Summary of the Article The case study entitled, “Making Meaning When a Child Has Mental Illness: Four Mothers Share Their Experiences” by Ahmann (2013) is essentially where Ahmann interviews four mothers whose children have been given a mental health diagnosis and she documents in anecdotal form how each of them were able to cope, and even escape the feelings of grief, isolation, loneliness, helplessness, and depression by reaching out to others and “making meaning” in their lives by being mentors to other parents who receive a similar diagnosis.
Analysis and Critique It is estimated by the American Psychological Association that there are 15 million children in the United States that can currently be diagnosed with a mental health disorder (Ahmann, 2013). Elizabeth Ahmann (2013) the Co-Editor of “Family Matters” in Pediatric Nursing, interviewed four mothers of children who were diagnosed with a mental illness; in an attempt to find out how they were able to reach out to escape the grief and isolation that comes with having a mental health diagnosis for one’s child in an article entitled, “Making Meaning When a Child Has Mental Illness: Four Mothers Share Their Experiences.”
Problems and Purpose
The article provides information that Ahmann gathered through interviewing four mothers whose children have been diagnosed with various different mental illnesses. Ahmann asserts that the “families of children diagnosed with mental illness not only experience the challenge of
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I valued the participants, with a mental illness, sharing their perspective and experiences of living with a mental health diagnosis. As social workers, it is beneficial to understand a clients experience and environment to the best of our ability. I will take away the stigmas faced by individuals with a mental illness and consider how this impacts their psycho, social, and emotional
Nordby,K. Kjonsberg, K. Hummelvoll, J.K.(2009) Relatives of persons with recently discovered serious mental illness: in need of support to become resource persons in treatment and recovery.(Appendix 1). Journal of psychiatric and mental health nursing. 17, 304-311.
In my culture, society looks down on mental illness, and when news of mental illness gets out in the society, one’s reputation is pretty much destroyed. My elder brother, Imran, was misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder when he was a teenager. My family was still living in Bangladesh at the time, and my brother’s illness was treated as a secret by my parents. My parents went above and beyond to hide my brother’s illness because we come from a culture that is quick to condemn parents for their children being abnormal. My family felt very protective of the fact that we had mental illness in our family. Family visitation and guests in our home were strictly monitored by my mother and my siblings, and I was coached to make excuses for my brother. My brother’s illness shaped me as a person because I realized that I needed to be able to overcome the obstacles life throws in my way in order to take care of my family.
158-159). “In reviewing the literature, the focus was on identifying the impact of parental mental health, the associated risks, the difficulties with the interface working, and proposed solutions” (Duffy et al., 2010, p. 159). Some of concerns expressed for the program to be effective were how mental health and child care services work together, communication between the two, role clarity, and the outcome hoped to be achieved by the development of this program was to provide holistic interventions which could not be provided by just one agency, earlier intervention which was more effective, to decrease staff stress, and to obtain a better outcome for the families involved (Duffy et al.,
My parents were immigrants from Mexico and while both were fortunate to attend high school in the United States, they did not receive the guidance that would enable them to continue their education past high school. One of the most valuable experiences from a college experience and education is awareness. Thus, when my mother felt that I was old enough to understand, she confessed that she experienced troubling symptoms in the months following the births of each of her five children (including myself), such as temporary lapses in memory, overwhelming sadness, and anxious thoughts. My mother did not know that she might have been displaying symptoms of postpartum depression. Coming from a low-income background and a culture that often frowns upon seeking help for mental health, she had little to no knowledge of what she was going through or how to access resources to help her through these struggles. Fortunately, she was able to recover without any professional help, but this personal experience was the beginning of what inspired me to work in counseling - to assist others receive the psychological help they need.
We have a long history of working with Ms. Kerfoot’s family. Her daughter Emma returned to George Hull Centre for Children and Families in November 2016, where she currently resides. Ms. Kerfoot attends one-on-one and family counselling sessions two time per week. In addition, Ms. Kerfoot attends regular mother-daughter group therapy sessions, as well as monthly meetings with Emma’s psychiatrist teachers
This brings out the struggles of the family members who become caregivers to the mentally ill. "Anger, guilt, shame and other negative emotions- reinforced by society's continual stigma about mental illness may hobble families' abilities to support patients." NAMI has the answer to help those caregivers, a free twelve-week program called, Family to Family Education Program. Dr. Joyce Burland developed this program after she had an experience with a mentally ill family member. “ A core concept of the course is that severe mental illness is traumatic for both the patient and the family.” NAMI has offered this program going on twenty years now and has gone through the “gold standard” medical research and has been found to “significantly improves family members’ ability to cope by increasing their knowledge about and acceptance of mental illness.”
