Tina Szymczak

May 5, 2016

A Full Year

In November 2014 I decided, without my doctor’s knowledge, to go off my medications. The Lithium I was on was stunting my emotions to the extreme, I was always tired and a hand tremor was driving me crazy. In January 2015 I informed him of what I had done and he reluctantly agreed that I seemed to be doing fine and we would just keep an eye on things. By April of 2015 I was actively battling my depression and anxiety and I was losing the fight. I was overwhelmed by even the smallest of things and I felt like I was drowning. I kept questioning myself – why was I feeling this way? Why couldn’t I just snap out […]
May 3, 2016

Mental Health Awareness

Where I live it is Mental Health Awareness week for both youth and adults. Check out some of these sites for more information: Canadian Mental Health Association Children’s Mental Health Ontario Parents for Children’s Mental Health National Alliance on Mental Illness (American) Also my son and I contributed to podcasts at CPRI in London – go to this link to hear our podcasts and some other amazing ones. Mine is the under “families” and Corbin is under “kids” CPRI I have asked all of my work colleagues to wear Green tomorrow (Wednesday) to raise awareness for Mental Health – we’d love to have you join us. I’m not on twitter or snapchat or any of that but you could always […]
April 18, 2016

Reconciling Autism

The first three and a half years of my son’s life was utter turmoil. Then we adopted him and gave him a stable home and the next seven years were spent going from doctor to doctor; professional to professional. Along the way we gathered diagnosis – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD); Tourette Syndrome (TS); Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD); Intermittent Explosive Disorder; Sensory Integration Disorder (SID); Learning disabilities (LD) and held them tight as we researched them and received varied amounts of treatment for each.  However, even after all of these diagnoses, it still felt like we had missed something.  I tried to talk myself out of it – telling myself “enough is enough, now you are just trying to make […]
April 15, 2016

Self Advocacy

In 2010 our son Corbin was in crisis and needed to have a residential placement at the Child and Parent Resource Insititute (CPRI) in London Ontario. While he was there we were able to start the process of having him diagnosed with Bipolar disorder (on top of all his other diagnosis – Tourette’s, ADHD, OCD, Disturbance of Attachment, Autism, Sensory Integration Disorder and probably more I just can’t think of right now). His time at the residential placement ended prior to completing the assessment for Bipolar. Following his time at CPRI we transitioned him (rather poorly) to our local children’s mental health agency for ongoing services while we continued the assessment process and subsequently began trying medication to better manage […]
March 26, 2016


I have always believed in inclusion. Long before I had my own children I worked with children with disabilities and I helped those families to advocate to have their child included. When I would meet a parent or professional that didn’t believe in inclusion I would be aghast. Doesn’t everyone want to be included, to join in, to belong? Even before I had kids I joined a local grassroots not for profit that was all about inclusion. Then came my own kids each with their own challenges. We chose our local Catholic board as they believe in inclusion unlike the public board (their idea of inclusion was to let some kids join their grade for gym or art and spend […]
March 10, 2016


I know I have been absent of late. It’s not because I don’t want to write or even that I have writer’s block. It quite simply is because I put my back out and between trying to find comfortable positions, popping Tylenol 3’s and attending Physiotherapy the writing has taken a back burner. I will be back soon, thanks for checking in.