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Our Mental Health Blogs

Childhood Bipolar Disorder and DMDD

Childhood Bipolar Disorder and DMDD

DMDD is one way to manage the childhood bipolar disorder diagnosis controversy. So, if your child has DMMD, does that mean he'll develop bipolar disorder?A child’s mental illness diagnosis can take years to get right, especially when both disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD) and a childhood bipolar disorder diagnoses are possible. One diagnosis can look similar to another. It takes a skilled provider to tease it out and, let’s face it, as parents, we don’t always know if our providers are the skilled ones. It took three years to get to my son’s diagnosis of DMDD. Prior to that, they briefly considered childhood bipolar disorder. I still sometimes wonder if it’s not.

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The Difference Between Oppositional Defiance (ODD) and DMDD

The Difference Between Oppositional Defiance (ODD) and DMDD

DMDD or ODD? DMDD can look a lot like ODD (oppositional defiant disorder). Learn the subtle differences and get the right diagnosis for your child.

Children with disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD) may go through a couple diagnoses, including oppositional defiance disorder (ODD), in the beginning. This is partly because DMDD is a newer disorder, but it also looks like other illnesses–especially ODD. My son’s first providers diagnosed him with ODD, and other DMDD parents have told me their kids also started with that diagnosis. There is, however, a subtle difference between the two.

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It’s Not Unusual If Your Child Hears Voices

It’s Not Unusual If Your Child Hears Voices

Does your child hear voices? He's not alone. It could be a side effect of medications, but it's also not uncommon for a child to just hear voices.

If your child hears voices, your first reaction may be panic. The first time my son said he heard voices, I almost fainted. I work with adults who hear voices due to their mental illnesses, so my first thought was early-onset schizophrenia. My son does not have schizophrenia. Turns out, a child who hears voices isn’t that unusual.

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No, My Child Does Not Have PANDAS, He Has a Mental Illness

No, My Child Does Not Have PANDAS, He Has a Mental Illness

PANDAS symptoms resemble signs of some mental illnesses. People sometimes insist my son has PANDAS, but that only stigmatizes a mentally ill child. Here's why.Well-intentioned people often suggest that my child with mental illness isn’t actually mentally ill. They insist he has an underlying medical condition. Lately, it’s pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections (PANDAS). To those who interject these suggestions without invitation into a conversation about mental illness, know it can be more harmful than you think.

Note: I am not an “expert”, nor am I writing this in a professional capacity. I am a parent on my own journey, which is where this blog comes from.

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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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Autism vs. Childhood Mental Illness

Autism vs. Childhood Mental Illness

Autism and childhood mental illnesses can look very similar at first glance. This article discusses what behaviors parents may see in both and how they differ.Many childhood mental illnesses involve behaviors similar to those found in autism spectrum disorder (ASD), commonly just referred to as “autism.” As a result, parents may hear the term “autism” mentioned when their child first exhibits worrisome behaviors. This first post on autism will look at the similarities and differences between autism spectrum disorder and childhood mental illness, as seen from a parent’s perspective.

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Life with Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD)

Life with Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD)

Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD), relatively new to childhood diagnoses, may explain your child's terrifying outbursts. Could it be DMDD?Most people don’t know what life with disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD) is like. But if your child is perpetually angry and irritable or you walk on eggshells for fear of triggering terrifying outbursts, these behaviors may point to disruptive mood dysregulation disorder, a childhood mood disorder that can lead a child and his or her parents on a scary and frustrating journey.

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Does Your Child Have ADHD? Non-Clinical Clues from a Mom

Does Your Child Have ADHD? Non-Clinical Clues from a Mom

Figuring out if your child has ADHD can be hard. What behaviors are normal and which are not? Learn about determining if your child has ADHD.

What are the clues that your child has attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD? To start, HealthyPlace has a quiz you can take (Free Online ADHD Child Quiz). It includes many of the typical signs of ADHD. However, as a parent, I realize you didn’t come here to learn how clinicians see the disorder. You want to know how ADHD looks and feels on a daily basis. You want to know if you’re overreacting to behaviors or not. You want to know if your child has ADHD.

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My Mother with Mental Illness

My Mother with Mental Illness

Did you grow up with a mother with a mental illness? Read this daughter’s experience with a mentally ill mother to learn how she found peace.

My mother with mental illness died last week. She was 85 years old. Here I share my recollection of being raised by a mother with mental illness.

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