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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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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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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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Suggestions for Sleep Problems in Childhood ADHD

Suggestions for Sleep Problems in Childhood ADHD

Children with ADHD often have sleep problems too. Routines and nutrition help, but there are other ways to minimize ADHD related sleep problems. Watch this.

Sleep problems are common with childhood attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Parenthood and sleep don’t mix, and if you have a young child with ADHD, you’re probably getting even less sleep than other parents. Sleep problems with childhood ADHD are common and the sleep problems come in many forms (ADHD and Sleep Disorders). The methods we use to get our children to sleep come in many forms as well.

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Childhood ADHD and Lying: Be Careful What You Punish

Childhood ADHD and Lying: Be Careful What You Punish

The child with ADHD may use lying as a way to deal with shame over being unable to meet expectations. Discipline gets tricky. Here's something to think about.

Of all behaviors associated with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), lying is one of the more frustrating. My son’s therapist recently reminded me of something important, though. Lying serves a purpose, and punishing our children with mental illness for the lie itself may mean we’re missing the underlying issue all-together.

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A Year of Shock Therapy for Major Depressive Disorder

A Year of Shock Therapy for Major Depressive Disorder

Shock therapy for major depressive disorder, also called electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), sounds scary. But it gave my daughter her life back. Here's our story.My daughter just graduated from a year of shock therapy for major depressive disorder (electroconvulsive therapy [ECT]). It gave her life back. Her severe major depressive disorder had stopped her from functioning in life and kept the threat of suicide lingering over her like a vulture waiting to pounce. Yet, today, a year after beginning shock therapy, she has finished her college program, gotten a job and is socializing and taking care of herself with a kind of sparkle that had once seemed impossible. Shock therapy for my daughter’s major depressive disorder created a miracle for her.

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How We Change the World for Our Children with Mental Illness

How We Change the World for Our Children with Mental Illness

As parents, we have the power to change the world for our children with mental illness. But changing the world doesn't have to be difficult. Try these ideas.A lot of energy goes into changing the world for our children, and that’s before childhood mental illness joins our parenting struggles. If it’s been a rough day for my son, in terms of his disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD) especially, I have barely enough energy to make dinner, let alone “change the world.” Making change for our children is important to me, though. After dealing with childhood mental illness the last few years, I’ve realized that, sometimes, the world around my son needs more of a “cure” than he does.

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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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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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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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