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ADHD, Anxiety, Or Depression: Is Your Child Happy?

Posted Feb 02 2009 10:55pm

Last night I had the great pleasure of being involved in a health and wellness fair at a local area school.  I had been invited to be the guest speaker, to a group of parents, about anxiety in elementary school children.

It was a really fun event, and while I hope that I was able to share some insight about anxiety, the best part of the night for me was the wealth of information these parents shared with one another (and what I ultimately took away).

What was scheduled to be a 30 minute presentation, followed by 25 minutes of Q&A turned into a 30-minute presentation with almost 90 minutes of Q&A.  It was amazing.  The parents asked incredibly detailed questions, and were quite clear about what they needed.  And the best part about it was the Q&A was more of a discussion among parents.  They were actively supporting one another.

I was so inspired.

The Most Powerful Moment Of The Night

While the talk was about anxiety, as both a diagnosis and spectrum response to behavior, the focus was really on supporting children.  But you already know that about me.

Now my favorite part of the night came towards the end when one parent reached out in support to another and said, “Is your daughter happy?”

Here we were talking about the causes of anxiety, the symptoms of anxiety, how anxiety, ADHD, depression, and many other conditions share symptoms…  and this mother asked the most important question.

Last night we put aside the diagnoses and labels.

Last night we focused on how our children behave and how they were managing peer relationships and other key aspects of life.

This one mother in particular was talking about her daughter who exhibited some anxious behaviors, and who was told recently that her daughter might have an underlying depression.  No matter what this girl was experiencing…  No matter what diagnosis she might have…  The most powerful question of the night - and quite possibly overlooked question was - Is she happy?

Is your child happy?  Are my children happy?

Does that count above everything else?  I’d LOVE to hear from you!!

This mother stopped and thought hard.  She put aside the symptoms, and looked at her daughter as either being happy or not.  It was a priceless moment that made me think twice about the questions I ask my clients…  And how I even look at my own children.

Tell Us What You Think!

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