Pediatric Counseling For Children With ADHD

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The condition ADHD or Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a mental disorder that causes impulsiveness or hyperactivity to a child. It gives them behavior and emotional outburst that ends up with trouble focusing. The diagnosis of this condition is common in children, but there are also cases where adults and teens show ADHD symptoms. There are more than millions of children between ages 4 and 17 that are diagnosed and ever since then, that number continues to grow exponentially. ADHD can be genetic or triggered by different environmental components. This type of condition can be severe if left untreated. Therefore early detection is crucial. According to Thomas E. Brown, Ph.D., “It’s tough for them to keep themselves working to finish their assignments and to regulate their sleep and alertness. ADHD is really a complicated set of problems with the brain’s self-management system, its executive functions.” There are stimulant medications that can be used to control its symptoms. However, the most effective and personal approach to handling ADHD is through pediatric counseling.

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The Common Symptoms Most of the symptoms of ADHD, according to pediatric counselors, are trouble listening, hyper behavior, easy distraction, procrastination, difficulty in sitting still for a period, and problems in academic activities. Anyone can exhibit these symptoms; the only difference is that those who have ADHD tend to become more severe. John M. Grohol, Psy.D. reminds, “Of course, only a trained mental health professional — such as a psychologist or psychiatrist — can make a qualified ADHD diagnosis.” The Use Of Pediatric Counseling Pediatric counseling provides an assisting environment for children with ADHD. They also offer programs that can control the symptoms manifested by the condition.  To battle through its symptoms, the support from teachers, parents, and counselors are also needed. Through a series of sessions, the counselor and parents of the child will have a chance to know more about the required well-drawn program and medications. “Research shows that good therapists produce good results for most problems if the therapist feels competent to handle them and has enough experience to carry out treatment,” Michael Ungar Ph.D. wrote. The Kind Of Intervention One of the techniques used by pediatric counselors is behavioral therapy. It is an integral part of managing the symptoms of ADHD in children. They use it to identify which of the different psychological approaches is effective. It allows the pediatric counselor to assist the parents in understanding their children’s behavior as well. Additional points to consider are listed below.

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  • It is possible that the child can’t understand the command given by the parents because of the slight misinterpretation that triggers ADHD symptoms. Therefore, counselors must convince the parents to provide clear and easy instructions.
  • Criticisms can be hard for a kid so avoid criticizing them often. Counselors will explain to parents that they must set a balance between praising a child and giving negative comments.
  • Offering a small reward can boost a child’s focus and morale. It is necessary to organize a reward system every time a child does something good or if he follows an instruction thoroughly. However, parents should stay consistent with providing a reward.
  • Tweaking the disciplinary action is very important. It develops a sense of responsibility for a child’s perspective. It also helps the child to understand right and wrong as viewed by the society. Therefore, parents should understand the balance of teaching proper behavior.

With this strategies, support from the parents, and aid from pediatric counselors, symptoms manifested by ADHD are manageable. We need to remember that children with ADHD can still become proper functioning individuals in the society.      

Alleviating ADHD Symptoms Through Equine Therapy

 

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Nowadays, It is typical to be bothered by hectic schedules, social media, and the chaos of a quick-paced world. Some find it hard to evade these disturbances and avoid the impact that these disturbances may have. Thousands of people in the present society live with conditions that make it hard for them to control their symptoms and focus on performing their daily activities efficiently. This condition is known as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD, which can be challenging to live with.

The Centers for Disease Control reports that the incidence of ADHD is increasing at a startling rate. ADHD is a brain disorder manifested by a continuous pattern of hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention that hinders development or functioning. Some common symptoms of this disorder include:

  • Hyperactivity means that an individual tends to move about constantly and excessively taps, talks, or fidgets. It can present as severe restlessness or draining others of their energy in adults because of their hyperactivity.
  • Inattention, wherein an individual lacks tenacity, has trouble focusing, is messy, and wanders off his tasks. These behaviors are not because of a lack of understanding or defiance.
  • Impulsivity, wherein an individual makes careless actions that happen right away without even thinking about them. This also entails a desire for instantaneous rewards or incapacity to delay satisfaction. An impulsive individual can be socially interfering and extremely disturb others or make crucial decisions without considering the long-term outcomes.

There are several methods of managing ADHD in adults and children. Still, one approach that has proven potent in healing those with ADHD is equestrian therapy or equine-assisted therapy. Horses are specialists in reflecting human behavior and feelings. They seem to mirror the energy, emotions, and moods manifested by interacting with them. This is a great wake-up call for an active individual whose vigor and concentration are disorganized. This ‘connection’ helps them perceive what their actions and behaviors can look like and their outcomes.

