Ana (name has been changed to protect her identity) is a boisterous 7-year-old-girl so skinny her shorts were falling off her hips. She is a charming, bouncy ball of energy.
When Ana came to SalusCare for therapy she said “I get so mad at school and hit them, but I like them. They’re my friends.” Ana’s grandmother feels without help, her worst fear will come true: Ana will ultimately be sent to jail when she gets older. With tears in her eyes, Ana’s grandmother explains that Ana has been escorted out of class just this morning for throwing chairs. Her mother was the same way, grandmother explains, aggressive towards other children, her siblings and adults.
During the evaluation process, grandmother explained she has primary custody of Ana because mom suffers from paranoid schizophrenia.
Throughout outpatient therapy, Ana shares her feelings of not being loved by her mom. Ana is worried and fearful because her mom doesn’t pay attention to her and is emotionally absent. “Mom stays in bed all day with the lights off,” Ana says. Ana wishes her Mom would come to her school open house to meet her teachers, braid her hair and just hug her. While helping Ana build her knowledge about her mom’s severe mental illness, Ana learns her mom isn’t hugging her because she doesn’t love her, but because of the mental illness.
Today, Ana is feeling valued in her family, respecting classroom rules, sharing feelings and caring about others. With her mom now receiving psychiatric treatment and outpatient counseling at SalusCare as well, Ana and her mom have a much-improved and more loving relationship.