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I find all these articles very frustrating. My son has a real mental illness. We are not bad parents. We have tried many things to help our son get better, but it wasn’t until we tried medication that we started to see a positive change in his life.
My son knew at the age of 7 that he had a problem in his brain, after wanting to kill himself he cried that he wanted to see the doctor so they could fix his brain. My son has suffered depression, rapid mood swings (he would cry, then laugh, then cry, then laugh until he would slam his head into the ground begging through tears to help make his brain stop changing moods all in a matter of 1 minute). He has seen monsters for episodes that has lasted up to 30 minutes, ending with him vomiting. He has heard voices and seen shadowed men coming at him when having panic attacks and has punched himself in the face to stop the images in his brain. He has trouble sleeping, feels too much energy and has violent rages attacking his family, sometimes up to several hours. He suffers from great anxiety that keeps him from playing with other kids and his sensory issues that keep him from enjoying family outings and fun experiences.
He says he feels worthless and that he’s God's mistake.
He has seen professional therapists and psychiatrists and to this day we don’t have an official diagnosis other than “mood disorder”. My son is being treated with bipolar medication and with the recent addition of Lithium, we’ve seen a tremendous change in our son. My husband and I both feel like we have our old son back. But I think our son can share the remarkable change in his own words:
“I feel happiness for the first time in a long time.”
“I no longer feel anger inside.”
“I feel great Mom!”
My son’s story is one of many. We are parents that love our children deeply, we recognized that our children need help that no diet, religion, parenting methods, exercise, fish oils, etc. can fix alone. We know, because we tried. Most parents are terrified of putting their child on medication and from experience I would say that most wait too long. We resisted it because of the bad press and judgments of society. Parents need support, not judgement.
You have no idea the hell my son has lived through. Please withhold your judgement.
I don’t know what will be my son’s final diagnosis, but I do know that I am thankful that he has an opportunity to have a life worth living thanks to medication and a mental health community that is trying to help our son in a time where answers are still outside our reach. We hope that within his lifetime we will have better solutions with less side effects, in the meantime, we will treat the symptoms and embrace the beautiful smile that has returned to my son’s face.