It’s no surprise that parenting is difficult. However, raising a child who has been diagnosed with a mental illness involves many additional struggles and worries. Ann Douglas’ new book, Parenting Through the Storm: How to Handle the Highs, the Lows, and Everything in Between, aims to provide parents with best advice and answers to the most common questions on how to raise a child with a mental or behavioural illness such as ADHD, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and schizophrenia. This expert advice is drawn from interviews with professionals in the field of juvenile mental health as well as insights of parents who have experienced the challenges of caring for a child with a mental illness or who themselves face mental illness.
Douglas’ book walks parents through every step of the journey of caring and advocating for their child. Douglas enlightens the process of acquiring an accurate diagnosis by providing information on which specialists to see, what information about the child parents will be asked to provide during assessments, and what information assessments do not require but could aid in diagnosis. Once a diagnosis has been reached, the next hurdle to overcome is agreeing with and understanding the treatment plan. Douglas introduces and explains the various types of therapies practiced for treating mental illnesses such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and interpersonal psychotherapy.
In addition to therapy sessions, if a child’s symptoms are severe then psychiatric medication will often be prescribed. Douglas highlights crucial questions that every parent should ask in order to gain a deeper understanding of a medication’s side effects, benefits, and risks. This knowledge is important so parents can make an informed decision on whether to give a medication to their child.
Last but not least, Douglas shares excellent advice on how parents can best manage their own stress and frustrations. Finding ways to boost positive thinking and consciously creating time for relaxation is of utmost importance. Only when parents help themselves can they then truly help their child.
Come by the Family Care Office Library today to check out Parenting Through the Storm, or browse through our parenting collection. We have many books and resources available for you that are sure to take your parenting to the next level!