Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Mental Health Issues Affect Entire Families

The extent to which a child's mental health issues can affect an entire family was highlighted in an archived featured article from The New York Times. When it becomes clear that a child is afflicted with a mental illness, it can greatly trouble parents who can't help but ask themselves: why?

 In this article, one family in particular is highlighted and shown how their lives have been affected by their daughter's mental health issues. One pitfall that many families suffer from is that they immediately assume the issue can be medically treated and alleviated. Once this option is removed, many have a difficult time coping with that fact.

 Not only is it difficult to care for the afflicted child, and have the burden to constantly explain to others what is "wrong" with their child, parents often feel guilt, anger and helplessness about their child's condition. Anxiety may overtake them on occasion wondering how they will deal with the situation. This is not limited to parents, siblings can feel neglected or a heightened pressure to be problem-free in order to compensate for the sibling with an illness, according to the article.

It is most important for families to stick together during this very trying time and become educated along the way so that they may best combat their own problems and help deal with a mental illness in a positive manner.

- Garrison Carr

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