Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Baby Blues and Blacks and Purples....

The title is silly and not grammatically correct but let me explain. I have 4 babies and even though I didn't get the first two until they were 2 1/2 & 3 1/2, I love them with all my heart. All of my boys have their unique set of challenges and all of them could benefit from the therapy system but currently only two go. I have no control over the older two but Red says he likes therapy and benefits from it. The Little Professor has only been twice since his testing and diagnosis but he actually came out smiling last time. The Little Prince (Nickelodeon)  is next to get tested as soon as I have a free 4 hours. Anyway, I digress.  So, in 2nd grade The Little Professor (LP) was diagnosed with ADHD based on family history as Razark (Dad) and Red were previously dx'd. Well, his behavior got out of control and we hit a wall with medication so I took him in for testing to confirm. The testing was eye opening. No ADHD was found. He was found to have Disruptive Behavior Disorder along with a very high IQ and issues with anger and impulsivity. This should have excited me but it scared me instead. Medication cannot help this, it was a crutch all along. It helped because it changed his brain chemistry. Three years of Adderall. Shit. Needless to say, I won't make that mistake again which is why Nickelodeon is up for testing next.
The hardest thing to admit in my life, so far, was that my boy needed professional help. It was one thing to admit that I did but my boys? Wow! There is no shame in it, y'all. You won't believe me but there isn't. The stigma that is socially constructed around mental health issues is creating needless shame. In all honesty, we all need some kind of therapy. You might have a bitch session with friends or you may choose a neutral party to see things from a different angle but either way it is natural. My LP now has an educated, compassionate, unbiased person to talk to and work through things with who doesn't live with us. She hasn't become frustrated with his sass, or been there when he threw things and he respects her opinion.

I started this journey feeling poorly. Where did I go wrong? What did I miss? What should I have done? This thinking helps no one. The important thing is to do everything that I can to ensure my child's success in life. Helping him become the best version of himself means leaving a great human being in this world long after my journey is finished.  In fact, I want that for all my children.

We need to make therapy normal. We need to educate people. We need to erase this needless stigma over mental health issues. We all have them. We all experience the blues and we all need a hand from time to time. There is no shame in asking for or seeking help. If you see someone going through something lend an ear. Offering to listen and be a sounding board costs nothing but it could save a life. Smiling and being friendly costs nothing but it might remind someone that they are not alone.

We are all in this life together and we need each other. If you need help and cannot afford it, there are a great many resources for you. Health and Human Services can direct you or look up your local United Way. It isn't a perfect system but it is better than suffering alone. Also, there are tons of medication assistance programs if you need help with paying. Be open with your treatment team and they can help you better!

Per ardua ad astra!*

Through struggles to the stars!*

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