Hear Clare talking about what it's like to parent children with troubled minds:
Clare talks about how her children can't always cope with certain situations, and how she found it hard to talk about, even with family and friends:
Jan shares her experiences of having a son in CAMHS Services:
I think for us, what was quite difficult was that we have two completely different children. We had our first boy and had read all of the books on parenting and what the right thing to do is, but then we had Eddie and suddenly, none of those parenting techniques worked. We had to learn and grow with him, often thinking outside the box, and when things got really bad when he was about 8 or 9, we asked for help. I would talk to friends and family, my mother particularly was really good with Eddie, so I would often phone her up on an evening when things weren’t great.
When we went to CAMHS, they were brilliant. We initially had family therapy and that really helped in terms of learning new strategies. It really helped to know they were there.
As he was growing up, we also made sure we were doing things that he wanted to do but were also not pushing him too hard. I have been on many camping trips with him, just us two. There are times we lost our confidence, like when he was quite bad recently, that came as a shock to us.
Also, now that he is getting older, people from CAMHS will call up and want to discuss things with Eddie and not us. That is really good and we’re really glad that he is being treated as a young person and not a child, but it does throw you a little bit as a parent.
We also found that when he is particularly poorly, it is really important that he has food, is clean, has clean clothes and can basically function. This often takes gentle persuading on some days but it is important. I also always ensure that he knows what’s coming in terms of events. He doesn’t like things sprung on him so I try and write it on the calendar so he knows or tell him at least two days in advance.
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