Author: Shannon Larson

Please don’t judge: Supporting a friend whose child has a mental health condition

Larson family holding hands and jumping
Shannon Larson and her family (photo courtesy of Jennifer Shore Photography)

When my children were younger, I was always able to help them maneuver the difficulties of growing up. If it was their fear of going to school, attending playdates or being hesitant of trying a new activity, I was there to cheer them on, nudge when needed and assure them that everything would be okay.

But as both of my children entered their teenage years, their anxiety and fears became more pronounced and debilitating, manifesting in panic attacks and depression. As a parent, I understood that my children would need more than just my reassuring words, which eventually led me to Boston Children’s Hospital Department of Psychiatry for their care. Over time, my children began to thrive once again. And in the meantime, our family learned a few lessons along the way that I would like to share.

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