It is hard for a parent to protect his child from pain as they become a teenager. They are now surrounded by many people who will possibly bring emotional turmoil and complexity to their life. Gone are the days where the parents’ primary concerns are few scrapes and scratches from rough play in the park or scarcity of play dolls and stuff toys. Dealing with teenagers who are in-love requires a different set of parenting skills.
“The first heartbreak can leave deeper scars than the next ones.” saysChantal Belhumeur, a psychologist.
ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders among children and often lasts into adulthood. Zachary Blumkin, PsyD, states that “Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), like any diagnosis, is a label that represents a cluster of specific symptoms. In ADHD, these symptoms include hyperactive, impulsive, and inattentive behaviors.” It is commonly observed in boys during their early school years and characterized by the inability to pay attention for an extended period. Children who are having this type of condition usually cannot sit still inside the classroom, unable to control their impulses and hyperactive most of the time. They are acting without thinking of the possible results of their actions. Teachers often misinterpret the behaviors that need to be corrected or impose discipline.
Mood swings among children, most especially adolescents, are a regular part of their growing up but if this affects their performance in school or relationship with their peers, probably it is bipolar disorder. Also known as manic-depression, bipolar disorder is a severe brain illness in which symptoms can occur in early childhood but usually visible in adolescence or adulthood. This type of illness can be dangerous to adolescents because some of them try to hurt themselves or even attempt suicide.
Nowadays, people hustle like there’s no other time and day for them to do it again. I mean, everybody seems to forget to breathe and take some free time for themselves. According toAlyssa Adams, PsyD, “Taking care of yourself isn’t up for question. Without spending proper time to recharge, you’re setting yourself up for burnout.” Every day as I commute to work, I feel like I am among the living dead walking or running alongside with me and going to their destinations like robots in command. Somehow, I am still not operating in this state-like manner (Oh dear, I pray not to become one!).
When your child is bullied, it can be very stressful on what steps to take to support your child and stop bullying. A bullied child can be miserable and would even insist just to stay home to avoid bullies because of fear of what bullies can do to him. According toDr. Jenny Holland, PsyD, “Bullying is a behavior pattern that expresses as harming and humiliating others. Bullies typically seek out those who appear to be more vulnerable than themselves.”
It’s human nature to feel everything; our emotions are what makes us feel human. According toAsha Bauer, PsyD, “Similar to other physical sensations in the body, emotions are messengers. They tell us to address something in our lives. In a way, it’s a really good thing we have them – all of them.” We laugh when we feel happy, cry when hurt, shout when angry or irritated. Our emotions can make us sane or drive us stray. There comes a time that we become overwhelmed with life, that we feel everything all at once – that life becomes a burden to live until we lose our purpose in life. However, if we do have a reliable coping mechanism, we can quickly bounce back and start anew. But for some who got stacked at their lowest, depression will start to kick in.
Suffering from a psychological disorder like depression, OCD or dementia could adversely affect your thought processes, preventing you from thinking and reasoning in the same way as a normal and healthy individual. “Research has suggested that processing speed — the ability to take in information quickly and efficiently — is impaired in individuals who are depressed,” explainsNatascha Santos, PsyD, a psychologist and behavior therapist in Great Neck, N.Y. If you have panic attacks time and again or you feel unduly anxious, then, you’re most likely to have a distorted view of yourself, your illness, and everything directly or indirectly impinging on your wellbeing. You could also end up making mistakes without even realizing that you’ve done so, which could aggravate your suffering.
Robin Williams. Chester Bennington. Chris Cornell. Kurt Cobain. What do they have in common aside from being a famous Hollywood celebrity? They all committed suicide.
Suicide is a deliberate act of killing oneself. Persons who are suffering from major depression, chronic medical conditions and serious mental illness are prone to suicide. Some experts say that it is an act of expressing an internal conflict related to perceptions of hopelessness and despair while others justify the act as a form of liberation and being free from all the hardships.
“Even though the majority of youth victimized by bullying/cyberbullying do not commit suicide, in many cases bullying increases a young person’s risk of thinking about suicide and making a plan.” says psychologistMargaret R. Paccione, PhD.
“The lonely become either thoughtful or empty.” Mason Cooley
Dealing with the symptoms of cancer or the side effects of the treatment can have an intense impact on both your emotional and physical wellbeing. Trying to deal with the mixture of emotions you are feeling can be exhausting, even more so if you are trying to do it alone. Often, people with cancer choose to hide their feelings of fear and about feeling empty and sad in an attempt to lessen the burden of their disease on their loved ones.
“Hope almost always involves a leap of faith, as we move toward a future that even our best efforts can’t guarantee.” says psychologistShane J. Lopez Ph.D.
You Are Allowed To Feel Overwhelmed
Being diagnosed is scary. When hearing the word ‘cancer’, feeling overwhelmed, scared or afraid is not uncommon. Being diagnosed can evoke a number of emotions and feelings. There are a number of reasons that can give rise to the emotions, anxiety, sadness, and hopelessness you might be feeling, which can include:
Fear of the unknown, especially when doctors use medical terms that you don’t understand
Your routine and what you consider normal is disrupted by treatments and doctors’ appointments
You feel like life the way you know it has ended
“The urge to know what your life is all about and to know your life’s direction leaves you feeling uncertain about the future and discontent with the present.” saysMarcia Reynolds Psy.D.
