A Different Perspective on New Year’s Resolutions

Champagne, the count down, celebrate, resolutions, kissing family and friends at midnight, the ball in Times Square, hope and promise …

I have been thinking a great deal about this annual milestone and reflecting on feelings of sadness and loss.  Living with mental illness has a funny way of changing one’s perspective on everyday experiences and expectations.  This is especially true for holidays. Continue reading “A Different Perspective on New Year’s Resolutions”

Paying for Psychological and Psychiatric Services

“How do you pay for psychological & psychiatric services? An even bigger expense is paying for residential treatment but if your child needs these services they are important enough to take out a second mortgage on your house or to use your child’s college fund to pay for these services.”  

Continue reading “Paying for Psychological and Psychiatric Services”

To Board, or Not to Board … Evaluating Options

As I mentioned in my previous post – To Board, or Not to Board … Our Current Dilemma, our youngest son is at a wilderness treatment program.

We are in the process of deciding whether he will come home or go to a therapeutic boarding school. 

When we went through this process with our older son, we hired an education consultant.  This time we are flying solo. Continue reading “To Board, or Not to Board … Evaluating Options”

To Board, or Not to Board … Our Current Dilemma

Our Decision Making Process and Helpful Resources

Jack is four weeks into a wilderness treatment program.  We are starting to think about whether he comes home after graduation and we continue the with local therapists and tutors or do we send him to a therapeutic boarding school.   Continue reading “To Board, or Not to Board … Our Current Dilemma”

Navigating the Holiday Season

‘Tis the season for happy and jolly.  Or at least those are the expectations of the holiday season.  For families living with mental illness, this is not always the most wonderful time of the year.  The holiday season can be very challenging, emotional, and an isolating time for families.

We typically ring in the holiday season with at least one trip to the psychiatric hospital, this year was no different.  The heightened anxiety and change in mood usually begin with the talk of Halloween and we don’t level out until mid January at the earliest.  We often say that if we could have looked into the future we would have converted to Buddhism prior to starting our family. Continue reading “Navigating the Holiday Season”

Thoughts & Thanks

On this Thanksgiving I am sad; I am thankful …

Ben, my 13 year-old is currently at a psychiatric hospital on the tail end of a medication change.  My 11 year-old is at a Wilderness Treatment Program, he is struggling with having a brother with mental illness.  Instead of running a turkey trot with the kids and watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, I find myself fighting back tears and avoiding all the happy family posts on Facebook. Continue reading “Thoughts & Thanks”

Hey Kids, Let’s Talk Mental Health

Growing up in the 70’s, we never spoke about depression or anxiety.  In my 20’s and 30’s, I am pretty sure I never uttered the words mental health or mental illness.  It wasn’t until Ben was diagnosed with autism, anxiety, a mood disorder, and Tourette’s syndrome that I found myself tongue tied when talking about this foreign world. Continue reading “Hey Kids, Let’s Talk Mental Health”

Mother’s Guilt

As I sit down to write this, I am processing so many difficult emotions.

GUILT is at the top of the list.  

My older son, Ben, is learning to live with autism, a mood disorder, and anxiety (just to name a few).  From a very early age, Ben’s younger brother Jack was witness to his rages and manic episodes. Continue reading “Mother’s Guilt”

Being Your Child’s Pharmaceutical Historian

If your child is taking medication, then this post is for you!

Yup, another hat for us parents to wear … the pharmaceutical historian.  Whether you find an app or create a simple list like the one below, having a complete history of every medication prescribed to your child is invaluable. Continue reading “Being Your Child’s Pharmaceutical Historian”