Last week was National Children’s Mental Health Awareness week.
Since I'm obviously a week behind, I could just skip this topic and move on.
But our children's mental health is way too important to skip discussing. Why?
Because, IF YOU HAVE CHILDREN, it is your responsibility to be aware of the prevalence and symptoms of mental health problems in your child/teenager. https://clicktotweet.com/6xR4a
Again, I am totally transparent when I write about serious things such as this.
I have been treated for depression since I was in high school.
And for those of you gasping, I am not crazy. I have been a very productive member of society, I am an excellent nurse, I love being a mom, and you would probably have no idea that I am on an antidepressive medication.
I have a real condition that affects the levels of chemicals in my brain and the medicine helps these levels normalize so I can get out of bed and function.
No amount of therapy, talking, exercise, organic foods, or anything else is going to take my depression away. God answers my prayers to help me deal with my depression every single day when I take my antidepressant pill.
I am so grateful to my parents who recognized my symptoms, got me to a doctor, and agreed to allow me to take the prescription the doctor said needed to help my symptoms of depression. I wonder where I would be right now if they decided they were embarrassed to have a daughter on medicine, believed that depression could be overcome by some other means such as talk therapy or ignoring it, or gave into some beliefs that depression isn’t a real thing.
I wonder where I would be right now if they decided they were too embarrassed to have a daughter on medicine, believed that depression could be overcome by some other means such as talk therapy or ignoring it, or gave into the beliefs that depression isn’t a real thing.
If you are a parent, you have to pay attention to this. Your child's emotional health and future depends on it.
A parent does this by recognizing symptoms of possible mental health issues, communicating with their child's physician about the child’s mental health, and following the recommendations of the physician.
It's always beneficial, for many reasons, to get a second opinion if you are anxious or unsure of a diagnosis or treatment plan.
I can’t imagine the negative decisions in my life that I may have made if my parents hadn’t allowed my doctor to treat my depression. I’m sure, like many others, I would have treated it with something such as drugs, alcohol, promiscuity, etc.
Please don't let your child down when he/she needs you the most.
And, stepmoms, if you feel like your stepchild is "grinding your gears" as my daughter says I do to hers (she is only joking...kind of), then pay attention to this. As stepmoms, we can be just enough removed from the situation to see problems that others may not see.
If you are a stepmom, join the Thriving Stepmoms Facebook group. This group provides support and encouragement for stepmoms at any stage. https://www.facebook.com/groups/853368034774094/
Visit these websites to view more information about children’s mental health and what you can do as a parent. http://www.samhsa.gov/, https://www.drugabuse.gov/, http://www.cdc.gov/childrensmentalhealth/index.html
And, please share this infographic which includes statistics, resources, and a behavioral health treatment locator phone number.