Treat Depression Without Drugs

Dealing with depression can be an isolating and exhausting experience. If you are interested in trying alternative methods to treat your depression, there are a few different treatments that have shown to be effective. These methods can be used concurrently with medications and therapy, but they also have proven to be effective treatments on their own for individuals who suffer from mild to moderate depression.

Meditation and Visualization

Meditation | DivorceAdviceForChildren.com

Meditation requires an individual to actively train their mind to help increase awareness, process emotional feedback, and focus their thoughts. Individuals are encouraged to practice visualization while meditating, which can help the brain to develop new thinking patterns and lead to healthier ways of thinking. By focusing the mind and regulating breathing, meditation and visualization can help reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. Continue reading

Children of Wealthy Families Are More Affected By Divorce

Child Development | DivorceAdviceForChildren.comAccording to an article published in TIME magazine based upon a recent study, children of wealthy families tend to have greater behavior problems than children of poor families who also experience divorce. However, the study also found that wealthier children benefit more from being integrated into stepfamilies than poorer children do. The study was originally published in the journal titled Child Development.

The study also revealed that the negative impacts of divorce was most true for children between the ages of 3 to 5 years old. Developmental psychologists have known that the age of children during a divorce indicates the level of reaction they may have to a parental separation. The most vulnerable stage for children is ages 3-5 years old. Certainly, divorce can have significant impacts on the children of the family. However, those influences depend on the age(s) of the children, and they are far more significant if children are between the age of 3 and 5 years old. Continue reading

Try Art Therapy As a Way To Work Through Your Parents’ Divorce

Art Therapy | DivorceAdviceforChildren.comIf your parents are going through a divorce, there’s a good chance that it’s taking its toll on you. There’s a good chance that you’re feeling many emotions like anger, frustration, sadness, confusion, or fear. Sometimes it’s difficult to have to manage all these emotions, and it can be even more difficult to find a way to express them in words.

Art therapy is a tool you can use to work through your emotions. It’s a form of therapy that works with the images in your mind. At times, when the mind and heart is inflicted by heavy emotions and challenging thoughts, art is a way to easily and safely express what’s going on inside. Along with emotions and thoughts that are difficult to bear, you might even have images that show up in your mind. For example, you might have an image of what it might be like after your parents’ divorce, such as living with your father and what that might be like. Or you might have an image of living far from your friends, and this image might invoke sadness or anxiety. Continue reading

Divorce May Impact Girls More Than Boys

Divorce | DivorceAdviceForChildren.comGirls tend to define themselves through relationships, connection to others, and bonds with friends and family. When divorce between their parents takes place, the structure of a family, a structure they’ve known throughout their lives is disrupted and an internal structure for that young girl is also at risk for breaking down. It’s important for all children to have structure. When the foundation of a family is threatened, the psychological and emotional well being of a child can also be threatened. In this way, divorce can lead to intense emotions of loss, depression, sadness, anger, and resentment. For girls, specifically, there can be a special kind of emotional and psychological reaction to the divorce between parents. For instance, some girls tend to be socialized by their mothers and therefore tend to be more obedient and responsible than boys. Of course, not all girls have these traits; however, for those who have been significantly influenced by their mothers, they may take after their mothers in many ways and side with their mother during the separation. Girls might keep their emotions to themselves. They might conceal how they are really feeling in order to tend to their mother’s adjustment to the change and make the appearance that everything is all right. Continue reading

Kids: Here’s How To Cope with Anxiety and Depression During Divorce

Anxiety and Depression | DivorceAdviceForChildren.comIf you’re parents are going through a divorce, you might be having a difficult time. You might be feeling how this could significantly affect your life. Instead of having a family unit that’s together and close and working as one, you might feel the split and separation of your parents breaking apart.

The following are some basic suggestions that might be useful. It’s hard because as children you’re the ones who need the protection, love, and security of having a family. And yet, your parents might not be able to provide that for you. Your parents might be too caught up in their own feelings to be able to ensure that you’re feeling safe in the middle of the chaos. Continue reading

Supporting Your Child Through Grief During Divorce

It’s important for all children to have structure. When the foundation of a family is threatened, the psychological and emotional well being of children can also be threatened. Divorce can lead to intense emotions of loss, depression, sadness, anger, and resentment.

Research shows that children who experience a divorce suffer in their self-esteem, academic performance, peer relationships, behavior, and physical health. It might be obvious that mental health issues also begin to surface such as anxiety and depression. Furthermore, the instability of the family structure might lead to drug experimentation and using substances as a way to cope with difficult feelings.

These challenging emotions might include embarrassment, fear of abandonment, grief, worry about the parents’ well being, anxiety about divided loyalties, and an irrational optimism for reconciliation.

