Posted in Family, mental-health, Parenting

Why it’s imperative to Communicate with Your Teen about Mental Illness in your Family

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a weekend of picking out countertops, (yes, hubby and I have a home project) and fun stuff like laundry and housework.

I’m transitioning from running outside to running inside on the treadmill and I must say, it has been hard because running on the treadmill can be rather boring to say the least, but enough about that. I don’t want to talk about the treadmill today. LOL.

I was able to get some writing time in, but not as much as I would’ve liked. Sigh. There just aren’t enough minutes in the day sometimes, but enough about that, too. Today, I’d like to talk about the book I’ve been reading. “The Stressed Years of their Lives.”

 

It’s an excellent book and I recommend it for any parent whose kids are approaching high school or college age. It talks about how teen depression and anxiety is on the rise and how a mental illness can develop during this stressful period.

If you have a history of depression or anxiety in your family, it’s imperative that you communicate this to your children, so if they experience this type of reaction to stress, they’ll know what they’re dealing with. Sweeping it under the rug does not help them in any way shape or form. It only adds to their confusion and their shame.

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Sadly, when kids are experiencing anxiety or depression, they tend to lean toward self-medication or drinking and partying. When kids party too much, they can develop alcohol poisoning or even worse, OD. It’s because they aren’t experienced enough with drinking or drugs to know what their limits are. This leaves them vulnerable. When they pass out, they can be victimized by other intoxicated students who have impaired judgement.

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So, start talking to your kids now and tell them that anxiety runs in the family and it has many forms, like obsessive worrying, irrational fears, and perfectionism. These can all lead to an anxiety attack. Give them the information they need to identify what they’re dealing with, then give them the tools to help them handle the situation.

Unfortunately, we can’t prepare them for every stressor in life, but if we can help them develop their critical thinking, maybe they’ll have the tools to apply what they’ve learned from one situation to another.

In the book, it talks about how teens’ executive functioning skills aren’t fully developed yet, so that adds another dimension to the situation, because there’s no way to speed that process up. At least, not one that I’m aware of yet.

Photo credit: Daniela Hartmann (alles-schlumpf) on Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-SA

 

So, what it all boils down to is communicate with your kids, tell them if anxiety or mental illness runs in the family, so if they start developing symptoms, they’ll know to come to you for help or to seek out a mental health professional.

This book is pure gold for parents. I can’t recommend it enough. There is a lot to this book, so I’m going to be writing about it in a couple of different blog posts. So, stay tuned and let me know what you think! Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

Posted in mental-health

Are you Dealing with a Non-Apologist?

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’ve been busy with work and writing, and it has been a productive week. I’m almost finished with a scene that has been hanging over my head, and it has finally stopped RAINING. Knock on wood.

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I was able to go for a run the other night, and it was amazing. I love that feeling the next day of sore muscles and tight joints. It’s a good feeling. But enough about that, today I’d like talk about people who can’t seem to apologiz.

The reason I want to talk about this is because I’ve noticed there are people who would rather die than admit any wrongdoing. It amazes me that people would rather let a relationship disintegrate than apologize. Most of the people who fall into this category are ego driven and have poor relationships all the way around.

Why don’t people apologize, especially when they know they are wrong? According to this article, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-squeaky-wheel/201305/5-reasons-why-some-people-will-never-say-sorry.

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it’s a way for a person (who we’ll call a Non-apologist) to manage their emotions. Being vulnerable and open with people is extremely threatening. Emotional closeness isn’t something they’re comfortable with, so whenever they feel someone getting too close, they’ll put distance between them. One way is by behaving poorly and this behavior pushes the other person away, creating emotional distance.

Some people are only comfortable with anger, irritability, and emotional distance, and experiencing emotional closeness and the positive feelings of love are unbearable. Many of these people have been hurt in the past maybe by an abusive parent or other authority figure, and this is how they’ve managed to survive.

One last thing to think about when you’re dealing with this type of person is that they’re also avoiding the pain of emotional closeness, too. If they apologize, it could open the floodgates to all the pent-up emotion they’ve been trying to avoid. They just don’t want to feel that kind of pain.

Photo credit: Elsie esq. on Visualhunt.com / CC BY

So, the next time, you’re dealing with someone who won’t apologize or avoids you because they’ve treated you badly, remember they may be walking a tight-rope and trying to keep it together. Whenever, I run into someone like this, I try not to take their behavior too personally and give them space because that may be all they can handle at that time.

Photo credit: Steve @ the alligator farmon VisualHunt / CC BY-SA

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post today! Have you ever dealt with someone who wouldn’t apologize? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!