Not only adults, but children also suffer from mental illness. It can happen at any age. As a parent/guardian it’s your responsibility to talk to your child. Even if you don’t think your child has any type of illness, you might be wrong. Some illnesses are very easy to hide and aren’t noticed by close family or friends. Your child might be scared, depressed, confused, and might feel all alone.
When I was growing up, mental health issues weren’t openly talked about like it is now. As many of you know, I was very young when I developed OCD. Nobody knew about it. Not one single person. I hid it very well. Even though I was very close to my mom, I didn’t tell her. At that time OCD wasn’t talked about. I had never heard of it. I had no idea what was going on with me. I was young, scared, and I chose to go through it alone.
Don’t let that be your child. Talk to them. If your not sure how to bring up the subject, there are lots of articles and videos on YouTube that can give you an idea.
Keep in mind that sometimes your child may not feel comfortable talking to you about it. Don’t take it personally. Offer them the choice to talk to someone else. Let them know there are counseling services. Let them know there are lots of people that can help. Let them tell you who they are comfortable talking to.
Sometimes they get worried or scared because they don’t know what will happen if they open up. I know for me, when I was little, I was terrified if I told a doctor what was going on with me that he would lock me up in a mental ward. I was seriously so scared of this so I never said a thing about it.
Here are a few things I find very important when talking to your child about mental illness.
LET YOUR CHILD KNOW THEY ARE LOVED.
Your probably thinking, “my child already knows that they are loved”. I’m sure you are right but they might feel that once you know about the issues they are having, you might not love them anymore. Of course we will love our children no matter what, we know that, but they may not. Let your child know they are loved no matter what.
Let your child know that they can trust you.
This is very very important. A child needs to know they have your trust. They might not want you telling other family members or friends what they are going through. Remember they might be embarrassed.
LET YOUR CHILD KNOW THAT THEY ARE NOT ALONE.
Let them know that there are other kids going through the same thing. Let them know they are not the only child to have a mental illness. Let your child know they are not alone.
Even if there are no signs of a mental illness, and even if there are no family history of mental illness, please talk to your child. Be the parent they may need right now. Be there.
Hope this post can help someone who needs it.
If your struggling, Reach Out, Speak Up, And Ask For Help.
Nobody should go through it alone.
Have a wonderful weekend.