I always sensed there was something “off.” At 3 years old he would have these fits of rage or laughing spells. It just seemed like he had a harder time regulating his emotions than the other 3 year olds. I thought it was me. Doctors would say “he’s just a boy” and my family and friends would tell me I didn’t discipline him enough. At 8, he started having headaches and would “worry about the end of the world” at bedtime. By 9, he hated school. His grades dropped significantly and he began being severely bullied at school. The bullying pushed him over the edge. He began pacing the house at night, his migraines were daily. By the end of 1st semester of 6th grade, he was medically excused from school, forcing FMLA on myself and husband. Every day is about survival, maintain, and just “getting through.” Finally, a few weeks ago, he was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder, severe GAD and Unspecified Depressive Disorder. He started taking meds last week, and finally, he is stabilizing, and so is the rest of my family. He is my treasure and I will do whatever I can to help him and my other child succeed in life because he deserves it – he does – as much as anyone. I want to spread hope and help to end this silent suffering of mental illness.

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