Story #24078

Overwhelmed; my son’s struggles in school were adding daily to my own anxiety. He’s so smart, but it hadn’t been demonstrated in his grades. How could I help him succeed? Judged; his impulsive behaviors and uncontrollable energy seemed to be alienating friends and family and I was feeling alone. I couldn’t shake the belief that they blamed his behaviors on poor parenting. Desperate; I know he didn’t want to feel this way, but what do I do? Where do I begin?

“ADHD,” said the Psychiatrist, as he began to share the results of the testing. I hadn’t even realized just how tense my body had been, but as he spoke, I felt the tension begin to release. The puzzle pieces were starting to come together, and it all made perfect sense. Receiving a diagnosis to begin understanding what has been contributing to his underperformance at school was the stepping stone we needed. I began to feel relief.

“Behavioral intervention,” the psychiatrist explained, as he described the first treatment strategy. I let out the breath I had been holding in. I wasn’t a “bad mom.” I simply didn’t have the tools that I needed that were specific to my son and our family. Seeking a diagnosis was the right choice, for all of us, and I began to feel validated.

“Medication,” the psychiatrist continued, as he explained the benefits of this additional treatment option. My eyes welled with tears. He doesn’t have to feel this way. Medication could allow him to finally show the world the kind, passionate, and incredible boy that I know is longing to be seen. I began to feel hope.

Our journey to this point has been strenuous, but here we were, with a new beginning. I am not naïve enough to think that we won’t still encounter obstacles, but I know that this new journey will be different – because this new journey, it’s starting with hope.

If you or someone you know is in crisis or experiencing thoughts of self-harm or suicide, please seek immediate help.

988 – Suicide and Crisis Lifeline

1-866-512-4357 – Crisis Helpline, CMH of Ottawa County

616-494-5590 – Children’s Mobile Crisis, Ottawa County (available weekdays 5:00pm-midnight)