You might not think that your child having a prominent part in the school play might prove a source of serious stress for him or her. But it might. The same might hold true for an upcoming piano recital, spelling bee, public event or competition.
Is your child taking a harder math class than last year or a history or language class that requires massive memorization? Challenges of this sort and many of the other challenges of childhood and the school years produce real, significant stress. And that stress is likely to play itself out as distress and difficulty.
Take time to consider the link between stress and distress in your child’s life. Childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood are anything but stress-free. To be holding some romantic or idyllic notion of the ease of childhood flies in the face of reality. You know how stressed out your child can get: will he or she be invited to that A-list birthday party, are pimples appearing again, did someone call him or her fat? Isn’t it possible that stress, and not a putative “mental disorder,” is causing your child’s sleep problems, bed-wetting, tantrums, irritability, forgetfulness, underperformance, sadness or other so-called “symptom”? Doesn’t that seem logical and even likely?
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Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.