Mental health disorders can be so complex that many adults can’t comprehend them. So, how exactly do you explain them to children?
Army veteran Seth Kastle encountered this problem with his own young family after returning from deployment. Kastle struggled with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and found it difficult to communicate what was going on in a way that they would understand. So Kastle channeled a relatable activity — reading — and penned Why Is Dad So Mad?, a children’s book about a family of lions in which the father is suffering from PTSD.
The story depicts the father lion’s struggle through a raging fire inside of his chest, which was mirrored from a description of Kastle’s own PTSD. Through the help of a Kickstarter campaign, Kastle raised more than $6,000 to help hire an illustrator and get the book published.
Approximately 11 to 20 percent of recent veterans suffer from PTSD, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Kastle told NBC News that he hopes the project can help other military families who may be going through a similar struggle.
“No matter what, when they’re mad or sad at you, they still love you,” Kastle’s 6-year-old daughter Raegan told NBC News. “There’s always a fire in his heart, but no matter what, I know there’s love.”
Sounds like Dad-of-the-year material to us.