides of bullying affect children with mental illness. Their behaviors make them a target and, sometimes, make them the bully. So what is a parent to do?

My children start school this week, so I’m back to worrying about both sides of bullying. As a parent of a child with mental illness, who is not going to be mainstreamed this year, the fear is real. Will he be bullied for being “special ed”, or will his behaviors make him the bully? I tell myself that, if I can just get him through adolescence, he’ll be okay. In the meantime, though, how do I manage when I understand that both sides of bullying could affect my child’s school year?

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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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