If your child had a high fever would you take him/her to the doctor? If he/she was diagnosed with the flu, would you get them the help they needed to heal? I am hoping the answer to these questions is Yes, otherwise you might be the one who needs therapy.
The stigma around mental illness not only affects adults, it affects children as well. I stumbled upon this article,7 Red Flags That Your Child Needs Therapy, and was happy to see that people are acknowledging the idea that kids need therapy too. A lot of people ask my parents if they knew I had a mental illness as a child. The answer is a bit complicated, being that it is difficult to diagnose a child with a mental illness. My parents were told by my kindergarten teacher, “Hannah is so kind and sweet, but she wanders and has trouble really paying attention to what we are saying.” I was in therapy two days later. My parents, who are the opposite of sensitive hippies, took no chances when it came to their kids.
When a tragic situation occurs, or your child is feeling emotions that are overbearing it is difficult to for them to reveal these emotions. As a parent, or any family member, it is hard to be the therapist, and lets be honest, do we ever reveal the whole truth to our parents? Not always. In most cases, it is not to be malicious, but children know that their sadness or pain will hurt you, and they are nurturers by nature. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety disorders affect 1 in 8 children. If your in this position, do not be afraid to reach out. I am not a mother, but I ‘am the aunt of 8 nieces and nephews (yeah my brothers and sisters cant keep it in their pants). You know what this means? Statistically, one of them will have some type of mental illness, which is part of the motivation for my blog.
Read up on this article, and understand that mental illness, whether long or short term, is very real. I have met many parents who waited too long, let their own biases get in the way of getting their children help, and trust me, it is a road that eventually turned into a parents worst nightmare. You are not alone, there are many parents in the same position, so please reach out. Link below.