We’ve tackled thirty-one questions this month. Answering them will help you look at what’s going on in your child’s life from a much broader perspective, one that takes into account the many pitfalls of the mental disorder paradigm and that includes the significant alternatives available to you.
I think that trying to answer these thirty-one questions is a thing that you ought to do. A given answer may prove eye-opening and some answers may lead you to simple remedies with great positive effects. For instance, you might land on the simple remedy of being easier on your child if he is the youngest in his class and acting more immaturely than his peers. Or the simple remedy of having a conversation with your daughter that quells some of her fears about the impending divorce.
Even if the matter remains opaque, difficult and disheartening, you are bound to know more than when you began and be at least somewhat better equipped to deal with the situation. You will have trained yourself to wonder if what is going on might be a feature of your child’s original personality and therefore a difference rather than a disorder. You’ll have become knowledgeable about everything from peer counseling programs to alternative residential models. And you’ll be less likely to accept that your child has something called a mental disorder just because a certain catalogue says so. Will you have landed on the perfect solution? Fingers crossed that you will have! But you will certainly have done the smart, loving thing.
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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.