The diagnoses, treatment, and overall understanding of mental illnesses have progressed greatly from when “The Yellow Wallpaper” was written. In those times the classification of a mental illness for a woman was madness. Women were treated accordingly, and not just by their doctors, but by their families and communities. Today, many facilities and medications exist to help individuals recover from a mental illness as best they can, and there are trained physicians and psychologists who can properly identify their illnesses. The only aspect that has not been completely altered since then is the way someone
Children with mentally ill parents often have a mental illness of their own. Typically when the term “mental illness” is used, many people believe it to be schizophrenia, multiple personality disorder, or severe bipolar disorder; a mental illness can be depression or something as simple as anxiety. Children who have ill parents, especially if they are in and out of psychiatric hospitals, “find it difficult to cope because they do not have the maturity and coping tools to deal with certain complex situations.” (Byrne). An unstable relationship between child and parent(s) can lead to many issues with the child, such as high anxiety levels. Children with high anxiety levels often “find it difficult to concentrate on a task or school work due to their anxiety.”
Melissa's daughter was diagnosed with bipolar disease. Melissa daughter felt as if she had a hole in her heart Melissa took her to doctors and therapist to try to find what she has. Which came out to be bipolar. Melissa went to grief seminars, classes, therapy, yoga, and women's groups to help Melissa understand and comprehend what was going on to her daughter, The whole family had to embrace and prosses what was going on the one child. My overall thought was that if one is affected by a mental illness it doesn't just affect the individual but all that care for the individual.
An infant mental health (IMH) specialist visited Ms. Alden in her home who then agreed to work with her further. She visited Ms. Alden twice per week to work on attachment between Ms. Alden and Kyle, connect her with resources, and help her work through feelings regarding her relationship with the children’s father, negative childhood experiences, and the birth of a second child. The IMH specialist developed an emotionally supportive and helpful therapeutic alliance with Ms. Alden.
The stigmas surrounding mental health create a barrier not only for the treatment of the parents suffering from these disorders but also for their children. For parents, a staggering 2/3 of the population suffering from mental illnesses, admitting that they cannot care for themselves and their children can be extremely difficult and thus their children suffer. It is said that 30-50 percent of children with mentally ill parents will have a psychiatric diagnosis in comparison to 20 percent of the general population. Many times, even when parents do choose treatment information about their children is rarely
Mother’s with mental illness have a difficult time during pregnancy and after giving birth. Research has shown that women with mental illness consider motherhood to be a positive aspect in their lives, important part of their life, and an aspect that forms their identity. It also acts as a way for mothers to connect with society since it is viewed so positively, in comparison to mental illness which is viewed negatively. However, mothers may lack confidence in their ability to be a parent because of their mental illness. (Perera et al., 2014, 177-178). Additionally, mothers feel like their needs are neglected by health care professionals. Thus, there are various methods that can be implemented to provide mothers with a positive experience and better resources to take care of their children.
First of all, the stigma associated with a mental illness has a major toll on families. Particularly, it leads to the idea that a family is weak. For example, a mental illness diagnosis can divide a family and generate differences on what steps should be taken towards recovery (Interview). A divided family may appear weak because not everyone will have matching ideas on what is best for the person with the diagnosis. In other cases, the potential of a family member’s being shamed can prevent him or her from seeking treatment. In detail, family shame most commonly comes from the idea that mental illness is a disgrace to one's family (Corrigan). Nobody wants to be a disgrace to his or her family, and unfortunately, sometimes that can lead to
Supporting Children with Mental Health Disorders By Liji Thomas, MD Once a child has been diagnosed with mental illness, a lot of support is needed to help the child cope and recover as well as possible, and enjoy the best quality of life. On the one hand, a diagnosis can help alleviate much of the anger, helplessness and frustration felt by the whole family when confronted by symptoms of mental illness without knowing why. On the other, the family and other people in contact with the child must now learn new ways to deal with the child and cope with new demands. Supporting the mentally ill child The first level of support is from the family.