Parents want the best for their children. They want to know they have a range of opportunities in life and in education. Most of all they want to give them a carefree childhood. A childhood that is safe, happy, and content, so that kids can be kids; blissfully unaware of the stresses that accompany everyday living once they reach adulthood.
But what happens when your child suffers from mental illness?
Mental health problems don’t discriminate and can affect anyone, at any given time. Unfortunately, children aren’t immune, and it is estimated that one in five children will suffer with a mental health issue at some stage in their life. Over 20% of children worldwide are affected by mental health issues.
The Huffington Post recently published a blog featuring a heartfelt letter to those parents of children with depression. In this blog they reported that statistically, three children in every classroom have a diagnosable mental health condition.
Mental illness really is an epidemic and it affects our young at an alarming rate.
In a recent BBC radio interview that I did, as well as in my first book ‘Pullingthetrigger – OCD, Anxiety, Panic Attacks and Related Depression. The Definitive Survival and Recovery Approach’, I talk candidly about how my own mental illness emerged at the tender age of around five or six years old and how this blighted me well into adulthood. I fully understand how scary and lonely it is to be a child with such intrusive thoughts and how those thoughts can turn your life upside down.
As a parent myself, and also having suffered as a child, I am very pleased that The Shaw Mind Foundation website gives invaluable information and guidance on what to do if your child is affected by mental illness or if you are a young person suffering from such disorders – something that my parents would have really benefitted from when I was growing up in the late 70s and 80s.
Growing up can be difficult enough as it is, but having to endure the stigma that often accompanies mental illness shouldn’t be part of it. Let’s talk and #letsdostuff.