The Childhood Illness You Cannot See

Young woman lying on wall

Of all the potential illnesses, deformities, or complications that you worry your child will encounter from the moment you find out that you are pregnant, Major Depressive Disorder is usually not one that crosses your mind. You read-up on and are well informed by your doctors of potential postpartum depression for mothers. But no one ever mentions that children, even at very young ages, can suffer from depression.

When the nurse or midwife presents your seemingly healthy baby to you, you check out their 10 little fingers and toes, kiss their head, and snuggle them close. You go on to celebrate each milestone they reach as a baby, a toddler, and a small child. Together, you experience the highs and lows of growing up – those so called “growing pains” we all endure.

Then suddenly, at the age of 10 or shortly thereafter, your perfect child attempts to commit suicide. You are blindsided. People often say, “How did the parents not know?” and “I would have known if it was my kid.”

The truth is, yes, parents do know when their child is different, and yes, they do take it seriously and try everything in their power to help them – to provide them peace, comfort, and happiness at all costs. In fact, many times the whole family participates in receiving therapy. Literally no stone goes left unturned to try to get to the bottom of why their perfect precious child struggles socially and emotionally.

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It is almost more common now for children to suffer from anxiety, depression, ADHD, or some variation of autism spectrum disorder than any other childhood illness. The reasons for the drastic…

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