+

mental health stigma

Health

Your child being diagnosed with a mental health condition is not your fault

One of the most important things a parent can do is let go of the guilt.

Your child being diagnosed with a mental health condition is not a parental failure.

My heart dropped when I read the message from my friend. Normally the exchange is pleasant and I look forward to our conversations but before I even opened the message, the preview told me that something was wrong. All I could see was, "Did you hear about Edith's son?"

I hesitated before opening the message because I knew it wouldn't be good, and sadly, I was right. Our friend posted that she was planning funeral services for her 15-year-old son, explaining that he died by suicide. I didn't have the words so I waited days to reach out to share condolences.

It hit too close to home. I have a 14-year-old son. I've talked to my children about mental health and how it's always OK to seek help, even when it feels hopeless. I've given tools to clients and friends who are struggling with their own child's mental health diagnosis and the script remains the same, "I feel like it's my fault."

Keep Reading Show less

Sen. Creigh Deeds of Virginia understands the importance of mental health care better than most.

In the midst of a mental health crisis, he was stabbed by his son Gus 13 times on Nov. 19, 2013, before Gus shot himself and died by suicide.  Deeds survived the attack, dumbfounded by what happened.

The day before the incident, a judge had issued an emergency custody order to place Gus in a mental health facility. But due to a bed shortage, he was released after just six hours.

Keep Reading Show less

There are a lot of misconceptions about taking medication to manage depression.

Some assume antidepressants are simply "happy pills" while others think all antidepressants make you devoid of feeling. For those who find antidepressants helpful, medication can be a good weapon against depression. No one should be ashamed of using a tool that works for them.

But not everyone understands this — and it can be hard to explain why medication is an important part of your mental health treatment.

Keep Reading Show less

We didn't know that our teen daughter had an actual mental illness. We just knew that she felt extra nervous sometimes — and it was getting worse.

She didn't get excited nervous, like you'd feel before you go on a roller coaster, or uncertain nervous, like when you're facing a big decision. Hers was the debilitating kind of nervous, the kind that takes over your whole body and brain. The kind where instead of fight or flight, you freeze, and nothing anyone says seems to help.

It took us awhile to name it "anxiety" and even longer to discover that our bright, sweet girl was experiencing emetophobia, a specific anxiety disorder revolving around a fear of throwing up.

Keep Reading Show less