Adoptive parents nowadays have less knowledge when it comes to the needs of their adopted child with anxiety or depression. Since they haven’t known the child that long, most of the time, they fail to fulfill the basic needs of the adopted child. The agency or charity that have bequeathed the child to the adoptive parents have this notion that their job is already done. Once the child has a home, their obligation ends there. These agencies are unaware of the complaints and the issues that adoptive parents are forced to face because of difficulties with the child, adjustments and so many more. The agency neglected that support to get the foster parent, and the adopted child get acquainted with each other.
Every parent’s way of parenting is different from the others. Some things separate them from the good and the bad parenting style which somehow affects a family relationship. Some methods work in the majority of children, but some of it won’t influence other teens. But why is that?
Finding out that a close friend is suffering from depression can be one of the difficult things that can happen in your life. It will be typical on your part to feel sorry for what the other person is going through. Since the said individual means a lot to you, it is only normal to feel like you need to do something to help that friend. As such, it is essential on your part to give yourself time to process the recent information that you received.
First of all, it is crucial for you to remain calm so that you will not have a hard time extending your support and assistance. Take note that you can never be of help to this person if you cannot get yourself together. Here are some of the things that you need to do for that close friend of yours:
Give Him Space
Learn how to respect the boundaries of your friendship with the person who is suffering from a major depressive disorder. Do not keep on insisting that you want to help because you may sound imposing. Instead, give your friend sufficient time and space to deal with his personal issues before you come in. At the same time, you need to find a way on how to express your willingness to help without making him feel self-pity.
“Depression doesn’t have a clear recovery timeline. Expecting your friend to return to their usual self after a few weeks in therapy won’t help either of you,” said Timothy J. Legg, PhD, PsyD.
Be A Good Listener
A BetterHelp expert once suggests mastering the art of being an amazing and good listener whenever your friend starts to open up about his mental condition as well as all the other topics related to it. Avoid interrupting him when he is talking about his issues to ensure that he can have the perfect avenue to air out his negative emotions. Your friend will truly appreciate it if you can show him that you are interested in his stories or experiences. The goal is to make him feel comfortable expressing his feelings.
“Aside from counseling or psychotherapy, those suffering can start by opening up to those around them. Choosing one close family member, friend, or confidant, and making it a practice to discuss feelings and concerns can help alleviate symptoms,” said Rita Labeaune, PsyD.
Avoid Being Judgmental
Now is not the time to force your friend to get over his depression. At all costs, it is not even a good option. Remember that depression is a mental health issue that is difficult to deal with. There is no easy way to eliminate the signs and symptoms of this mental condition. You have to be patient and understanding in handling this matter with your friend. If you have nothing good to say to him or the people surrounding you, then it is best for you to keep your mouth shut.
Make Yourself Available
It is essential for you to become instantly available whenever your depressed friend in need. At this point, it is significant to highlight the fact that depression can have adverse effects on the way your friend thinks about everything in his life. As such, there is a possibility that he may think of committing suicide to end his suffering in this world. For this reason, it is best for you to drop whatever it is that you are doing whenever the other person wants to talk to you or meet up at a particular place.
“A handwritten note, or sending an e-card or paper card can brighten a depressed person’s day,” said professor of psychology Deborah Serani. “Also, offering a smile is a message of hope, love, and recognition.”
Remember that your actions and words can save a friend from depression. So be mindful of how you use them.
Parenting is a complicated task, especially if you are handling a teenager. That’s because they are often aggressive, impulsive, and unreasonable. They have this mentality that they can do whatever they want without any supervision. They feel entitled to decision-making even if it means a lot for their future. There are tons of arguments and discussions about family and personal issues that often get unresolved. From there you start to wonder, “Do I entirely understand and know my teenager?”
Hyperhidrosis is excessive perspiration of the underarms, palms, and soles of feet. It is a common disorder which causes a person to be unhappy and lose self-confidence.
A study revealed that an estimated 3 percent of Americans are affected by this disorder. Excessive sweating of the armpit often starts in adolescence and hyperhidrosis of the hands and soles of feet begins roughly at around 13 years of age. If this condition is left untreated, it may continue throughout life.
“For people who don’t have hyperhidrosis, it’s easy to think, ‘Oh, it’s just sweating,'” Glaser noted. “The impact it can have on quality of life has always been underestimated.” Dr. Dee Glaser, a professor of dermatology.
Lowers A Person’s Self-esteem
It is embarrassing when you sweat excessively. When sweat stains your clothes and leave noticeable sweat rings, it can be a minus point for not looking personable. It can be degrading when you’re attending a business meeting or seeing a client. Social interactions can become awkward, like doing a handshake, when your palms are profusely sweating. Romance can also be ruined with too much sweating.