When interacting with a 1,500-pound lovable animal, an individual is focused and alert about what is going on – whether he is on top of the horse’s back or interacting with it on the ground. Equine therapy inherently requires a person’s complete attention, helping the person concentrate on the moment and process thoughts like, “How is the horse moving?” “How is it responding to me?” “Is it getting too near me?” or “How can I better understand this beautiful creature?

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Dealing with horses is also intensely motivating for kids, some of whom progress to working and riding with horses even long after finishing their EAP programs. For many children who have ADHD, the horse can offer a degree of challenge. It’s enjoyable – it doesn’t feel like you are working on a program. Indeed, the therapists who work with programs are experienced using the activity to teach communication, relationship, and attention skills. For instance, some programs require riding on a sensory route that provides kids multiple stimuli, like music or shooting hoops while riding on a horse.

Matching The Horse With A Child

Most kids are happy with the opportunity to play with horses, but experts say that one in ten kids is not interested in working with horses, while others might be scared of big animals like horses. Additionally, horses for therapy need to have a specific temper to be able to perform the work. Mental health professionals agree that therapy horses are trusting and dependable and commonly have substantial experience and training.

Horse therapy may not be broadly popular to parents, but health insurance representatives frequently pay for the cost. Parents can seek programs through the NARHA, which has various certified programs listed for every state. Your best move would be to shop online. Take a virtual tour, watch an online class, and look for:

  • A healthy and positive staff handling the horses
  • A fun and secure environment
  • Certified professionals, like counselors and speech therapists
  • Experienced and trained horses
  • Programs that can integrate ADHD treatment objectives for your child
  • Qualifications of the professionals in the program

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If getting into an equine-assisted therapy program does not alleviate or reduce your child’s ADHD problems, there are several other benefits from enrolling in the program. This includes non-material gains like happy memories and self-esteem.

Equine therapy has been established to enhance symptoms and triggers of adults and children living with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The inherent outcomes of interacting with large, reacting, loving, and intellectual animals have shown the effectiveness of helping people bring positivity, reasoning, and focus to those inflicted with ADHD. The lessons inculcated from these spectacular horses can benefit all areas of an individual’s life and significantly improve the triggers and symptoms of ADHD.

 

 

Best Therapies For ADHD

 

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Research and studies are clear: ADHD medications combined with behavioral therapy make the most potent therapies for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in kids, specifically those who also present with aggressive behavior. These findings were reported by the National Institute of Mental Health and are supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics. However, the effectiveness of therapy for ADHD does not decrease as the patient progresses in age. Many kids and adults utilize ADHD therapy to teach social, academic, and behavioral skills to help deal with ADHD symptoms throughout the individual’s life.

Talk with your mental health provider so that he can help you identify what kind of ADHD therapy is most suitable for you or your loved one. You can use the list of therapies below to learn more about the best therapies for ADHD.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy For Adults

CBT is basically brain training for adults with ADHD. It is a goal-oriented and brief type of psychotherapy that strives to alter adverse thought patterns and rewire how the patient feels about himself and his ADHD symptoms.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy does not manage the primary symptoms of ADHD, which are impulsivity, inattention, and hyperactivity. Instead, it helps in reducing the individual’s longstanding impairments, like time management and procrastination. There is no proof that CBT can substitute for medication therapy in terms of treating ADHD. However, studies do suggest that it aids adults diagnosed with ADHD compared to others types of therapy. Studies done in 2010 revealed that a combination of CBT and medication therapy was more powerful at regulating symptoms of ADHD compared to medication therapy alone.

ADHD Coaching

An ADHD coach is experienced in helping kids, teenagers, and adults who have ADHD take control and organize their lives. More importantly, this type of coach can efficiently help individuals attain intellectual and emotional development, effective learning techniques, robust social skills, considerate financial planning, and exciting business and career exploration. An experienced and certified ADHD coach can accurately support his ADHD clients in strengthening skills such as:

  • Determination and follow-through
  • Task, space, and time management
  • Positive communication and healthy relationships
  • A more organized and structured life
  • Attaining a positive and balanced lifestyle
  • Making wise and conscious decisions

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Neurofeedback Or Braining Training

Neurofeedback utilizes exercises and drills for the brain to help increase alertness and decrease impulsivity in adults and kids with ADHD. Training the brain to release brainwave patterns connected to concentration is the primary objective of neurofeedback. This helps restrict or inhibit impulsivity, acting out, and distractibility, among other ADHD symptoms.

