By Chrisa Hickey, REDBOOK.
Read More »from What It's like when Your Child is Mentally Ill
If you're a mom like I am, I bet your heart aches at the thought of a sick child who needs help. But some illnesses aren't outwardly apparent, and others are so misunderstood they seem downright scary. That's why, during National Children's Mental Health Awareness Week, I'd like you to meet my family.
It might help to first imagine that you have an 11-year-old son, and that he's sick. You're not sure what's wrong, but you know it's serious. Your pediatrician recommends you see a specialist, but when you call the only two in your area, neither one has an appointment available for eight weeks. When you finally get in to see the specialist, he puts your son in the hospital for two weeks of testing and observation, then diagnoses him with juvenile onset diabetes. You know the word, but you're not sure what the prognosis is or the treatment your son will need. The doctor recommends you relinquish your parental rights of your son to the state, as that is the only