Re: Question about severe emotional distburbance/mental
From: Kristen Simmons (
Date: Sun, 14 Dec 2008 19:23:49 -0800 (PST)
I do have some personal experience with this type of heartbreaking behavior.
While I don't want to go into too much detail in such a public forum, I do
want to say that specific problems are very hard to diagnose in children and
adolescents, which can make appropriate treatment elusive. When a child is
truly troubled, parents are sometimes overwhelmed just trying to hold the
family together, while also trying to get the services that the child may
need, which may include mental health care, school services, insurance
reimbursement for treatment, etc..

In the situation that I am familiar with, police intervention was necessary
to protect the child (from himself). No, this was not what anyone wanted to
do. Police are not well trained to deal with children, emotional
disturbances, etc., but they did a fine job. They were able to protect the
child, which is what they were called to do. Things felt pretty scary and
sad for a while, but this response did lead to a positive outcome for
everyone, especially for the child. It is appropriate to call the police
when people and/or animals are being harmed, even when the person doing the
harming is emotionally disturbed.

Parents sometimes feel judged when their children's behavior does not match
the norm, because a lot of times they are being judged! By doctors, mental
health professionals, teachers, neighbors, etc. It can be very, very
isolating when one's child is so different and so difficult to be
around. From my experience, everyone seems to have suggestions for the
parents of these kids.

Regarding Diane's situation, I agree with other posters that mediation
(without the adolescent present) seems like the best solution to the
problem. I am sure that it will be uncomfortable and unpleasant for all
involved, but it may make healing possible, at least for the community, if
not the adolescent. All the best to those involved with this difficult

Diane, when/if it is appropriate, I hope that you will let us know the


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