Some researchers contend that large studies have not thoroughly scrutinized this form of therapy. Though some individuals claim improvement in focus, it apparently has very little impact on other issues related to ADHD. Other patients, on the other hand, have reported large-scale improvements using neurofeedback therapy.

Play Therapy

Play therapy is utilized to assist kids with ADHD learn, offer comfort, connect, increase self-confidence, and alleviate anxiety. Play is a secondary means for therapists to modify the behaviors, thoughts, and perceptions of children. Child psychologists agree that play therapy is a therapeutic instrument likened to giving sweet candy to a kid rather than a sour one. Playing with children is important for them to feel safe, attached, and connected.

Art Therapy

Art therapy encourages kids and adults who are diagnosed with ADHD as well as other neuropsychological conditions to express themselves more easily through art-making and graphic images than spoken or written words. This type of therapy can be particularly effective for busy and active kids with ADHD because it prevents their hands from moving and leads to acute emotional and mental focus, which is not always attained in other forms of therapy.

Kids with ADHD utilize art therapy because painting, sculpting, drawing, and other processes help tackle emotional issues, deal with behavior, improve self-awareness, decrease stress, and improve interpersonal skills. Art therapy builds children’s problem-solving abilities, communication skills, and mental flexibility as they talk about what they have made to their parents, siblings, or friends. Art also encourages positive social interactions, such as complimenting, making suggestions, or sharing art materials.

Equine Therapy

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Equine-assisted therapy is an experiential form of ADHD therapy where clients are managed with the interaction of horses. At the same time, a certified mental health provider supervises the session instead of sitting down and talking about their issues. One model of equine-assisted therapy, the Natural LIfemanship, is a trauma-informed method grounded on the principles of neuroscience and the importance of healthy and positive connections. Clients are assisted in learning to control their body energies and identify non-verbal hints to connect with a horse. The animal gives immediate responses to the client’s behavior that other humans cannot do.

Equine-assisted therapy is increasingly becoming a popularly used method, as numerous studies and families have witnessed the effectiveness of this human-horse interaction.

 

ADHD Counseling – Tips To Fully Manage

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental condition that affects individuals. Usually, it gets diagnosed early in their childhood and often lasts into adulthood. Experts believed that significant factors in developing ADHD come from the genes most people inherit from their parents. There are claims that exposure to environmental toxins such as alcohol use, cigarette smoking, or drug use during pregnancy is the cause in some research. Also, high levels of lead at a young age, brain injuries, and low birth weight were believed to be contributors.

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The Worse Issues With ADHD

While ADHD can be problematic, it is vital to understand that it is not a learning disability. However, with the condition being present, it does make learning extremely difficult for most cases. One outcome that people can expect is the struggle to focus and sustain attention. Usually, with ADHD, individuals have a hard time concentrating on the length of a task at hand despite it being easy and simple. Thus, it quite makes the task impossible to get done in time.

Also, people with ADHD get easily distracted, both external and internal. They get so occupied in a particular thing that they become unconscious of anything else around them. It is as if they lock themselves in a box where only they can manage to get out. They get distracted by moving things, colorful environments, loud noises, and even unusual gestures they come across.

Another thing with ADHD is its ability to heighten emotional concerns. People with ADHD are usually sensitive to things. But that is not because they do not understand what is going on, but because they tend to see the problems differently. They are usually insecure and full of self-doubts. They have forgetfulness, disorganization, impulsivity, hyperfocus, lack of focus, and time management concerns.

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ADHD Management

Dealing with Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder is not that simple as some would say. There are tons of sacrifices that people need to make to manage their lives and mental health conditions better. The more they understand ADHD, the more they learn that some strategies do not fully work. With that, there are specific ADHD management tips people should consider.

Creating A Structure – People with ADHD must create a structure or daily routine to stick with every day. Note that the newly incorporated routines must correspond to the needs of these individuals when it comes to accessibility, productivity, and convenience.

Limit Distractions – Since people with ADHD get easily distracted, they need to have a specific assignment, activity, or chore. There should be a limit to what they should do to accomplish a task and learn to break them into manageable pieces. That way, they can simplify and organize their life much better.

Simplify Organization Process – The thing with ADHD that makes everything seems complicated is the organization process. That is because of the confusion associated with space, list of tasks, number of people to deal with every day, etc. It is significantly important to simplify the organization process, especially when there is too much on the table. People with ADHD must be able to know where everything goes.