“When you’re worried about excessive sweating, this can manifest into anxiety. You might have some of the symptoms of social anxiety too. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is more likely to develop as a secondary symptom of hyperhidrosis,” said Elaine K. Luo, MD.
Possible Causes Of Hyperhidrosis
Sweating is a natural occurrence in our body. It allows our body to cool off during intense activity or during a hot summer day. Sometimes, women experience excessive sweating (night sweats) because of body changes in pregnancy and menopause.
But in the case of hyperhidrosis, it can be due to neurologic, infectious, endocrine and some systemic diseases. There are also rare incidents where some individuals who are healthy also suffer from this disorder. Excessive heat and emotions can also cause hyperhidrosis in others.
Anxiety, Depression, And Hyperhidrosis
Frank, my friend in high school, always had a handkerchief in his hands because of his profused sweating. He did not make many friends back then and was often anxious not to be called during recitation and would refrain from raising his hands. He hated attending PE class. High school life was not kind to him because of severe sweating in his hands and underarms.
I felt pity for him. He was so conscious about his condition and did not even find the confidence to ask his crush to be his date during our prom night.
Hyperhidrosis took a toll on his life and turned him into a shy man, never wanting to go out, and even caused him not to get promoted in his work.
He did try using antiperspirants but to no avail. He even saw a doctor because of his condition, but no form of treatment seemed to help him. He felt that hyperhidrosis was ruining his life. His doctor sensed that it was not a simple case of hyperhidrosis, so he advised him to see a psychiatrist.
He was against the idea knowing that there was nothing wrong with his mind. The doctor explained to him why he had to see a psychiatrist. He was already hopeless, so he scheduled an appointment. Indeed, it was no ordinary hyperhidrosis, for if it was, then the medications would have worked as well as the other treatments his doctor recommended.
The psychiatrist told him that his prolonged suffering from hyperhidrosis caused him to develop social anxiety and depression, which might have started since our high school days. His psychiatrist prescribed him antidepressants in addition to attending therapy sessions and his regular hyperhidrosis treatment. With continuous medication and therapy (see a relevant article here: What To Expect), the hyperhidrosis slowly lessened until it completely disappeared.
Aside from some several studies done, there is still not enough evidence to prove that a psychiatric illness can cause a person to have hyperhidrosis, but prolonged suffering and the shame brought by hyperhidrosis can cause an individual to develop social anxiety, depression, and fear. Seeing a psychiatrist does not guarantee a cure for hyperhidrosis, but it can help in some ways like in the case of my friend, Frank.
If you have been suffering from hyperhidrosis for quite a while now and had tried every single treatment without improvement, maybe it’s about time that you see a psychiatrist. It could be possible that the medicine is not working because of an underlying anxiety disorder or depression, which in some cases could be a contributing factor to the severity of your excessive sweating.
“What we’ve found is that as soon as you get that effective therapy, whatever is personalized for that patient … when it works, then that’s when you see a tremendous mitigation in this whole social phobia,” said Dr. Malcolm Brock, a surgeon and medical director of the Center for Sweat Disorders at Johns Hopkins Medicine.
Bullying doesn’t only occur at school or at the office. Admit it or not, bullying can also occur inside the family. It is tough to notice that bullying is happening in your supposedly ‘safe haven,’ but it is better to open your eyes to the possibilities. As a parent, you should be wary of the warning signs that indicate bullying is happening in your own home.
“Having a bully in the home stresses the entire family unit,” said Fran Walfish, PsyD, “The child can put a wedge between husband and wife, especially if they view the situation differently.”
Here are some of the warning signs that you can watch out to spot bullying in the family:
2016 saw some 4 million middle and high schoolers in America using cigarettes and other tobacco products. The good news is tobacco use among youngsters has declined in 5 years. Accordingly, 2016 saw 2 out of 100 middle school kids admitting they smoke – a mere 2.2% from the 4.3% in 2011. Additionally, 8 out of 100 high school students said they use cigarettes – a 7% down from 2011’s 15.8%.
The bad news is 4 million is still a devastatingly big number. Worse, half of the number admits to using two or more tobacco products, meaning, they not only tried smoking classic cigarettes, but they may also have dabbled with vaping, using smokeless tobacco and even smoking marijuana joints.
What compels the young to start smoking at a very early age? The most common reasons might surprise you. You, as a parent, could even be an influencing factor as well.
Your adolescent’s friends greatly influence what habits he picks up at this stage of his life. If his friends smoke, it’s likely that he’ll pick up the habit, too. This is most particularly true if he feels he’ll lose the relationship he has with a girlfriend or the risk of getting shunned by his peers if he doesn’t do it.
