47. A Parent’s Story: “On the Loving End of Crazy”

In this episode, Faith McDonald, a writer and an assistant professor at Penn State University, shares her experience helping her son who struggles with mental illness. His struggle is a familiar one to many parents and clinicians as they are prevalent among children and young adults, and the journey to wellness is often a difficult one.

Faith talks about the power of “sharing your brokenness” with others as a way to find wholeness. The weight of worry is lightened knowing that you are not alone. We have the incredible honor of being with our patients and families and the opportunity to weather the journey through the highs and the lows.

In times of distress, Mr. Rogers advised to “look for the helpers.” We are the helpers.

[00:01] Faith McDonald Shares Her Story With Us

  • Faith talks about her experience as a parent
  • Dealing with her son’s mental health issues  
  • Determining the trigger 
  • How she realized her son needed help 

 

[07:06] A Young Adult’s Mental Health

  • Mental health issues on young adults
  • Dealing with a young adult’s mental health issues
  • From a physician’s perspective 
  • We talk about privacy and how it factors into a young adult’s mental health 
  • The possible physical symptoms of a mental health issue 
  • Here are Faith’s suggestions for doctors to better serve their patients 

 

[17:31] “He’s Going to Get Better”

  • The questions that parents should expect from physicians 
  • We have a conversation about suicide 
  • Faith’s experience of dealing with her son’s paranoia 
  • The different kinds of support available for parents and their children 
  • Being comfortable with the uncomfortable 
  • The words that brought Faith hope 
  • The different types of therapy for young adults 

 

[27:37] Sharing Our Brokenness

  • The benefits of exercise and meditation 
  • You should not be silent about your problems
  • Faith explains 
  • Parents asking permission to help their children 
  • Faith gives us a sneak peek about her book, “On the Loving End of Crazy”
  • Sharing our brokenness

 

[37:22] The Purpose of Suffering

  • The impact of sharing her son’s story 
  • What Faith realized about helping her son with his mental health challenges 
  • The purpose of suffering according to Faith 

 

 [45:10] Closing Segment

  • Final takeaways:
  • Parenting is hard regardless of the child’s age
  • The connection between the mind and the body
  • Parents don’t always think that their child could be thinking about suicide
  • Safe talks and the Question-Persuade-Refer approach 
  • Parents working with partners in the mental health and school spaces 
  • Routine screening and why it’s important 
  • Balancing giving support and nurturing independence 
  • Caregivers need to take care of themselves
  • Sharing brokenness is healing

 

Key Quotes:

“Our kids are paying attention in ways we don’t maybe necessarily realize.” – Faith McDonald

“We have to, as people functioning as a community of faith, be comfortable with sharing our brokenness.” – Faith McDonald

“There’s purpose in your suffering. For me, it’s strengthened my faith, it’s enlarged my compassion for people…” – Faith McDonald

Email [email protected] to connect with Faith or check out her personal website to know more about her work.

GRAB a copy of Faith’s book, “On the Loving End of Crazy

Resources Mentioned:

 

If you’d like to connect with me, you can find me on LinkedInFacebook, and Twitter or email me at [email protected]. To learn more about me visit https://www.medicalbhs.com/

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Dr Lia Gaggino

Dr Lia Gaggino Host of the Pediatric Meltdown Podcast

Dr. Lia Gaggino has worked as a pediatrician for over 30 years on the west side of Michigan. During her career as a primary care physician, she has been privileged to care for children and adolescents, and know that their success is closely tied to mental wellness.

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Dr. Lia Gaggino has worked as a pediatrician for over 30 years on the west side of Michigan. During her career as a primary care physician, she has been privileged to care for children and adolescents, and know that their success is closely tied to mental wellness.

Recent Episodes

  • All Post
  • ADHD
  • Advocacy
  • Aggression and Disruptive Behaviors
  • Anxiety
  • Autism
  • Depression
  • Genetics
  • LGBTQIA+
  • Mental Health
  • Other
  • Pain
  • Parent/child
  • Physician Well-Being
  • Schizophrenia
  • Sleep
  • Social Media
  • Substance Abuse
  • Suicide Prevention
  • Trauma

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