Encourage Regular Exercise – Aside from making the body healthy, exercise is essential in brain development because of its ability to release brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters. These include dopamine, which helps a lot with clear thinking, focus, and expands attention. It makes people with ADHD less confused.

Promote Well-Regulated Sleep Patterns – One way to beat ADHD symptoms is by getting rid of mental and physical restlessness. People can get enough rest through well-regulated sleep patterns. There is an ensured lesser mental and emotional exhaustion plus overall health and treatment with complete rejuvenation.

Practice Relaxation – Since ADHD relies more on hyperactivity, people with the condition must prioritize relaxation. That way, they can allow their minds and bodies to store and use enough energy daily. One way to practice relaxation is to work on meditation. Meditation helps with ADHD as it promotes planning, focus, and impulse control.

Talk To People – One important aspect of dealing with ADHD is expression. Most people with the condition are not capable of sharing their struggles. Therefore, it is significantly important to allow others also to understand ADHD to process the right thing. Let friends and family become the support guide.

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Insight

Note that some of the tips above might work, and some may not. It is essential to keep an open mind on other strategies that can help cope with ADHD symptoms. But in case things are a bit tough, it would be an excellent option to seek individualized counseling, schedule therapy sessions, and ask doctors for medication recommendations. ADHD may not be that serious, but it still can make lives complicated for people who have it.

 

My Counselor’s ADHD And Relationship Advice

ADHD or Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a mental health condition I have been dealing with for quite a long time. My ADHD symptoms are no different from those of people who are also experiencing it. There are also moments where I fidget and do not focus on a task. I easily lose concentration, and I am disorganized too. I also have this poor time management skills and a very short attention span. Overall, ADHD is simply a mental illness that sadly affected me.

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I remember being different when I was a kid after I got diagnosed with ADHD. I view my condition as damaging at that time because it caused me depression. I immediately have these depressing thoughts where I always felt like people are only trying to put up with me because they feel sorry I have this attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. But honestly, that thought is something I can endure, though. It does not entirely bother me that I have it because great loving people still surround me. For me, that is all that matters.

However, there are instances that when people emphasize that I am mentally unstable, I get hurt and feel sad. That is where I view my condition differently. And right after I engaged in a romantic relationship, everything becomes so challenging that my condition somehow wants me to quit and let go of my feelings. So I went to seek help and asked my counselor about the things I can do to manage it. And here’s what she had to say.

End Distractions And Focus On Current Situation: One issue with my condition is my inability to focus. With ADHD, that is extremely difficult to handle. So my counselor told me that I should limit my exposure to the external commotion as much as possible. That way, I can only do limited things for a limited purpose. My counselor said that once I managed to put up a barrier on things I should and should not do, I will eventually learn techniques to minimize possible unwanted interruption. Thus, that would help me deal with more important things to me, specifically my relationship.

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Develop Structural Habits And Keep It Up – Another issue with ADHD is organization. Sometimes, it includes a simple task like deciding which stuff is necessary and which requires disposal. My ADHD symptoms often create a decision-making issue and barrier between my partner and me because I believe I know what I want to do most of the time. But eventually, I find myself not following even the simplest instructions. With that, my counselor advised me to stick to a routine that I can manage. She said I could start by utilizing calendars for schedules. My counselor also said that I should create a space for myself to miss following some of the important things on my to-do list.

Stretch Attention Span And Work On Easy-To-Do Activities – ADHD can be very difficult, especially on certain occasions. It is entirely impossible to handle things all at once because ADHD somehow forbids me from multitasking. The main reason is because of the short attention span I have with everything. In some instances, it causes a relationship problem because my partner used to think that I don’t pay enough attention to our relationship’s needs. Thus, my counselor told me to practice stretching my attention span. She advised that I engage in writing and note-taking to guide me on active listening. She also said that I should engage in repeated verbal instructions to let words sink into my head if possible. My counselor said that these tips could help improve my focus and ability to follow instructions.

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Manage Time And Run Errands Accordingly – I may be struggling with ADHD, but I can perfectly work and earn a job. I can work on a lot of things as most people do. However, there are just times that I get emotionally and mentally overwhelmed about everything. When that hits, my ADHD somewhat prevents me from communicating with my partner. It can cause many relationship issues, so my counselor advised me to manage my time accordingly. She said I should allow some time for myself once in a while. She said I also need to refocus and use my time wisely to avoid leaving other tasks behind. My counselor ensures that once I practice time management, it could lessen the complications I have with my job, daily task, and relationship responsibilities.

