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Mental Illness — a child’s perspective:

Barbara tried to think about the question her doctor just asked and then said, “What? I don’t know what is wrong with me. I don’t think I heard what you said.” She got up and started walking around the office as she continued, “I just feel weird. It is like laughing and crying at the same time. It is like someone else is controlling me and playing tricks.”

Sue, another girl in the group, said, “You should see her at school. I don’t know what her problem is but she sure isn’t normal. She isn’t anything like she used to be.”

The doctor asked Sue to talk some more about what she had observed. She went on to describe the changes in Barbara. “It is like she gets really high and nothing bothers her. The next time you see her, she is really down and will hardly talk.”

Later Barbara was again talking. “I get so afraid I cannot stand it. It’s like someone is talking to me, telling me these awful, bad things are going to happen. It says really bad things to me.” She turned to face the wall and continued, “I know. I know what’s going to happen. No. I will.” She then went back to her chair and refused to talk anymore.

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