Elisabeth Kübler Ross | DivorceAdviceForChildren.comWhen addressing the concerns of children, many people who have had any experience with grief counseling likely have heard of the psychiatrist, Elisabeth Kubler Ross. She developed five distinct stages to the grieving process based on her long-time work with her own clients. These stages form the acronym DABDA for easy recollection in their order. They are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

Initially, she formulated these stages as a result of observing adults suffering from a terminal illness. Later, she found that her theory also applied to anyone who has experienced a major loss, such as a death of a loved one, loss of a job or income, divorce, drug addiction, incarceration, or other losses, even minor ones.

These stages are:

  1. Denial – The first stage is a sort of defense mechanism that helps with managing the shock of the event. The one who is grieving will often completely disregard of the event or loss. Thoughts might include, “I feel fine,” or “This is not happening to me.” There is a tendency to block out any signs that point to the fact that the event took place. Ignoring the event is a way to handle the intensity of the loss.
  2. Anger – Moving into the second stage indicates that the reality of the event is beginning to have its impact. However, anger arises from an inability to accept the loss. Intense emotions develop as a result, leaving the griever feeling vulnerable, overwhelmed with feelings that he or she cannot manage, and helpless. The result is anger that gets directed at close relatives, family members, strangers, and even inanimate objects.
  3. Bargaining – As the feeling of helplessness continues, an individual who is grieving will attempt to regain control by bargaining with a higher power. Thoughts such as, “If only I had sought medical attention sooner,” or “If only I were a better person”. This stage is a move closer to accepting the loss, but the painful emotions remain.
  4. Depression – The intense feelings that have accompanied the loss finally settle in. This stage might include intense crying, isolation, and withdrawal. Although it might be tempting to try to cheer up anyone who is grieving, the better support is to provide the space they need. It is important that the emotions that arise, which might include sadness, regret, fear, and uncertainty are actually felt. Finally feeling these emotions is a way of accepting the loss.
  5. Acceptance – The last stage is an experience of finally coming to terms with the loss. A thought that might accompany this stage is “It’s going to be okay.”

 

You can remember these stages in their order by using the acronym DABDA. Sharing these stages with your children is a way to help him or her move through a process of grieving. Furthermore, knowing what these stages are can help children fully resolve each stage rather than getting stuck in a particular phase, such as anger. Regardless of the nature of the loss, it helps to have a map of the challenging road that grieving presents.

 

If Your Parents Are Divorcing, Don’t Do Drugs, Try This

Support GroupIf your parents are going through a divorce, there’s a lot you must be feeling. There’s a lot you’re probably going through. Although there’s very little that can actually take the pain away, there are many resources that can help you manage the pain. And that’s what this article will provide. It will give you some resources so that you can help yourself get through a challenging time.

First, you should know that depending on your age, you’re going to experience different things. As you can imagine, divorce can have significant impacts on the children of the family. However, those influences depend on the age(s) of the children, and they are far more significant if children are under the age of 5. Nonetheless, the consequences for pre-teens and adolescents can create a lot of havoc. There are significant concerns for teens as a result of divorce, even without notice at first, that warrants attention, tenderness, and care. For example, depression might arise slowly and get more serious over time if not tended to. The point is depending on your age, you might be feeling more of an impact from the divorce.

Research shows that pre-teens and adolescents who experience a divorce suffer in their self-esteem, academic performance, peer relationships, behavior, and physical health. It might be obvious that mental health issues also begin to surface such as teen anxiety and teen depression. Suddenly, you might feel an instability in the family structure. You might feel as though you’re free to try what you want. You might think to yourself, “Well, my parents are caught up in the divorce, so they won’t notice the drug experimentation that I do.”

But don’t let yourself be fooled by this. Even though you might be pulled to use drugs, especially because they can feel like a way to cope with difficult feelings, those drugs are dangerous and could lead to addiction, poor grades, risky situations, ruined friendships, and self-harm. Here’s what can happen as a result of divorce, and drugs can only make it worse:

  • Academic problems
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Stress and worry
  • Sadness or anger towards one or both parents
  • Depression
  • Suicidal Ideation and perhaps attempts
  • Having trouble with authority at school or with the police
  • Trouble getting along with siblings, peers, and parents
  • Getting involved with sexual activity

 

Yes, the divorce your parents are going through can create challenging emotions in you like embarrassment, fear that your parents will abandon you, grief, worry about your parents’ well being, anxiety about who you’re going to live with, fear that one of your parents will forget about you, and maybe even an unrealistic hope that your parents will get back together, setting you up for disappointment. Despite all of these feelings, don’t let drugs be your coping mechanism. Instead, try the items listed below.

  • Join a support group of other children your age whose parents are going through a divorce.
  • Find a mental health professional and start attending therapy. This can be a way to get your feelings out with someone you can trust.
  • Find friends whose parents went through a divorce. Talk to them and find out what it was like for them.
  • Journal, write poetry, dance, draw. Art can be a way to get your feelings out too.

Research also shows that divorce can have a stronger negative impact than other events like moving, a new sibling in the family, the death of a family member, or illness. Because it can be so challenging, it’s important to get the help  you need. See if you can find a teacher, counselor, or another adult you trust to support you.