Exercise And Spend Some Time Outdoor – Exercise has the power to relieve stress, regulate mood, and calm the mind. That is why my counselor often tells me to be more active. She explains that exercise contributes a lot to managing excess energy and aggression that can get in the way of my relationship. She said I could start with simple stretching or yoga. My counselor also said that people with ADHD often benefit from sunshine and green surroundings. Thus, I should spend more time with nature to get that emotional and mental peace.

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Behavioral Activation For Depression

The connection between thoughts and behaviors had always fascinated me; that’s why I wanted to become a psychologist for a long time. I knew early on that’s the best profession for me to explore that connection, so I worked hard to make sure that I could enter an exemplary psychology program in college.

When it happened, I felt like I won the lottery. I was eager to prove to everyone that I was cut out to become a psychologist and be the best one in the field. However, I did not realize that I would have to go through many practical activities before that.

Dipping My Toes In The Psychology Pool

My first practical experience involved offering free counseling at the university hospital in my second year. It was a tradition for the students in our department to visit the hospital on the campus and talk to patients and their loved ones. After all, many people with physical illnesses are prone to having mental health issues, especially if they get diagnosed with a grave condition. 

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One of the first individuals I counseled was Jaimee, a 16-year-old girl with cystic fibrosis and ADHD. When I saw her, I initially thought she was much younger than that. Her body was so small, and she often needed a blood transfusion, but the way she snapped at her parents and some nurses in the ward made me realize that we were closer in age than I assumed.

The attending physician introduced me to Jaimee and her parents that day. I shook hands with the adults, but Jaimee did not even look at my extended hand. Despite that, I smiled at her. I might not have years of counseling experience, but I had enough knowledge about dealing with stubborn kids. I visited Jaimee in the ward twice a week and observed her behavior.

I quickly understood that Jaimee had to be pulled out of regular school because her illness required her to stay at home or the hospital most of the time. Her snappy attitude was most likely not because she was evil but because she could not find a way out of her situation. I talk to her parents about it in private, and they decided to bring a psychologist to the ward to figure out Jaimee’s mental condition.

When Jaimee found out about it, she reacted violently. It was evident that she thought a psychological evaluation was for the “freaks” – her words, not mine. However, her father put his foot down and snapped back at her, causing Jaimee to shut up. She had no choice but to talk to the psychologist and answer any questions.

It turned out that Jaimee had depression. The diagnosis checked out, considering she had been dealing with cystic fibrosis for a long time. If I had to deal with an incurable disease, I would have been depressed, too. Nevertheless, it was no excuse for having an awful disposition in life. The psychologist eventually prescribed behavioral activation therapy to Jaimee.

What is behavioral activation therapy? 

 Behavioral activation is the end goal for most people getting cognitive-behavioral therapy. This treatment is mostly offered to depressed individuals who need help reducing their avoidant behavior.

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What are behavioral activation strategies? 

  • Monitor behavioral changes on your own
  • Figure out what aspect of your life you want to change
  • Make sure that your loved ones will behave well around you.
  • Create a schedule of daily or weekly activities
  • Structure every activity you can think of
  • Learn problem-solving skills
  • Improve social skills
  • Arrange activities from the easiest to the most challenging
  • Embrace healthy actions
  • Think of how you can reward yourself

How does behavioral psychology treat depression? 

 Behavioral psychologists typically treat depression with the belief that it is a learned mental disorder, that it is not innate. Thus, they help sufferers unlearn their depressive symptoms.

What is the common use of behavioral activation? 

 Behavioral activation is commonly used for depression treatment.

What is a behavioral technique? 

 A behavioral technique is used by therapists when they perform cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Is depression a learned behavior? 

 Yes, depression is a learned behavior, according to behavioral psychologists.

Who needs cognitive behavioral therapy? 

 Cognitive-behavioral therapy is essential for people who deal with a broad range of mental disorders.

Who created behavioral activation? 

 Christopher Martell and the company created behavioral activation in 2001.

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What kind of music is good for depression? 

 Rock is the primary genre that individuals listen to when they feel depressed.

Is depression in the genes? 

 According to studies, 40% of people living with depression have this mental disorder because of genetics.

Is depression learned helplessness? 

 Yes, depression is learned helplessness, considering you experience stressful situations repeatedly.

What does Behavior Therapy treat? 

 Depression.

What happens in exposure therapy? 

 When you do exposure therapy, you can expect the therapist to simulate your fears and make you face them. The more you get exposed to your fears, the less you worry about them.

How successful is CBT in the treatment of social anxiety? 

