I’ve talked in the past about how we have two children with mental health issues. My oldest has ADHD and our youngest has ODD. With those, we constantly have a lot of anger and stress in the home. We deal with it the best that we can, though it’s not always easy. For a while, I thought that I was the cause of my ids ADHD & ODD. After lots of therapy and talking with those who have studied ADHD & ODD for years, I know it’s nothing I’ve done in my parenting. Anger and stress in children aren’t easy to work with, however, it’s not impossible either! However, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t having problems with stress more or less than any other child.
Mental illnesses are difficult to diagnose because there aren’t any reliable biological markers—like blood tests, scans, or x-rays—to verify that something is medically wrong. But the symptoms are real, like mood swings, impulsivity, increased irritability, and irrational thoughts. Because mental illnesses affect people’s thinking and behavior, a diagnosis wreaks havoc on interpersonal relationships. When Steve first got sick, well-established family routines changed, and we lived for years in a fog of uncertainty as doctors worked to find a combination of medications to stabilize his mind.