▶️ Oregon author shares her experience raising daughter with mental illness

By HANNAH SIEVERT
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY

Andrea Berryman Childreth’s daughter Chloe was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at age six.

“We from a very young age with her noticed signs and symptoms,” Berryman Childreth said.

What followed for Andrea was years of navigating misdiagnoses, trying out treatments and struggling with schools and insurance companies.

When her daughter was 13, Andrea took what she’d learned and started a blog called the Lemonade Project.

“I just thought I’m going to share this because people have gotta know that people are struggling in crisis, there are families struggling all the time in crisis.”

On the blog, she shares tips and resources for navigating diagnosis, insurance companies, schools and treatment.

“When I posted it on Facebook, I was terrified. The anxiety filled me. But people came out of the woodwork, and that’s how it’s been ever since,” she said. 

With her blog’s success, she realized that there are many parents out there dealing with the same issues.

“The anxiety and depression among teens has just spiked.” 

So she wrote a book that was published this year. It’s called “On the Edge,” and it follows her family’s journey while raising a daughter with ADHD, anxiety and depression.

Andrea spoke about her book at the OSU Graduate and Research Center on Thursday.

“It’s really to help parents and caregivers know they’re not alone.There’s other families who have gone through this,” she said. 

In the book, she writes about everything she’s learned in the past 18 years with Chloe.

“Oh my gosh how do you know all of this information? Parents ask me that all the time.” she said. “It’s like, because I found out. I was a dog with a bone looking for this information as we were going along because there was nothing.”

Through her work, Andrea hopes to destigmatize mental health issues and help educate parents who are going through the same thing she went through.

“The movement we have going now through my blog and website is really to get people talking about what are solutions? Because this isn’t going to get better. It’s only going to get worse.”

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