 CBT is so successful in treating social anxiety that every patient tends to feel less anxious when the sessions are over.

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What is activity scheduling?

Activity scheduling is a behavioral activation technique that encourages individuals to do more activities every day.

Final Thoughts

The psychologist happened to be a certified behavioral therapist so that she could treat Jaimee. The original plan was for the psychologist to visit her at the hospital every week in the first two months, but Jaimee said that she did not feel like the environment there would help her. In the end, it was agreed upon that she could go to the psychologist’s office in the university. It would be a short walk from the hospital, so it could not take a toll on her health. 

When I visited Jaimee a few months after that, I was surprised to see her smiling at me. She was so different from the teenager that I met in the beginning. Gone was the dark aura surrounding her. Although Jaimee was still not allowed to go home anytime soon, she worked hard to stop feeling depressed about it. She even picked up two new hobbies – knitting and chess – which made her feel productive.

 

Keeping Your Mental Health And Family In Check

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Family is said to be one of our greatest blessings in life. It brings us happiness and comfort. However, the world can be very complicated, and raising a family can be challenging at times.

Responsibilities and all the other pressures in life can be overwhelming that we forget to check on ourselves. Perhaps you might be thinking that being a good parent and at the same time prioritizing your mental health is impossible. But it should not be the case. 

Data shows that among the people who suffer from depression, 68% of the women and 57% of the men are parents. The time of pregnancy is typically the highest peak of their depression. Parents of children with special needs, such as ADHD and autism, are also found to have higher stress levels than other parents. 

The mental load of being a parent is no joke. You are responsible for providing for your family, so you work for hours and sometimes even get a second job.

At the same time, parents are supposed to be with their children as they grow up. They should discipline and guide their child to become good people. Constant effort to balance these responsibilities can be overwhelming and exhausting. 

Good Parenting Starts With A Healthy Mind And Body 

Some parents may think that taking a moment to evaluate and re-align your mental health is a waste of time. We are always so caught up with how to become a good parent, find a better job for our family, secure a promising future for our children, etc. But often, we fail to notice that parents’ mental health status may have critical effects on the children. 

For one, there is an association between bad parenting and depression. Depression can make a parent hostile, ill-tempered, and disengaged. Most of the time, the parents themselves are not aware of the deep-seated issues causing them stress. 

In effect, children of parents with depression tend to have poorer physical and mental health. It could harm the child’s temperament and influence the development of various behavioral and psychological problems in children later on.

These children tend to have more deficient interpersonal skills, maladaptive stress response systems, and a higher risk of depression and anxiety. 

Keeping Your Mental Health In Check

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Knowing the gravity of the parent’s mental health and its effect on the parent themselves and the children, what can we do? What are some of the ways you could do as parents to keep yourself and your family’s overall well-being in check? 

Becoming a parent makes your situation more complicated, but the essential practices of keeping a healthy mind are still applicable to you. 

Have A Safe Outlet For Your Thoughts And Feelings 

Most of the common reasons for different psychological problems root from long-suppressed feelings. Leaving our feelings unaddressed is a recipe for a breaking point in the future. When we push our feelings under the bed, it does not go away. It seeps into the surface in other and possibly more toxic forms. 

Having emotions, however negative, is part of being human. Being a parent is not supposed to make you immune from having bad feelings. What is important is that we process it, we express it in a healthy way from which we will try to resolve it. 

You can keep a diary or a journal to write about your feelings. Writing can be liberating and reflexive. Through writing your feelings, you can gradually understand where they’re coming from, and it can serve as a buffer to your emotions and irrational bursting out. 

An outlet can also be a friend whom you can trust and are comfortable sharing your feelings with. Lastly, seek professional help to better address your emotions. 

Find An Activity That Makes You Feel Good 

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When we become parents, we do not stop being ourselves. Despite the busy schedule and the mounting responsibilities, we still deserve some ‘me’ time. Not being able to do so may negatively affect our well-being. So, no matter how challenging the situation is, try to schedule your week to squeeze in a day or a few hours dedicated to yourself. 

Try not to stop doing the activities and hobbies you enjoy before becoming a parent. For example, you might be a music enthusiast and you used to play a lot, or maybe you are a fitness geek and you work out regularly, or an artist and you enjoy painting or drawing. Find time to do it even just for an hour. 

A simple break such as this can be a helpful breather to clean off your mind from time-to-time. 

Healthy Body: A Healthy Mind 

This concept may not be new to you, but as we all know, maintaining good physical health influences our psychological well-being. On the one hand, physical discomfort and pain can negatively affect our mood and temper; it can either make us feel sad or easily irritated. 

