Now 48 years old with a child of my own, I can’t imagine how upsetting it must have been for my parents to suddenly see their happy-go-lucky teen fall into a pit of darkness and lethargy. As a volunteer with the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) Family-to-Family program, I’ve met dozens of parents who feel helpless as they witness their children struggling to deal with their own mental challenges. It’s frightening and puzzling to watch anyone struggle with debilitating depression. When it’s your own child, the sense of urgency for answers and resolution only adds more tension and anxiety. Without blood tests or X-rays to help give a diagnosis, the process is slow. Medications have certainly come a long way, but the trial and error involved can be frustrating and takes valuable time. So what’s a parent to do in these situations?
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