In recent days, coverage of the mass shootings in Texas and Ohio have revived the stories of several prominent cases of crime involving young people. Along with those horrific crimes is the subject of mental illness. Two in particular made widespread headlines across the nation highlighting mental illness as the reason for the crimes.
In December of 2012, Adam Lanza from Newtown, Connecticut, showed warning signs of a severe mental illness that many either missed or ignored. He fatally killed 20 children as well as six adult staff workers and his mother before ending his own life.
In May of 2014, two preteen girls followed the directions of Slender Man, a fictional character on the internet. Through fear and yet obedience, they attempted to kill their best friend to show allegiance to Slender Man. They were both evaluated as having a mental illness.
Today, thousands of young people have been affected by varying degrees of mental illness. Parents of children and teens diagnosed with a mental illness are more worried today than ever. The question that ponders in their mind is, “Could my child be the next murderer?” Continue reading
Many parents who seek help for their teen who are in crisis, struggle with decisions on how to resolve that teen’s mental anguish. For those who have a strong faith in God, they can sometimes feel torn.
It can be a difficult choice on whether they should just rely on God through prayer or go to a medical doctor and have their teen diagnosed and treated with medication.
For other parents, they may solely depend on medication and have God as a back-up plan. And others wing it through various avenues of help and support.
There are also many opinions on this topic, not just from a spiritual aspect, but also from the medical and psychological field as well. My emphasis is not to point to one philosophy over the other. My goal however, is to find a common ground in which the teen becomes the primary focus. And in that, achieve understanding for the differing choices and views when it comes to the best course of action for their healing.
The biggest obstacle in the beginning for most parents is shame and embarrassment. They feel that somehow it is their fault that there is something wrong with their teen or that their child is crazy or what one parent referred them to, as looney. Continue reading