While on the other hand, a problem in our physical health can be a sign of a psychological problem. Some of these examples are having a headache, muscle pains, low pain tolerance, and fatigue. These symptoms can be a physical manifestation of stress, depression, and anxiety. 

Aside from addressing the root causes of the psychological problem, if there are any, keeping an active and healthy lifestyle would help alleviate this problem. Proper exercise and proper sleeping and eating habits significantly improve your mood and ease your anxiety. 

Conclusion 

It is true when they say that to be able to love others, you must first love yourself. Being a parent can mean having a tantamount of work and household chores.

We direct all our efforts to become a good parent, but we must remember that to be a good parent is to first be good in ourselves. Maintaining your mental and physical health is caring for your family.

Maintaining Mental Stability While Living With Your Family In The New Normal

The international community was given warnings about an ongoing outbreak in Wuhan, Province of Hubei, China, on December 31, 2019. The first death occurred on January 9, 2020, while on January 13, the first case outside China was recorded – it was in Thailand.

By February 11, the virus was officially called COVID-19 and was formally declared a pandemic on March 11.

Since then, several countries have been limiting land, sea, and air entry to its borders, restricting movement and mass gathering of its current residents through quarantine protocols, and refocusing resources to respond to both suspected and positive cases.

As infection and mortality rates go up, aspects of living as a society and as individuals are being sacrificed to ensure that countries and communities are flattening the curve. 

Flattening the curve is the phenomenon in which a particular country or community has been able to slow down infection rates up to a point where its healthcare or hospital capacity can manage all infected and suspected cases.

It can also be said that flattening of the curve is successful if the recovery rate has overtaken the infection rate. Health experts have stated that flattening of the curve is essential to beat this pandemic.

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Changes Brought About By The Pandemic

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), one way of avoiding getting infected (or, infecting others) is to practice social distancing by maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet (2 meters) from other people unless necessary. This is to ensure that we do not infect nor get infected during our interactions with others. 

Since COVID-19 spreads via coughs, sneezes, or water droplets from conversing during interaction with infected individuals, national and local governments, offices, and communities have closed down or limited headcount in establishments.

Governments started enforcing work from home setup, deferred payment penalties for credits and loans and promoted contactless and online transactions. It has impacted family life, and the economy as more and more citizens are staying home than going out. 

Source: pxfuel.com

Families are now deemed to be closer than ever as parents and children are ‘stuck’ at home and have spent more time together during this crisis. On the positive side of this quarantine, many families have found new hobbies and leisure time to enjoy with each other. 

As this is the first time in the modern era that strict public health protocols are implemented for a prolonged period, it led to economic stagnation, which, in turn, resulted to layoffs of companies especially for non-essential personnel, and to some extent, the shutdown of operations or declaration of bankruptcy.

The surge in unemployment caused an escalation in terms of magnitude and the number of individuals suffering from stress, anxiety, and depression.

The New Normal

We, as humans, have been known for our ways of adapting to change. The following are examples of measures implemented to jump-start the economy while preventing further spread of the virus:

  1. Wearing of PPEs and using protective barriers for personnel that need to face customers.
  2. Disinfecting of hands and equipment which are continuously used.
  3. Promoting and installing contactless or online transactions and payment methods.
  4. Checking of temperatures of customers or personnel entering an establishment.
  5. For businesses in the food industry, restaurants or fast-food chains are either cutting seating capacity to maintain distancing (one person per table, installment of barriers between guests) within their establishments. Some have gone to the extent of only accepting delivery or food-to-go.
  6. Avoiding face-to-face meetings and opting for online alternatives (e-learning, webinars, online consultations).
  7. Appointments are now vital for essential services instead of queueing in line for ease in crowd control and contact tracing.
  8. Alternating between personnel that will go to their respective offices.
    Source: flickr.com

    Adapting To The New Normal In Our Households And Various Common Spaces

    According to Robert Leahy, Ph.D., of the New York and Clinical Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College, “We are currently facing a pandemic and in various regions across the world, people are following similar lockdowns, shutdowns, or social distancing.”

    He adds, “We have to look at this by putting in perspective that to win the battle against COVID-19 we must make sacrifices and develop a coping mindset.” He also listed the following steps that can be taken to ease mental stability:

    a. Give Yourself A Break

    Since we are all experiencing a change in how we live in the modern era, one must learn to accept that, although the virus and pandemic are temporary, the changes brought about it in terms of our manner of living will be our new reality and will require a different lens or perspective to accept it.

