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Know Better

  A Message for My Cactus Kids

 

Over the past decade, mental health awareness has improved substantially.  COVID has unmasked the mental struggles that we all manage daily. Mental health challenges have been somewhat normalized. Gen Z has made tremendous progress to reduce the stigma of mental health and brought awareness to help address mental health concerns. This is progress.

 

Yet, I have found this openess has at times created a shift in identity formation. 

I have heard more and more young people claim proudly:

“I have ADHD. I don’t think like other people. ”

“I am Bipolar, so people just have to deal with my ups and downs.”

“My anxiety gets in the way of me making friends.”

There is power in the awareness of your own patterns and how this can impact others.   As a child psychiatrist and parent, I am a bit concerned about children so strongly identifying with a diagnosis, and as being diseased. Adolescents as an expected part of normal development, try on different identities and labels to come to an understanding of who they truly really are. 

Who we think we are affects what we think we can and cannot do.

I have seen in my own patients how their identification with a diagnosis has  limited their potential to stretch their mind and try out life experiences.

So for any young person reading this... For my Cactus Kids...here are my 2 cents...

You are more than a disease. 

You are more than a diagnosis.

You are YOU.

You are evolving and will continue to evolve.

Right now,  you may have symptoms of a diagnosis. 

Do not let that diagnosis alone define you.

Do not let that diagnosis design your life.

Go deeper than diagnosis.

Get to know the true you.

Know Better. Do Better.

Shivana Naidoo, MD

FREE Masterclass

For The Parents Of Suicidal Teens

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