Mental Health in Kids

I’ve been reluctant to express fears surrounding future pregnancies. Today I’ll share, in more detail than I probably have in the past, a concern related to future children.

On Wednesday we told a newer member of the church we want kids, in fact we had a miscarriage June 7th. She asked if there was anything knowingly problematic with that pregnancy that caused my body to terminate our child’s life. I shook my head no. Then I said how it was probably the improper development of the fetus and that while I was sad about it, I would be relieved losing an embryo rather than having a child with disabilities. Now, let me say this, I would adore any child God chooses to bless me with. However, the medical bills and routine stress of having to care for an invalid would not make my anxiety decrease. I’ve worked with the handicap population. They have a hard life. It takes a toll on all family involved. Even worse is mental illness because it isn’t always visible like a physical debilitation. This individual said that unless there were severe health complications in my family that it’d be unlikely a pregnancy would abort due to handicap. She doesn’t know my history.

My sister was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder in college. It would probably be okay most of the time if she took medicine. That is a problem though. Most individuals with bi-polar disorder think that the medicine alters them and it makes them feel abnormal. These folks self-diagnose health and remove themselves from the medicine regimen. Then, because they aren’t taking the necessary measures to help their thinking, they wind up self-destructing through their manipulative choices and self-centered universe. It stresses the family and can influence a parent’s divorce. I’m not saying that the person with bi-polar disorder is the cause of such a choice. Each individual must make their own decisions. However, one parent might choose to enable the bi-polar individual and the other might disagree and it can put a huge fracture in a marriage. It has been a stressful environment for my family and often had my parents in arms as they bicker over how to handle my sister’s decisions.

Then there is me. I’ve struggled with depression and eating disorders in my past. My mother is obsessed with weight control and thinks thin equals beauty. I’m not blaming my mother for my mistakes. I am an approval addict though and in an attempt to gain her approval I might have subconsciously thought that bulimia would be a way to gain her approval (if I was thin I was beautiful and she would converse with me more…that type of deceptive thinking). The last time I cut was January 3, 2012. I am so proud that supportive friendships helped me to overcome that addiction. I did have to take medicine in college. I went to a Christian college. I was afraid of confessing that I struggled with depression, eating disorders, and cutting. (I was a new Christian and God forbid my faith be discredited for struggling with these issues!)

Anyways, there is a deep rooted fear that my child will suffer from self-esteem issues. I fear my child will succumb to the dangers of depression and won’t discuss it with me. I fear he or she will be born with a mental disorder and it’ll go undiagnosed for years. Then I have to remind myself that I can’t add hours to my life by worrying. I have to surrender and submit all my thoughts, actions, and worries to God. He is in control. I can just pray for my child and create an environment of love and acceptance while instilling principles of truth and discipline.


2 Replies to “Mental Health in Kids”

  1. Thanks for sharing all those vulnerabilities Kelly. I can relate to worrying about things beyond our control! It’s so hard to let it go and let God handle it.

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