Mental Health What??

When my son was three years old, I was arrested for whipping him with a belt and leaving whelps on his back. All I could do was think back to how my mother would abuse my sister and I and it scared me to death to think that I could be turning into her. But at 3, my son was about 3ft. tall and close to 90lbs and he had chose to throw a chair at his Head Start teacher. I thought I was within rights to discipline him the only way I knew how at that point. After all, I had tried  time out, fussing and even taking away all his toys, favorite games, TV and anything else I could think of. None of it worked and I was over the top with frustration to say the least! So, once I was arrested, and I had social services come into my home…there was a real eye opener in front of me. If I didn’t want to lose my son, I had to get some help for the both of us. At three he started going to John Hopkins Hospital to see a behavior therapist and all they said was “Carter has a disruptive behavior disorder”. In my mind I’m thinking what the hell is that suppose to mean??? No other description was given. They wouldn’t say anything more until after he was five years old. Well by then, Carter had been expelled from Head Start, released early from Kindergarten and suspended from 1st grade for kicking a teacher and running out of the school building. It never seemed to stop and for a parent who had already spent a night in jail and lost her job because of her tainted record, I was well beyond exhausted. Finally, his school paired me with a mental health clinic who, after two visits, diagnosed Carter with ADHD and a mood disorder. Well what do you know! I had two options: continue with therapy and home remedies OR put Carter on two kinds of medicine (one for the mood disorder and one for ADHD). I had so many people with their own opinion about what was best for Carter but I all I could think about was how angry I was growing up and how I got expelled from school after school. If someone had just taken the time to talk to me and analyze me, maybe I could have taken a different path my own self. I made the choice to put Carter on the medication and there was an INSTANT difference! Four years later, he still takes his medicine, he understands why he has to take it and he isn’t perfect in school but he hasn’t been suspended since first grade. Nobody can ever tell me that it doesn’t work! After all, 29 years later and I myself finally decided to take anxiety and depression medication. After 9 years, I finished my book, started getting more sleep and cared enough about myself to end an abusive relationship. What are you struggling with that you don’t associate with mental health? No one says you have to take 2, 3 or even 1 medication but you will never know if you don’t admit first that there is a problem and feeling how you feel isn’t “normal”. How many of you have children with excessive behavior disorders and no punishment on God’s green earth seems to be working? It’s time to open up and let someone in!

2 comments

  1. Very good read! There is a very big misconception about mental health illness. There is this constant thought the we can seek help because it makes us look indifferent not realizing that it’s okay to look indifferent or to try new methods in order to obtain different results. It doesn’t make you look “crazy” because you reached out for help. What matters is that you opened up and did.

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