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Our Mental Health Blogs

Support a Bipolar Teen: Progress with Problem Behaviors

Support a Bipolar Teen: Progress with Problem Behaviors

If you support your bipolar teen, she can manage her problem behaviors. With tiny steps and a lot of support for your bipolar teen, you can help her do it.

You can support a bipolar teen as she works on problem behaviors, but you must be patient. I didn’t have any more patience when my daughter’s new counselor asked me, “What’s the one behavior you would like to work on with your daughter?” I was stunned, one behavior? Did she have any idea how erratic and out-of-control my teen’s behavior was as her bipolar disorder cycled from frantic highs to screaming lows? I quickly listed 10 desires. But, no, the therapist insisted that I choose only one. My first reaction was to choose a new therapist to support my bipolar teen daughter.

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Create Mental Health Safety Contracts for Teens with Bipolar

Create Mental Health Safety Contracts for Teens with Bipolar

A mental health safety contract can save your child from herself. Mental health safety contracts can prevent suicide and other dangerous behaviors. Here's how.

My daughter and I have a mental health safety contract. She violated the conditions of the contract, and I had to call the police. Since my daughter and I have used mental health safety contracts since she was a teenager, we both understood the rules. By having a mental health safety contract, I took what could have been a volatile, extended fight with my adult child with bipolar disorder and turned it into a straightforward contractual arrangement. It made a difficult situation easier.

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Introduction to Susan Traugh, Author of ‘Life with Bob’

Introduction to Susan Traugh, Author of ‘Life with Bob’

"Life with Bob" author Susan Traugh talks about her life parenting children with bipolar and other mental illness.Hello, I’m Susan Traugh, one of the authors of Life with Bob about parenting children with mental illness at HealthyPlace. I live with a husband with bipolar disorder and have three children with mental illness: two with bipolar disorder and one with generalized anxiety disorder.

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Mental Health Screenings in Schools Should Be More Inclusive

Mental Health Screenings in Schools Should Be More Inclusive

Early mental health screenings in schools catch problems like autism, but miss most other mental illnesses. Many kids can't access the programs they deserve.While mental health screenings in school may take place, they need to be more inclusive. Although autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and childhood mental illnesses like attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can look similar on the outside, the way they’re treated in schools looks different. From the perspective of a parent of a child with mental illness, they seem like unfairly disparate worlds. It makes me think of the need for inclusivity in school mental health screenings.

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Saying Goodbye to “Life with Bob”

Saying Goodbye to “Life with Bob”

A year ago I made a one-year commitment to writing Life with Bob about parenting a child with mental illness. My year is up and I am ready to say goodbye to Life with Bob. Its time to redirect my attention to my son whose name is Jack, not Bob.

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A Letter to My Son with Mental Illness on Mother’s Day

A Letter to My Son with Mental Illness on Mother’s Day

Today, I write a letter to my son with a mental illness on this Mother’s Day:

Seventeen years ago today, on Mother’s Day, your dad and I climbed on an airplane and flew half-way around the world to adopt you. Back home, your nursery had a crib, toys and baby clothes. On the plane, we had a diaper bag, stroller and baby food. In our hearts we had dreams, hopes and excitement for the baby who would make us a family.

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Traveling with a Child with Mental Illness

Traveling with a Child with Mental Illness

Traveling with a child with mental illness presents unique challenges. My son, Bob, lives with bipolar disorder and social anxiety. Traveling used to be so difficult we avoided it altogether. Now, after years of learning the hard way, I can offer some tips for traveling with a child with mental illness.

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What to Say to a Parent of a Child with Mental Illness

What to Say to a Parent of a Child with Mental Illness

Have you ever wondered what to say to a parent of a child with mental illness? As a parent of a 17-year-old with bipolar disorder and social anxiety, I have. In this blog I will offer ideas of what to say to a parent of a child with mental illness.

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What Not to Say to a Parent of a Child with Mental Illness

What Not to Say to a Parent of a Child with Mental Illness

Have you ever wondered what not to say to a parent of a child with mental illness? Every day I hear insensitive remarks about my child’s mental illness. I don’t believe the people making these comments know how hurtful they are to me. It recently occurred to me that most people probably don’t know what to say or what not to say to a parent of a child with mental illness. Perhaps that is why they say exactly the wrong thing. So I’ve put together some guidelines of what not to say to a parent of a child with mental illness.

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Mood Disorders in Teens Is Not Normal Moodiness

Mood Disorders in Teens Is Not Normal Moodiness

Mood disorders do occur in teens but teen moodiness is also normal. How do you know the difference between teen moodiness and a mood disorder in a teen?

There is a difference between a mood disorder in a teenager and teenage moodiness. My teenage son, Bob, lives with bipolar disorder, the monster of all mood disorders in teens. We recently discussed the difference between mood disorders and moodiness because Bob is recovering from an episode of bipolar depression.

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