Kleptomania is a rare condition where one has the constant urge to take something that is not his. It doesn’t have to be of any value, or he doesn’t even need it. Kleptomaniacs feel satisfaction after a successful theft. This condition has been very controversial and mysterious as people who have kleptomania are living with shame and keep their situation a secret. According to Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC, “Kleptomania is behaviorally categorized as an impulse control disorder. Not only is the person fighting the kleptomania, they often have comorbid issues to deal with as well. Other types of mental disorders including eating, drug use, mood, impulse control, and anxiety are often present in conjunction with the kleptomania.”
Empty Nest Syndrome is the depression aged people go through after their children leave home. Feeling empty, lonely and left out, the ‘second childhood’ (old age) brings in a surge of pain and grief. “Empty nest syndrome is a very real feeling of grief and loss, including feelings of loneliness and a shifting of your sense of purpose. It most frequently happens when your children go off to college or start to live independently,” says Stephanie Sarkis, Ph.D., N.C.C., D.C.M.H.S., L.M.H.C.
Empty Nest Syndrome is not diagnosed as a depressive disorder, it is rather a phenomenon that old people undergo. There is still less awareness about how we can help parents cope with this.
The challenges of Empty Nest Syndrome
After the child moves out, parents face crucial challenges that become a harsh reality for them to handle.
Adjusting themselves with the changing parent-child relationship.
Reverting back to normal life without kids and finding new ways to fill the emptiness they are left with.
Taking care of the household and other work which they often find difficult to do.
Trying to accept the normality of the phenomena is the biggest challenge. All parents know that it is completely normal for the child to move out, yet the pain seems unbearable to them.
For single parents, the situation is even more difficult as they are left to live all alone.
The symptoms of Empty Nest Syndrome include
Unbearable sadness and grief when the child leaves home.
Difficulty in carrying out the usual daily life functions.
Reduced appetite and sleep.
Frequent spells of crying and holding back to old memories.
Difficulty maintaining a good relationship with the child after he/she moves out. Parents might blame the child out of distress.
The Coping Strategies for the sufferers
Coping with the distress of Empty Nest Syndrome is not an easy task after all. The main reason for this is the age group of the sufferers. It cannot be denied that people in old age have less adjustment and acceptance capacities than young people. Hence the sadness seems unbearable for them.
Engage in activities that you like – Doing things that make you happy is always a good way to uplift the mood. Resort to work like gardening, nature walking or cooking to keep yourselves engaged with the things you like to do.
Meet up with old friends – Consider old age as a permanent break from all the duties and responsibilities you have been doing for years. Meet up with old friends, hang out with them and rejuvenate the old memories of life. It brings happiness and fills in the void.
Spend quality time with yourself – Though it seems very difficult to look beyond the grief, try to pamper yourself as much you can. Cook your favorite dish, go out for shopping and redefine your self-worth that got burdened with the years.
Set up frequent meetings with children and their family – Meet up with your kids, go to their homes or invite them to yours. This can create some beautiful memories that would improve the parent-child relation.
Expect less, accept more – Try not to expect anything which can hurt you. People are often less sympathetic towards parents whose children move out as they consider it to be a normal phenomenon that every other parent faces. Expecting to be understood and heard often results in disappointment. Be your own best friend. That is the best way to get over the grief.
Reminiscence therapy – This is advised by therapists and is considered an effective way of coping with Empty Nest Syndrome. Parents who live alone can take out some time, maybe once or twice a week, or as frequently as they like, to go through old pictures and remember the happy moments of the past. Recalling the happy times replenishes the pains even if it is for a short while.
“Try to make some contact with other people who have been in similar circumstances,” Dr. Scott Bea PsyD says. “They can provide support by helping you feel more normal about some of the sentiments you’re experiencing. Through their experience, they also can help you to understand some of the feelings that your kids might be expressing.”
To help parents cope with Empty Nest Syndrome, children should accompany them in sailing through the storm without feeling lonely. The solution for this lies as much in the hands of the sufferer as the ones causing it. Not that anybody is to be held responsible, but the more empathetic children would be, the less painful Empty Nest Syndrome would be for parents. “Transitions in life can be difficult. If your transition to an empty nest has left you suffering from grief, depression, anxiety, or regret, make an appointment with a local therapist. It can be healing to discuss what you are experiencing with a trained and experienced professional.,” says Julie K. Jones, Ph.D., LPC.
Selective Mutism and Stuttering are two of the socially disabling disorders that children can experience in their childhood years. According toRachel Busman, PsyD, “Selective Mutism (SM) is first & foremost an anxiety disorder in which a child who is otherwise chatty or talkative can’t talk in other settings, like school or with friends.” Learning everything about these conditions can prepare you on how to deal with it especially if your child is exhibiting symptoms.
“We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it.” – Erik Qualman.
Social media is the perfect way to communicate and keep in touch with friends. But the increasing need of being noticed and liked has created a vicious cycle whereby people are falling prey to. The Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) or The Fear of Being Online (FOBO) are common concerns that social media creates. Jerry Bubrick, PhD, a clinical psychologist, says “FOMO is really the fear of not being connected to our social world, and that need to feel connected sometimes trumps whatever’s going on in the actual situation we’re in. The more we use social media, the less we think about being present in the moment.”
Different sites facilitating Strangers’ Chat are in trend now which have some obvious adverse effects. People have become so comfortable with virtual conversations that they feel anxious to get into real conversations. “You can certainly sign up as many people as you like, but that doesn’t make them friends. All we are doing is signing up people that we would normally think of as acquaintances in the offline world.” psychologist R.I.M. Dunbar, Ph.D. explains this “adding online friends” event, when a person can’t even have meaningful time with their closest family and friends in reality.
But this only generates from the fact that social media makes a person cut off from all real life communications and one tends to feel lonely. Moreover, “Being bombarded with images of perfection, perfect bodies, perfect make up, perfect faces can leave people feeling quite down about themselves because you’re mislead to believe that this is reality,” says developmental psychologist Stephanie Lau.
There are a lot of patients that need to talk to somebody, “ says Dr. Barnett.
How can you tell when someone has depression? Surprisingly, there are more people suffering from depression today than ever before and a large portion of the numbers is teens. “The teen years can be extremely tough and depression affects teenagers far more often than many of us realize.” says psychologistJeanne Segal, Ph.D. You wouldn’t think teenagers would be depressed but there are lots of social factors that cause them to become depressed. However, for many parents, they do not know the signs and struggle to differentiate between a moody teen and depression. So, what are the signs of depression in a teen? Read more here!
Not Wanting To Talk To Anyone
Everyone can be moody from time to time and say they don’t want to talk to people but there are differences and you will notice them. When someone becomes very quiet or withdrawn all of a sudden and not making an effort to join the conversation, that’s an indication of some problems. Some who are depressed don’t want to talk at all and that should become very noticeable within a matter of hours. Now, people can have off-days but if you notice this goes on for a few days there may be something wrong. “If you’re depressed, you need to fight the urge to avoid friends and sit around,” coach and wellness expertSusan Biali Haas M.D. says.Continue reading “Signs Your Teen Is Depressed”