There are a number of ways you can change the feeling of being out of control. Start with the most important – find out everything you can about your cancer. Do not be afraid to ask the doctors and nurses questions or speak to a social worker. Seek out the support of other cancer survivors. Seek out help from a therapist. It helps to voice your emotions and learn ways to cope with them. Regardless of what you decide, it is important that you do what’s right for you. Most importantly, remember that you do not have to do this alone.
Hold on to Hope
It is important that you always remember to hold on to hope. Having a hopeful outlook and holding on to a positive attitude will support your healing. “Acceptance is the foundation of holding space and hope, because space and hope must be grounded in what is and not on what should be or could be.” According toDr. Ili Rivera Walter, PhD, LMFT. Find the positive. Read books by survivors and take hope and encouragement from their experiences. Speak to other cancer patients. Ask questions and voice your own fears. Knowing that you are not alone in this can make a big difference. There are a number of ways to deal with the emotions or feelings of hopefulness you might be feeling. These can include:
Speak to others and express your feelings.
Be positive, do not think of the worst. Focus on your wellness and getting healthy.
Find ways to relax. Look into meditation or relaxation exercises.
Try to stay as active as possible. Get out of the house and focus on other things.
Find ways to occupy your mind. Look into hobbies such as photography or creative art.
Focus on the things that you can control.
Be involved in your treatment and health care. Ask questions and speak to others about dealing with the side effects and symptoms.
You Are Only Human
“Dealing with it is the operative word. I found myself at seven years not battling it. Not struggling with it. Not suffering from it. Not breaking under the burden of it, but dealing with it.” Michael J. Fox
There is always hope. You are allowed to be afraid. You are allowed to feel emotions. What you are not allowed to do is lose hope. Find ways to take control of your life. Seek out support. Find what works for you and meets your needs. Take time to understand. Research your cancer, speak to your health care providers and ask questions. Speak to other cancer patients and survivors. It helps to know that you are not alone in what you are going through.
The process that follows being diagnosed with cancer can be a very emotionally draining one. It is not uncommon that during and after treatment, people may find themselves overcome with a variety of overwhelming emotions. They are filled with loneliness and feel that no one cares. Being afraid is also not an uncommon emotion during a life-changing phenomenon such as cancer.
Many cancer patients also think that others such as family members have no idea how they feel or are in no position to give advice because it is not them that have cancer. The truth of the matter is that a cancer diagnosis also affects loved ones, family members, and friends. The fear, anxiety, and dread are emotions that loved ones and friends have in common with the patient. The fear of the unknown can be a very powerful thing. So simply put, you need to remember, you are not alone!
“Relational dynamics are part of the family system, which often includes old baggage and unfinished business such as wounds or secrets from the past,” saysDr. Kerin Groves, PhD., LPC “It is imperative that therapists ask each [person] about that individual relationship.” she added.
Why You Are Feeling Lonely
Feeling alone or that no one cares is not an uncommon emotion for people with cancer. Relationships can seem different and even distant for various reasons, which include:
People close to the patient sometimes have difficulty dealing with cancer and may avoid having to face their emotions.
It is also possible that with the treatment, you might not be feeling well enough to participate in the hobbies, social activities, etc as you previously had done. This generally also means that your contact with the outside world is less active than before.
Sometimes, even if you are around people that are close to you, you can still feel alone. This is more so the case when people are unsure how to speak to you or know what topics are safe to talk about.
Sometimes, other people may want to help and be there for you but do not know-how.
Annually, 12.7 million people discover they have cancer. There are millions of people around the world that share the same fears and anxieties. Finding support is a healthy way to deal with what you might be feeling. Communicating with others might not be easy, which is why more recently, online forums and communities have become more popular. These forums offer you a number of support options. These include:
Group Discussions/Chat Rooms
Support Buddies for one-on-one support
Talking can be easier when it is with people you can relate to. Not only does it enable you to speak out about your own emotions but it will also help you manage the challenges cancer may bring. “Social connection improves health, well-being, and longevity.” says psychologistEmma Seppala, Ph.D
The Benefits of Connecting With People You Can Relate To
Cancer patients and survivors have invaluable information to share. Talking with others about the experiences, emotions, and challenges that they faced can help you better deal with what you are going through. By talking to others that have endured the same challenges and emotions when dealing with cancer, you can:
Gain more insight and information about your specific cancer and the treatment side effects
Have someone that will listen and offer encouragement
Help you solve problems and offer advice on how to deal with the challenges and emotions you might be feeling
Deal with the fears and anxieties you might have about the future
“Having a positive peer group provides individuals with a balanced perspective by serving as a sounding board. It can become very easy to become isolated with one’s own thoughts and feelings and connecting with others can offer objective feedback and support.” as explained byDr. Dana Avey, LMFT.
There are a number of discussion groups and forums that are mediated by medical staff who volunteer their time to manage the online forums and communities. There are also a few social media groups and pages that offer inspiration, Q & A sessions with professional medical staff and up to date news on research and advocacy. It helps to stay connected, even if only in a small way, it keeps you connected with reality.