When Your Child’s Mental Health Isn’t Healthy

I have seen my share of ups and downs with mental illness over the years. From battling my own demons with things like anxiety and panic disorders, to more severe forms of mental illness, I have seen and experienced first hand the emotional and mental toll these illnesses can have on a person. Since having children of my own, I can honestly say, even though it’s been a difficult ride in dealing with my own issues, there is absolutely nothing harder or more heart breaking than watching your own child suffer.

I fight a daily battle. My 13 year old first born son, whom I love very much – always have, & always will – is currently, and if I’m being honest, has been for many years now – dealing with a lot of mental illness of his own. I won’t go into specifics, but these things that he is dealing with don’t just affect him. In fact, they don’t seem to have much effect on him at all. It’s the rest of us in the household with him who are forced to suffer and who are affected the most. It’s the people he is forced to be around every day both at home and at school who cry, feel pain, and also, feel fear. And I don’t mean that in any sort of mean way, but it’s the absolute truth. We have tried psychiatrists, therapists, counselors, medications, alternative methods, and nothing is working. Nothing at all can quell the immense amounts of stress we all feel in dealing with these issues. So what do we do? What’s the next step? Where do we go from here?

Is it selfish to say I just want a normal child? Is it mean of me? I don’t know.

Those are some of the pressing questions my husband and I are currently facing. It’s not been an easy couple of weeks.

There are so many good qualities in my son. He’s a very handsome, very talented, and a very sweet boy when he wants to be. He can be so helpful when he wants to. He can light up a room with his smile and make people laugh. He can play the guitar like nobody’s business. But then, there’s that other side of him that literally drives people away from him. The side of him that will hurt, steal, lie, and destroy anything and anyone around him. He claims to have no control over his actions…but I feel like that’s an excuse. He doesn’t even try. At least, not that we’re seeing. We read into it all, believe me. If he were trying, I’d give him the benefit of the doubt. But he isn’t trying. He’s only spiraling out of control and getting worse. I have cried a lot lately because of everything going on. My husband has tossed and turned worrying and stressing. Things cannot keep going on like this.

I don’t really know what the future holds but I do know that when I envision my son’s life as an older teen and an adult, I fear for him. I also fear for any woman he chooses to date and or marry. I fear for his children and I fear for my son.

I found out the other day that Florida is ranked 50 out of 50 in terms of mental health help. A police officer told me this. That’s the bottom of the barrel. You just can’t get any worse than that. Maybe that’s why there are such limited resources available in terms of offering help to him. Maybe that’s why we are getting nowhere.

His doctors are all currently on the page of getting him help to the point of placing him in a residential facility for a while. While we have fought tooth and nail to prevent this from happening, and have never agreed up until this point, we feel like now we have no choice with some of his recent behaviors. He is a danger not only to others but to himself. He’s become reckless. And we want to see him do better for himself and for his family. And also, for his future.

So, that’s pretty much what’s consumed my every moment for the past couple of weeks. I am praying I am able to find something that works before it’s too late. I pray it’s not too late. I pray there is still something that can be done. Changes that can be made. But most of all, I pray he opens his eyes and receives the help coming his way rather than forces it away.

I just want my son back.

I am spending much of today looking into some of these residential facilities across the state. I am not looking forward to any of this. It’s going to be a crazy emotional rollercoaster. At this point, however, he leaves us little choice.

Mental illness isn’t easily digested. It’s something you have to take day by day. But the one thing you can never do is just give up. Not on yourself, and not on those you love. Never, ever, ever give up.


7 thoughts on “When Your Child’s Mental Health Isn’t Healthy

  1. Cheila says:

    My heart breaks for you, it truly does. As someone with depression, anxiety and possibly Bipolar disorder type 2 I can really understand what your son goes through and what you go through. I’m not a mom, but I can imagine the pain of wanting your baby to be happy and healthy and not being able to do anything because it does not depend on you. My mother tells me this every day, that she wishes I was happy and fine and “normal”. So you’re not selfish, your not wrong in thinking what you think sometimes. You’re just a mom, who wants the best for her a child, but also wants a normal life. Sending strength and hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sarah E. McCormick says:


      Thank you SO much for the encouragement and understanding. I appreciate it more than you could ever know. Many people don’t understand, and they don’t get it, so it’s a relief that someone finally does. I am so sorry that you struggle with these things daily. I myself have a form of PTSD, along with anxiety/panic disorder. My son was diagnose with Bipolar Disorder type 2 as well. Also, a conduct disorder. It’s not easy at all. It’s literally a constant struggle. But I won’t give up. Don’t you give up, either! HUGE hugs to you, pretty girl. Everything will be okay. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • Cheila says:

        We will all be okay. You, your son, and me. It will get easier for him with age, I think, as he will become able to understand a little bit better and control his emotions in a different way. It will never be easy, but will not be as hard. Stay strong. Your not alone. If you ever need to vent to someone who will never judge, you know where to find me. xo

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Lacey says:

    Oh this breaks my heart. No there is nothing wrong with wanting “normal”. I get that. My son is in PreK and his teachers think we need to have him evaluated for autism. My husband and I have said the same thing. Not that we don’t love our son for exactly who he is. But life is hard even when you are normal. As parents we don’t want any added hardships for our kids. And it’s not like we have pinned any of our hopes and dreams on him, but at the least we pictured him having a shot at being an average Joe with a job and family as an adult. What if he doesn’t get that chance?
    Thank you for being honest. I get it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ashley says:

    I feel for you, sweetie! Mental illness is so difficult on families. I have a lot of first-hand experience with it (both growing up and my own demons). You do feel like you just want “someone back” or even want “yourself back.” It sounds like you and your husband are taking some steps forward to try to help your son, and that is what matters. You are not alone in trying to help a loved one with mental illness. Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sarah E. McCormick says:


      Thank you so much – you are so sweet. Your words are encouraging. It’s such a long process. There’s no ‘easy fix’ for his situation, and every avenue I’m exploring is just leading us to a dead end. Today I am contacting a facility that can hopefully help us – but it’s so emotionally taxing on my husband and I. We are praying this works, because we’ve tried everything else. Please, if you could say a prayer for us, that would be so appreciated. Hugs back!


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