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Why is my (or my child's) mental health like this? | *Parents edition*

Welcome to Butterfly MIND, a mental health recovery space by Gen Z

Questions about Covid-19 were not on Google’s “Year in Search” 2022 list of top health-related queries. Instead, Google found its users asking about mental health recovery, specifically for “coping” and “curing” anxiety, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). If you’ve found yourself asking Dr. Google why you or your child’s mind is like this, you aren’t alone.

Mental health conversations rightfully rose to prominence during pandemic-imposed isolation, and it’s reasonable to assume this is because of the “collective trauma” induced by the public health crisis and macroeconomic turbulence. This shared experience gave neurotypicals, people with no severe mental health conditions, a glimpse into what it’s like to deal with chronic anxiety or depression.

Unfortunately many people with enduring mental illnesses do not know how or where to start their recovery journey.

That’s probably how you find this blog and if it is, welcome. Butterfly MIND is a free source on all topics related to resources and recovery. It is possible to achieve remission (an extended absence of symptoms) from conditions like anxiety, depression, OCD, eating and/or substance use disorders.

Butterfly MIND will also debunk mental health and illness myths and break down stigma. For example, Google’s “Year in Search” mis-classified ADHD as a mental illness. ADHD is a developmental disorder and as such will never end in “remission.” Similar to dyslexia and autism spectrum disorder, ADHD is a life-long “neurodiverse” brain makeup.

This can be a space to ask Gen Z questions and seek our perspective. My mission is for adults to believe us “kids” when we talk, sing, vlog, TikTok, etc., about feeling stressed or chronically down or constantly fearful.

I want adults to validate our experiences and help us feel seen and heard. Parents have unique resources and privileges their kids don’t. For example, even if the parent doesn’t believe in therapy, and they can afford it, I hope they’d consider letting a mental healthcare professional help their child.

You don’t have to listen to me. I’m definitely not always right. I've been the queen of hypocrisy on more than one mental-health related occasion. Parents I babysat for used to ask me if their kids should have Snapchat I’d vehemently tell them “NO—IT’S AWFUL—THE PRESSURE,” without looking up from scrolling through Stories and thinking about my next Instagram post.

I couldn’t have recovered without recognizing I have been wrong in the past and identifying how I mistreated my own mind (subconsciously or not). I wouldn’t be in remission now if I didn’t accept that I’ve made mistakes and will continue to do so. It’s easy to say I should have taken my own advice in the past, but it’s difficult to be a struggling teenager or kid, who feels like no matter what they do, feel their mind will never be right or they will never be enough.

Besides, should prevents moving on. Mental health recovery necessitates looking backwards while striving forwards.

We’ll explore therapy, misinformation, education, stigma, body image, self esteem, self expression, advocacy, journaling, mindfulness, athletics, psychedelics and other emerging treatments. You are welcome to visit the COMMUNITY tab to interact with and ask questions of your fellow readers or request topics.

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