I need to yank my soapbox out for a minute because I am feeling horribly overwhelmed and frustrated. I am tired of people not understanding mental health issues. My own pile of crazy is one thing, but having to advocate and protect my 10 year old from people who just think he’s being dramatic or ridiculous is exhausting.
These are just a few of the things I have wanted to say to people over the last few months, but because I am polite I have refrained…
- Telling a child with anxiety to “get over it” or “suck it up” won’t help. They can’t. It would have as much effect as telling a child with chicken pox to suck them back in and move on.
- He can’t control his ANTs. ANTs are Automatic Negative Thoughts. His brain gets stuck in a repeat pattern where the worst case scenario is the only one he can see.
- Telling me “not to worry about it because he’ll grow out of it” is asinine. He won’t. I’ve been dealing with this shit for the better part of my life and it doesn’t go away. You just learn to manage it as you grow.
- If I choose to medicate my child, it’s none of your damn business. Medications can and do help. My motto in dealing with anxiety and chronic depression is better living through chemistry.
- There is no reasoning someone out of a panic attack. I can’t sit him down and explain to him that he needs to behave a certain way and that he has responsibilities that he needs to meet. When he’s in the middle of a panic attack, he can’t see that. Talking to him about it after the fact is great and we do, but it doesn’t mean it won’t happen again.
Anxiety and OCD in children is horrible. Horrible, but real. It’s something we deal with every damn day, but at the end of the day my child is just fine. We’ll get through. He’s generally happy, he’s smart, he’s funny. He’s a great kid. He just has an ANT farm in his brain and sometimes the ants get out. If it’s not an issue for him or for us, it shouldn’t be for anyone else.
5,260,320 minutes (ish)
That’s what it took to turn my sweet, little, gnome-faced baby into a happy, funny, confident, energetic, awesome, perfect person. He might be 10 today, but he’s still my baby boo.