Silence of The Lambs

This week is National Mental Health Awareness Week. Mental health conditions affect over 42 million people, approximately one in five or 20%. To my surprise, the statistics of one in five are the same found in children.  Yes, children…..

I know of a little girl, who currently lay in a children’s hospital bed under mandated psychological observation after trying to commit suicide. She’s been abused emotionally and probably physically under the supervision of her single parent. Ever since birth, she’s been moved from one home to another while being kept isolated, often missing school. She has little to no social life, having been groomed to be her parent’s caregiver while being encouraged and/or allowed to take part in illegal drug abuse. Recently, a social worker stepped in, taking a drug test of the child, and indeed she tested positive. Like most abused children, this innocent one would do anything to protect her mother, anything in the world to sustain her mother’s love. Even to the point of taking her own life in order to silence herself.

I thank God for saving this child, and ask that she be provided the best possible mental health care. She needs true love, patience, and understanding, together with counseling and a stable home in the future. All of which are waiting for her.

We must remember not only the 42 million adults who suffer each and every day with a mental health condition but also the 1 in 5 children who are rarely mentioned. They must not be forgotten. Children most often do not recognize symptoms, nor do they understand that help is available! These innocent lambs are silent.

The above little girl’s case is rare. Most children living with mental health conditions are from warm and loving homes with parents who may not know their child needs help.

Mental health conditions should be treated as Chronic Conditions without any stigma. To all and everyone, please look for warning signs in children. No child should ever have to suffer.

Pick up the phone, you may save a life today!

Warning Signs of Mental Conditions in Children:

  1. Mood Changes
  2. Intense Feelings
  3. Behavior Changes
  4. Difficulty Concentrating
  5. Unexplained Weight Loss
  6. Physical Symptoms: Compared with adults, children may develop headaches & stomachaches rather than depression & anxiety.
  7. Substance Abuse: Children may try to cope with their feelings through alcohol or drugs.
  8. Self-Injury or Self-Harm: The act of deliberately hurting one’s own body, such as cutting or burning. Children with a mental health condition may also develop suicidal thoughts or actually attempt suicide.

First of the Season

First of the Season.  A yellow rose.  My mother’s favorite.  Much like the single bud of a beautiful flower, my mother’s life was budding into motherhood when her fragile mind was struck by a chronic illness far too much for her to bare.

If you’ve been a faithful reader of mine then you already know.  Early on, I wrote a post touching on this,  Typically, there is a “trigger,” that breaks down one’s mind.  The person can handle no more.  “Enough,” it says.  “Please, I need a rest.”  Until the next, unless the mind is treated.  My mother was never treated.  She was never aware there was such a thing.  Truly, she believed they would take her away, never to be returned to her loving family.  How sad for her.  How sad for all of us.  Such a waste of much of my mother’s joy and happiness.

As a very little girl…..4-5-6 years old….was that when it first began?  My earliest memory of this is of my mother writhing in pain, begging my father not to call the doctor…or was it an ambulance?  He had one hand on the black phone with the curly cord.  “No,” she cried.  “I don’t want the ‘white coats’ to get me.”  Terrified, she was.  I have this picture of her grabbing hold of my father…his arm?  His leg?  Not letting go.  He was in pain, too.  At a loss with what to do.  Trying his best to comfort her.  I remember him sitting on a chair or the bed.  His head down defeated.  Dark, messy hair in big hands.

Many times, my father wondered what to do?  He was overwhelmed, yet strong, loving and true.  Such a young man when all of this began.  No education available back then.  He knew only that his loving young wife was sick.  He had a full-time job together with three young children…babies, to be responsible for.  “Bad Nerves”  was the term most often used for my mother’s condition back in the 1950’s.

People did not talk about mental illness years ago.  Even today, there is a major stigma attached to it.  Shhhhh…Mental illness is no different from my oldest son’s diabetes or my youngest son’s asthma.  If you need help, do not be afraid.  See a doctor.  Get therapy, take your medicine, seek treatment, or all of the above….please.  A sick mind is an illness not to be ashamed of.  It is no one’s fault.  Least of all yours.

Because education was little at best, and access to help was next to impossible, my mother suffered the whole of my life.  I don’t have any proof of her illness.  No doctor’s reports, no test results or hospital admissions.  Still, my memories and research are enough for me.  So many years of life she missed!  Days spent in bed behind a closed door or rocking back and forth swallowed within the safety of her favorite chair.

My siblings and I have gotten through life just fine. A few of us have stumbled here and there, but nothing like my mother went through. Of course, we were all educated and knew when to get help. Our mother taught us well. We learned from her, not necessarily from what she said, but in how she loved us in spite of her illness. She did her best and tried even better.  She loved us all,

Good memories outweigh any that may be discolored.  God has a way of doing that.  So glad….  In Heaven, He covers my mother’s forehead, quieting her mind.  No more anxiety, no more demons, no more suffering.

This single yellow rosebud is a reminder to me of my loving mother.  The first of the season….

Fresh With Morning Dew: 7:00 AM

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11:00 AM After Sunlight Shines Upon It

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Another View for My Mother….

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