    When we encounter hurdles in adjusting and taking, accept them as they are. An example of which is juggling or maintaining a boundary in one’s personal home-working environment and attending to the needs of others living within the same households, especially the elderly and children who are more susceptible to the virus.

    b. Be Kind And Practice Acceptance

    One must keep in mind that in a household or community, one is not alone. We are all going through the same changes but with different levels of adjustment and coping mechanisms. Hence, approaching or dealing with others must be done with humility and politeness. To achieve this, one may do the following:

    c. View Life As A Narrative

    Looking at life as if it were a book with chapters and plots will give one a sense of control in a seemingly helpless situation. This will help with the adjustment of coping mechanisms and change in perspective for this chapter.

    In Conclusion

    While we move forward and transition to either the ‘new normal’ or ‘original normal’ way of living, COVID-19 is seen as a disease that will most likely stay—coping with it, both physically and mentally, is a way to survive this pandemic.

Keeping Kids Safe Even After The Quarantine Ends

After two months of waiting, the local government units have announced that they will lift the stay-at-home order. It entails that everyone can return to their old lives, albeit not entirely. You still need to maintain a social distance with others to ensure that you can evade the coronavirus if you meet an asymptomatic person.

This new policy is admittedly suitable for working adults. However, it may be too much for kids, given that they are prone to catching the coronavirus. If you allow them to jump back on their former routine, which probably consists of playing outside for hours, you might as well give the virus a warm welcome. 

Your children can only stay safe if you:

keeping-kids-safe-even-after-the-quarantine-ends
Source: pixabay.com

Avoid Letting Them Go To Public Places

The first thing you should do is avoid taking your children to public places. Most—if not all—schools promise to continue with the homeschool system until there is a vaccine for coronavirus, so they don’t need to go out. Some zoos and malls may reopen, too, but the kids may encounter asymptomatic individuals and catch the disease.

The little ones may protest when you do that, claiming that they are fed up with staying at home. However, you should not give in to their pouts. Limiting their destination is one of the most effective ways to ensure that the coronavirus will not affect them.

keeping-kids-safe-even-after-the-quarantine-ends
Source: pixabay.com

Make Sure Their Face Mask Is Always On

The end of quarantine makes people assume that our battle with COVID-19 is over, that we have already won. The number of new positive cases may no longer be soaring high, but we are not close to the end of this pandemic yet. The governments have merely lifted their stay-at-home order because the economy has taken a nosedive.

Given that the coronavirus still exists, your children should have a face mask on, even when they are playing at the backyard. No one can see the virus with the naked eyes, after all. It is better to be slightly overprotective than to find your kids fighting COVID-19.

keeping-kids-safe-even-after-the-quarantine-ends
Source: pixabay.com

Arrange Playdates With The Same Children

Considering your town has not been affected by the outbreak too much, you may arrange playdates for your children. However, it is not ideal to let them play with different peers every week, even if doing so can improve their social skills. Instead, you should check with their friends’ parents if they are open to playing exclusively with each other.

Others may call you snobbish for doing so, but try not to mind them. You are merely arranging playdates with the same children to ensure that your babies will not interact with different kids and adults often. It will reduce their chances of acquiring the coronavirus, for sure.

keeping-kids-safe-even-after-the-quarantine-ends
Source: pixabay.com

Teach Proper Sanitation

It is typical for the little ones to touch whatever they see on automatic, even when they do not leave the family property. E.g., the doorknob, railings, poles, mailboxes, etc. If your children are too young to understand that they should not do that, you may teach them how to disinfect their hands.

This technique matters especially if most fixtures and accessories at home are metal. You see, the virus may stay on the surface for a few days and infect as many people as possible. In case your youngsters do not know proper sanitation, the lack of knowledge may make them susceptible to the disease. 

Final Thoughts

I know how much you and your kids want to have fun and let them enjoy their days post-quarantine. It’s everything that my children talk about these days, too. Still, let’s avoid socializing until the experts have synthesized a vaccine against COVID-19.

Adults With ADHD

Adults With ADHD

The 2019 ADHD conference tackled different topics, mostly about childhood conditions. Of course, some adults have lived with ADHD their whole life without having to treat it, but they will say that it has been difficult for them not knowing. In the sixties, seventies, eighties, and nineties, mental health and behavioral disorders were not seen as such. A stigma was attached to it. If you acted funny or unusual, people would assume that you are CRAZY. That has always been the one and only categorization of people with mental health issues.

Continue reading “Adults With ADHD”