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Our Mental Health Blogs

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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Ask Your Adult Child to Waive Privacy Rights Under HIPAA

Ask Your Adult Child to Waive Privacy Rights Under HIPAA

Adult children with mental illness can waive privacy rights to allow parents to stay on the treatment team. How can a parent make that happen? Read this.

At 18, when our mentally ill children are no longer minors, it is important to encourage them to waive their privacy rights through the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and allow parents to participate on their mental health team. To assure that adult children waive their privacy rights, parents need to develop a relationship of trust.

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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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Protecting Minors’ Mental Health Privacy: Where’s the Line?

Protecting Minors’ Mental Health Privacy: Where’s the Line?

Balancing a minor's mental health privacy with a parent's right to discuss her child's mental illness is a moral dilemma. Where should parents draw the line?

Several weeks ago, another blogger triggered a heated discussion on a minor’s rights to mental health privacy when they suffer from mental illness. Readers chastised the author for disclosing too much information about her child. And that made me ask: where is the line when it comes to minor’s mental health privacy.

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The Miracle of Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

The Miracle of Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

I refused electroconvulsive therapy for my daughter for two years. Now I wonder why I waited so long. Electroconvulsive therapy isn't scary as it once was.

For two years I refused to even consider electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for my severely depressed daughter. After all, I saw those 1950s movies—I saw those patients emerge zombie-like with no memory. But then my daughter’s life became so bleak we had no choice but to try electroconvulsive therapy, and I’ve kicked myself for letting her suffer so long.

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Emergency Plans for Mental Health Crises Will Help Your Child

Emergency Plans for Mental Health Crises Will Help Your Child

Emergency plans for mental health crises help you help your child. Find out how to prepare and emergency plan for psychiatric crises here.

According to our emergency plan for mental health crises, I had to call the police. After melting down for an hour, my daughter with bipolar disorder had locked herself in the bathroom threatening to kill herself. Knowing the signs of suicide, my daughter and I (with the help of her therapist) had created a safety contract—she violated it by locking herself away from me—I had to call according to the emergency plan for mental health crises.

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Give Balance to Siblings of a Child with Mental Illness

Give Balance to Siblings of a Child with Mental Illness

Siblings of a child with mental illness can get lost in the fray, and that's a top worry for parents. Here's what can happen and tips to help balance it out.Siblings of a child with mental illness don’t have it easy. Managing children is a balancing act. Throw in mental illness, and that balance disappears. Sadly, this doesn’t usually favor the child without the mental illness. I have many fears for my younger daughter who often lives in the shadow of her brother’s behavior disorder. I’m betting many parents like me have the same fears for the siblings of a child with mental illness.

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Stigma Against Parents Who Raise a Child With Mental Illness

Stigma Against Parents Who Raise a Child With Mental Illness

The stigma against parents raising a child with mental illness can impact decision-making and cost years of unnecessary isolation and shame. But there is help.

There is a stigma against parents who raise a child with mental illness. I felt this stigma against parents myself as I sat in my first National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) meeting, horror slowly crept up my body like a spider crawling across my skin. The organization provides education and support for both people suffering from mental illness and their families. I was attending a meeting for families but as I listened to one story after another, I was sure I didn’t belong (Stigma of Being Branded Bad Parents). But this was the stigma against parents who raise a child with mental illness rearing its ugly head.

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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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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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