Alive to Thrive: Part 3

Mental illness is most damaging when it goes undetected or ignored. It’s important to know that mental illness is a common ingredient in suicide— and it’s much more common than we’d like it to be. We need to be informed so we can notice signs of mental illness in our kids—if and when they occur. No parent wants to admit, “My child has a mental illness.” Yet mental illness is not a condemnation of our parenting or of our children. It’s something that can be addressed and worked through.

This section will help you know the signs and symptoms of certain mental illnesses and what to look for, and know the steps to take if symptoms are present so you can address the situation before it leads to suicidal thoughts. We start by comparing what’s normal with true mental illness. Then we take a close look at depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). We’ll address the issue of medication briefly, and end this section with some thoughts on how to find a good therapist if your child’s situation calls for that form of outside assistance.

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In This Section:


What’s Normal and What’s Not
Learning To Distinguish Between Normal Developmental Challenges & Serious Mental Disorders


Depression is the Most Common Mental Health Problem in the Western World Today


Anxiety Creates A Feeling Of Powerlessness

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder/ Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder
OCD is a Condition of the Brain Often Characterized By Intrusive, Anxiety-Producing Thoughts


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
There is Hope For Those Struggling with PTSD


What about Medication?
There is No One-Size-Fits-All Approach to Prescribing Medications for Mental Health


Finding a competent Mental Health Professional
Counseling Success Hinges Upon The Relationship Between The Counselor And Your Child

Need to talk?

Find a vetted counselor in your area who is part of Focus on the Family’s Christian Counselors Network.