“Teens who use these substances often lie to parents, teachers, and others who care about their well-being. They may hide their use or dependence and find ways to use Juuls or dab pens belonging to friends,” said Goali Saedi Bocci, PhD.
Media and Cultural Romanticization
Adolescents and teens may think smoking is okay – even a masculine act for males – because they see it portrayed as such in TV, print ads, shows, and even movies.
A study discovered that young people who are more exposed to cigarette ads are two times more likely to have tried smoking and three times more likely to have been already smoking for the past month. That’s how great the power of media is in influencing young minds.
There’s more chance for an adolescent to pick up the habit if one or both his parents are smokers. Also, if the mother smoked while pregnant, her baby is more predisposed to be a smoker once he or she grows up.
It is very vital for parents to set strict home rules when it comes to smoking. According to one kids’ health site, these rules encourage teens not to smoke or do the act less compared to their counterparts. As they cannot light a cigarette in the comfort of their own homes, they only smoke occasionally, thus, reducing the chances of them becoming regular smokers in the future.
“Tell him that you can’t continue to give him an allowance because you don’t want him to use it on cigarettes and won’t financially support destructive habits,” said Carleton Kendrick, LCSW. “Your teenager might have savings or other income, but your financial sanctions might cause him to think twice before he spends his money on tobacco.”
Part of an Image or Set Up a Rebellion
Adolescents are at the part of their lives where they try to assert their independence or build up an image to the people surrounding them. They may pick up the vice believing it makes them look older, more independent or more self-confident, or they start on the habit to rile up disapproving parents.
Behind the smoking, a teenager could be suffering from depression, lack of self-esteem, stress, and anxiety. It could also be a means your teen uses to control weight gain.
Adolescents and teens can still be quite naïve about reality. They start with a vice even when they know the dire consequences because they think that being young makes them less susceptible to the harmful effects that bad habit brings.
Open communication, love and support, a good parent-child relationship and just being there — these factors go a long way when dealing with your adolescents and their many life issues.
“A parent’s open and transparent sharing with his teen about his own regretted decisions, and the difficulty that has resulted, can have a very positive effect on the decisions the teen makes,” Adi Jaffe PhD.
How To Communicate To Your Kids The Dangers Of Inappropriate Alcohol Consumption
Ryan was only 12 years old when he had his first bottle of beer. At 21, he had to enroll himself in an AA [Alcoholic Anonymous] group because of his drinking problem. On the other hand, James got his first taste of wine at the age of 15 from his parents. They even allowed him to get drunk one time during a July 4th family celebration. He said it was his parents’ way of educating him about responsible alcohol consumption. Did it work? James believed it did. He claimed he never binged on alcoholic drinks when he was in college, as he already knew his limitations.
Ryan and James are just two of the many adolescents and teens curious about the many things adults do like consuming alcohol. And the saying curiosity killed the cat proves to be true because young people who experiment on alcohol seem to end up destroying their lives which may ultimately lead to early death or alcoholism.
“The effects and consequences on substance use on families are devastating. Over 7 million children in the United States—more than 10%—live with a parent who has problems with alcohol, according to a 2012 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration report. These children and their families are at risk for other co-morbid mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, substance use issues, and addiction.” said Jeremy Frank, PhD, CADC.
So if you’re a parent of tweens and teens, how are you going to tell them about alcohol? Two experts give their take on this matter.
The Earlier The Better
Some parents think they have to wait until their kids reach their teen years to start talking to them about issues like alcohol. However, a well-known family therapist and a child psychologist believe it is best if the talk is done at an earlier age.
“About 10 to 14 years old — that’s the time most kids start to get curious about alcoholic drinks and consumption and some might even have experimented already to satisfy their curiosity,” the family therapist says to which the psychologist adds: “It’s important to note that most drinkers had their first taste of alcohol at the age of 12.”
“Families that talk and communicate expectations clearly, logically, rationally, and with consideration to age-appropriate context for the child’s development level have a better chance of addressing drinking and alcohol consumptions in a way that promotes responsible behaviors,” said Mayra Mendez, PhD, LMFT.
Keep It Casual But Clear
Both experts agree that no matter how tempting it is to go all out in lecture mode when you talk to your kids about important issues like alcohol, DON’T DO IT.
“An open and positive communication between parents and kids should always be nurtured. This way, the latter won’t feel they have the need to hide their thoughts or whatever they have to say about family issues such as this. And as they look up to their parents for guidance, using a positive approach when talking to them will impose the lessons you want them to learn instead of going totalitarian,” states the child psychologist who has written various books about parenting teenagers.
“And don’t make it sound as if it’s all about rules. Tell them you worry about their wellbeing and that getting drunk could get out of hand resulting in dire consequences,” she adds.
