Dear Parents: If You’re Child Says They Have Mental Health Issues, Please Believe Them

If they tell you they have depression, please don’t ask what kind of big problem they have and that you have  bigger problems. They’ll gonna need you when they’re at their lowest and it’s difficult to rise up. Understand them if they don’t want to go to school because their brain is forcing the body to just lie there and think of unpleasant things. On the days that they are happy and lively, please don’t say they don’t have depression because they’re happy again. This is the time when you have to watch out for them more, because they have the energy again. When they’re at their lowest point, they don’t have much energy to move but the thoughts of suicide can be running through their minds. When they slowly get out of that state and get their energy back, they still have those suicidal thoughts and now have the energy to go through killing themselves.

If they say they have anxiety (no more how minor it is), please don’t ask them what they’re so scared of. Most of the time, anxious people doesn’t know why they’re nervous. They could just be simply standing in line but that stupid gut feeling would just start creeping up on them and their hearts would start racing and some bad thoughts would start going through their minds. Some people have minor anxiety, where they don’t experience all that time, but it’s disconcerting nonetheless. It can throw the person off guard and make that person fidgety and uncomfortable. Some people have really bad anxiety, where they experience it every day. Every day they have to find something to alleviate the anxiousness that they’re feeling. Sometimes, the anxious feeling is too much for the person that they would have a panic attack where you’re emotions take over and you feel like you can’t breath and when it’s over, the energy is gone but the emotions are still there, just waiting to tip over again.

If they say they have OCD, please don’t tell them that they don’t have it because their room is messy. Having OCD doesn’t just mean making sure the lines are straight or that the room has to be sparkling clean. It means being obsessive about something and have some compulsions on doing something. A person can have obsessive thoughts about the door being open and robbers coming in at night even though they checked it 10 times already that it keeps them awake the whole time. They can compulsive actions that they have to do or else it’s gonna make them very uncomfortable and uneasy the whole time. Some people can have obsessive thoughts about killing themselves and be compelled to push that scissor on their skin.

When they tell you they have some mental health problems, please just hug them and tell them you’re there for them. Please make sure that you can be their pillar, a person they can rely on. Please be the person that will hold together when they feel like falling apart because their mental health is already too much to handle.

It’s okay to be skeptical at first. You raised this kid, maybe gave them love and everything they need. But you don’t know that many things that have occurred in their childhood could have affected their mental health. Work with them, understand them and make sure they keep themselves safe.

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