- Posted May 16, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Going public with mental illness
PARENT OF CHILD WHOM HAS A MENTAL ILLNESS
My son was about two when I noticed that he acted different from other children. He threw more fits, and was really hyper. Often times he would not go to sleep at night. By the time he was five I decided I needed to get him some help. My son went on medication for ADHD at that time. A year later my son was fighting for his life. What happened was he was on such a high dose of medicine he began having seizures as a result. I almost lost him three months later. The seizure medicine cause his body to shut down. I was a single mom. I did not know any better. I did not research his medications. I felt like I had to agree with the doctors. They knew what was best for my child right? They were suppose to be the ones who knew what to do right? I was wrong, and I swore I would take charge of my son mental health. When the doctor said or did something and if I did not agree with it I would say so. Of course there were doctors who did not like this. I would stop medicine if it caused such bad side effects. I would no longer give him medicine that would make him sick. I would go to the doctors with my knowledge, and I would stand up for my son. I was no longer going to be the victim, nor allow my child to be either. What so the next medicine may kill him. I met a lot of resistance through the years. Doctors wanted to change medicines because they said a new study said it was not good for his health. What are studies? Aren't we all different individuals so how medicine effects each of us may be different. What I would say if its not affecting his health, and it is working for him we are not changing it. I have fired doctors along the way. I had doctors tell me I was allowing my son to control me. No what I was doing was taking charge of my son mental health. I fought for the longest time for him to get the diagnosis of bipolar. He had all the symptoms. What I would hear is he too young. You have to wait till he is older. With your son's complex background it hard to say if that is what he has. What I did not tell you before is my son was the victim of domestic violence at the hands of his own father from the time I was pregnant with him. This went on till he was four. This February I almost lost my son. He is now sixteen. His father long out of the picture but he still suffers everyday from the abuse he endured at the beginning of his life. This has caused major behavior problems, and depression through the years. To the point that he locked himself in our bathroom. Drink a whole bottle of bathroom cleaner to end his life. That day I saw, endured and brought my son back from the brinks of death. On that bathroom floor I watched as my son struggled to breathe. I watch him slip away from me. Lost at what to do. With all the medical training I knew out of the window. Then I snapped. I wasn't going to let him go. I wasn't going to let all that I fought for, and the young man that I love die in my arms. I did CPR in that bathroom with tears in my eyes. Bringing him back from death. Helping him hold on till the emergency personnel got there to take over. This mom didn't stop fighting that day. I went to that hospital seeing something again that no mother should ever see. Their child on life support. I stayed with him. Prayed for him. He made a full recovery. Now he on the medicine he needed all this time. The medicine that fit his diagnosis that I finally got of bipolar. I will never stop advocating for him. I know that he will struggle with his mental health the rest of his life. What he will not do is struggle alone.
What I would say to other parents. Research all the medicines your child is on. Look at the studies. Go into those doctors appointments with the knowledge of knowing what is going on. What people forget is doctors work for us. Just because they have all this education doesn't mean they know everything. You live with your child everyday. Make notes of the behavior that they are showing. Advocate for your child. Don't let doctors tell you what to do. These are your children, not theirs. Listen to what they are saying. Take notes, and go in with questions. Don't just accept what they say, and take those prescriptions and walk out. Take charge of your child's health, and never give up. Mental health is a growing problem in our country. Yet there are not enough resources to help people who suffer from mental illness. Be that person that makes a difference, it takes everyone to step up and say there needs to be change. It also takes parents to say I am not going stop fighting to get the right help for my child. I did not stop fighting, and neither should any parent of a child whom has a mental illness.