Hear Their Voice And Get Them Involved
Let your tweens and teens know that you care about what they think, too. Let them speak up about their side and stand on the matter, why they think it’s okay to consume alcohol, why it’s not and so on.
“Including them is a must,” says the family therapist. “Teens want to feel like they matter and not just a sounding board of rules. Allow them to talk about their opinions and if these differ from yours, talk to them about it in a calm way.”
Is It Okay To Let Youngsters Consume Alcohol Within The Safety Of The Home?
When asked this question, both experts gave a resounding NO.
“While some parents allow this reasoning because doing so makes the kids safer than going out with their peers to drink illegally elsewhere, it just isn’t right,” they argued. “We all know that there’s always that great possibility that no matter the location, alcohol consumption can always spiral out of control.”
“While this works in some cases, we cannot discount the many instances when youngsters who freely had access to their parents’ alcoholic stash turned out to be alcoholics years later. We just want to lean on the safer side,” they added.
And their last advice?
“You have to know when to ask for help. If your gut tells you your kid is in serious alcohol trouble, believe it and take the necessary steps.”
“Adults are expected to have self-control and choose to consume or not consume alcohol based on knowledge regarding both the risks and health benefits—to drink responsibly. This is not true of children,” said psychologist Arash Emamzadeh.
Adolescence is the most awkward stage of life. Hearing things like,
“You’re too old for that.”
“You’re too young to have that.”
“We’re your parents. Only we know what’s best for you.”
Things start to get confusing. He begins to question himself, “Am I too old?” “Am I that young?” “Where do I belong?” With this disorientation and confusion, comes his curiosity to find out and discover things himself for himself.
The Anatomy of Adolescence
Adolescence is the period between 13 and 19 years old. No longer a child, but not yet an adult. It’s the transitional period. A time when he starts to explore things and got curious about some changes that are happening in his body. This is when he starts to seek for independence and tries to build his own identity.
Adolescence Seeking for Independence
“My childhood is a lie.”
This is what your teenager thinks after knowing that you just tricked him every Christmas Eve. It’s obvious he was betrayed. How else can he trust words such as,
“We will be here no matter what.”
“We only want what’s best for you.”
“Trust us.This is for your own good.”
Trust? Just how can he trust you now?
He is the most confusing part of his life. He no longer knows what to believe. Thoughts are playing with him that parents don’t know what he wants, what he needs, and what’s best for him. His parents cannot always save him. He can only trust himself, and the single person who is always behind him is his friends.
One day you’ll wake up arguing about his independence, letting him do what he wants, the way he wants it.
How to Overcome This Stage of Rebellious Teenage Years
An argument is a familiar sight to every home with teenage kids, and most parents just wanted to give up. Getting emotionally fed up, they quickly get angry and will try to stop it by shouting or yelling. Your emotional outbursts and anger will not solve the problem, but would only make it worse.
Settling it through violence is not showing your kid a good example. How will you deal with your teenager then?
- Try to understand the overwhelming changes that your teenager is experiencing, both physical, emotional, and environment. You may be right, he’s no longer a kid, but he’s also not yet mature to understand everything. He is confused. You should be there to guide him through.
“Your teenager may give the impression of not caring what you think, but they need you now as much as ever. Do your best to be openly available for relaxed conversation whenever your child seems to want that,” said Dona Matthews, PhD.
- Teenage anger usually is due to frustration and embarrassment. Hormonal changes and peer pressure can also be a factor. Help them deal with it constructively. Talk to them. Know what’s causing them to feel that way. If things are already out of control, have a psychologist or relatives help you.
“When families rid themselves of nagging, relationships get infused with more energy and compassion. Parents get to know and appreciate teenagers for who they are, not just for what they do,” said Marilyn Price-Mitchell, PhD.
- Give your teenager space when he asked for it. Sometimes, he needs to sort things out on his own.
- Bond with him. Do activities he likes together (check out some recommendations here: babble.com). This will help you bring back his trust.
- Hug him more. Hugging will help him heal. This will assure him that you are indeed there for him, giving him a sense of security.
- Set goals for him. Make sure he does well in school, but with no pressure. See if he got responsible set of friends, but never judged his friends.
- Guide him in putting a structure in his life. Slowly give him the independence he needed to learn. Point out that there are boundaries, rules, and consequences. Trust him that he can do it.
“Parents let go by giving more independent decision-making responsibility. They do mindfully by specifying what they first need from the teenager before being willing to put that eager young person at risk of more personal freedom,” said Carl E. Pickhardt, PhD.
Adolescent years are just temporary. You passed through this stage in your life. Of all people, you are the one who should understand what your teenager is going through. Always keep an open mind, and he will open up to you.