That’s right. Mothers are problem-solving wizards. From the earliest ages, we discover that when we don’t know what to do in any situation, our best course of action is to go to Mom. From skinned knees to aching tummies, from incomprehensible math problems to preteen heartbreaks and so much more throughout our lives, she’s the source of wisdom. While we have no idea how she acquired all that knowledge, we’re always confident that Mom will know exactly what to do. And most of the time, she does.

Mothers also tend to be the guardians of their families’ emotional well-being, quickly sensing when something doesn’t seem right. We try to hide our despair, but a gentle question from her and the tears start to flow. She knows how to lift our spirits and heal our hurts.

As therapists who have long worked with children and families, we’re not surprised that mothers are usually the ones who recognize when their loved ones have a need for counseling. Their emotional sensitivity makes them aware that there’s a problem, and their desire to help everyone feel better leads them to seek solutions. When healing takes more than a hug and a reassuring hug, they’re brave enough to seek help from professionals.

Sometimes, they hesitate, because it isn’t always easy to recognize the difference between ordinary behaviors and signs that something more serious may be involved. A thermometer can instantly confirm the presence of a fever, but there’s no similar test for when it’s time to see a professional for life’s struggles. Most of the time, however, moms sense when something isn’t right.

There are a number of behaviors that suggest there may be an underlying mental health issue. If you notice one or more of these signs in your children or other loved ones, you may want to consider talking with one of our professional counselors:

  • Mood swings
  • Excessive worry or unusual levels of fear
  • Overwhelming sadness
  • Comments about suicide or attempts at self-harm
  • Suddenly avoiding friends and familiar activities
  • Problems with sleep and energy
  • Strange aches or illnesses
  • Strong feelings of anger that don’t go away
  • Major changes in eating
  • Confusion or problems with concentration
  • Sudden changes in school performance

One more thought: mothers often become so busy tending to the needs of their family that they put their own needs aside.  Please be sure to take care of yourself, and if you find yourself frequently feeling anxious, depressed, or overwhelmed, please consider call us. And, if you want to know more about how mental illness might be affecting your family, join us this Thursday to learn more.

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