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Until recently I was {not completely} unaware of the Mental Health issues affecting those in the world around me. When my 7 year old began her battle with chronic constipation last April, I never knew the path it would lead us to… and never could imagine the journey we took. Although we are still in the midst of her struggles, we have come quite a long way.

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Reading back through my posts about our Princess JF, you can follow along in our anguish. I can not say if the turmoil was a result of her young age, the fact that she is mine, or the way it forever changed our family. I can say that the entire ordeal opened up my eyes to the Mental Health of children and the way it should change the way we look at any situation.

When Princess JF spent a week in a children’s psychiatric ward we were exposed to severely autistic children, uncontrollable ADD patients, and others, including a young girl who had just begun cutting herself. I was heartbroken for their parents as I was now able to understand their hurt. Fortunately, we were able to cause the root of most of JF’s distress and have been able to stop all her medications and get her on the road to {prayerfully} full recovery with her anxiety disorder. But, for others there is no cure and there is only a “new normal” in their daily routine. For those parents I continue to pray. It is a tough journey and one that so many must take.

Children’s Mental Health Statistics {via Mental Health America}:

  • Mental health problems affect one in every five young people at any given time. (Department of Health & Human Services)
  • An estimated two-thirds of all young people with mental health problems are not getting the help they need. (Department of Health & Human Services)
  • Studies indicate that 1 in 5 children and adolescents (20 percent) may have a diagnosable disorder. Estimates of the number of children who have mental disorders range from 7.7 million to 12.8 million. (Department of Health & Human Services)
  • Approximately 1% of adolescent girls develop anorexia nervosa. 1 in 10 cases lead to death from starvation, cardiac arrest, or suicide. (National Institute of Mental Health)
  • As many as 1 in 10 young people may have an anxiety disorder (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services).
  • ADHD is the most common psychiatric condition affecting children, estimates in prevalence in childhood range from 5 – 10%. (Clinical Pediatrics)
  • Recent studies show that, at any given time, as many as one in every 33 children may have clinical depression. The rate of depression among adolescents may be as high as one in eight. (Department of Health & Human Services)
  • Serious emotional disturbances affect 1 in ever 10 young people at any given time. (Department of Health & Human Services)
  • Suicide is the third leading cause of death for 15 – 24 year olds (approx 5,000 young people) and the sixth leading cause of death for five – 15 year olds. (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry)

Found more information at the American Psychological Association.

365 Days of Gratitude

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