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Posts Tagged ‘honesty’

Are you the parent or grandparent in pain from a broken heart? Is your pain from the choices, behaviors or struggles of your photo cred. Jordan McQueenchild or grandchild? Mental illness, addiction, self-injury, an  eating disorder, suicidal tendencies, same-sex attraction, incarceration, or an unplanned pregnancy?

They feel like elephants sitting on our chests. They hang like menacing storm clouds over our heads, creating a constant state of anxiety and panic we can’t shake. Nausea is our regular unwanted companion. Maybe you’re a relative or friend of someone this describes. If so, I wrote this for you.

In my opinion, there are 5 things parents in pain (and yes, I’m a member of that club) want their loved ones and friends to know:

1. We need a lot of patience and understanding. Lots of it. We’re not ourselves. We can’t think straight. We may be more forgetful than usual. We may look all right on the outside, but inside we feel like we’re dying. (more…)

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This is Part 1 of a blog written by Kathy Taughinbaugh, a coach for parents of addicts.beauty5 (2) These  are some amazing quotes, so let’s begin.

“My recovery from addiction to my addict began much earlier than my son’s recovery from addiction to drugs. My hope for everyone is that no matter what chaos is in your lives at the moment, you are able to control what goes on within you and have some peace. I read somewhere that there will always be sadness, but misery is a choice.”  ~ Denise Krochta, author of Sweat 

“It just takes one to stop the dance, to change the steps and start a new dance. But if both change and learn the new steps and practice those steps, together, a new dance is created. (more…)

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Anger. A strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure or irritation; frustration or exasperation toward someone or something you communication2have no control over. Gee, that definition describes what we often feel as parents of rebellious children, doesn’t it? We have no control over our adult children (teens can be very difficult, too – any age can).

You know what it feels like. It wells up within you. Some of us are more comfortable expressing our anger than others. I’m one of the ‘others’ (more…)

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My daughter is a cutter. She hurt herself the first time when she was only twelve-years-old. I wrote this poem for parents who, like me, bear hidden scars in their hearts because of their children who suffer with self-injury, also called self-harm, self-mutilation. My daughter has struggled with self-injury for over ten years. It’s hard for someone who hasn’t experienced this to understand what it’s like for a parent. Maybe my words will describe your feelings, too.

tears - artwork by Jonty HurwitzCuts on your arms
With more hidden from sight,
Countless marks of madness
How can it be?
That your raging self-hatred
Becomes my insanity? (more…)

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MaldivesTen years ago my daughter was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She was eighteen. I was clueless. A few years ago I attended a lecture on the subject at a local college campus. The speaker was Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison, one of the leading experts in the field. Author of An Unquiet Mind, she knows her stuff. Jamison was diagnosed with bipolar in high school. She fought against it for years.

Her comments will give you a better understanding and more compassion toward your loved one. These are my notes from her lecture. (Part 1 of her talk was the subject of my last blog on 2/4/15. It focused on the reasons bipolar sufferers resist or stop taking medication.)

Q & A:
1. Words of hope given to a twelve-year-old diagnosed at age eight. “There’s no end of hope to offer you. (more…)

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Has your child been diagnosed with bipolar disorder? My daughter was. Have you struggled to understand? I did. A few years ago I had the privilege of attending a lecture of one of the leading experts in the field,  Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison. She suffers with this brain disorder herself, so she really knows what she’s talking about. She wrote the book An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness, about her experiences. Here are a few highlights.isolated

One of the biggest challenges is that people who struggle with bipolar resist or stop taking medication.
It’s hard for doctors and loved ones to understand why patients do this. Some of the common reasons are:

– Mania is an intoxicating state. Exhilarating. Being on medication cuts into that.

– Side effects of medication can seem intolerable.

– Mania destroys the basis of rational thought. While it brings some pleasure, it also brings untold suffering (the things you do/choices you make when in this state. Often, you don’t even know or remember what happened. You wonder if you will ever be free of the cycles – mania and severe, often debilitating depression. When will it happen again? You never know.

– They affect memory and coordination.

– It’s hard to accept you have a disease and must be a patient for the rest of your life. Pride is involved. Even mild mania is quite alluring. Can be compared to how cocaine makes you feel, only the mania does a hundred times more; wild highs. And you don’t forget how you felt. So this becomes an illness you don’t want to give up. You deny you have an incurable disease.

There’s a great sense of loss and the very real chance of losing your life if untreated. You must accept this. It’s a difficult process. It took Jamison all through high school, college, 2 yrs of grad school and into her second year as a professor of psychiatry at John’s Hopkins Medical Center to finally accept it.

brokenIn the lows of suicidal depression everything feels dull, lifeless, no joy, can’t feel anything, or think clearly or feel loving.

One of the most powerful things anyone ever said to her was from one of her fellow professors,
“Keep taking your meds; learn from your experience; teach from it and write from it.”

People who are treated and do well tend to keep quiet about their experiences. They don’t want anyone to know. Pride stops them. So people have an unrealistic view about bipolar. Being treated by a great psychiatrist and psychotherapist are crucial. Find ones you know will be honest with you, but offer hope. Tough but kind. Get second opinions if you can afford it. If you don’t have a good connection with the one you’re seeing, find someone else. Not all psychiatrists are good in this area.

After she was in recovery a long time she always missed her highs in mania. But she came to realize that she must choose between life and death. Bipolar is that serious.

In my next blog on Sunday, February 8th, I’ll share more insights and words of hope from Dr. Jamison . If you need a little more hope, it may help.

God, we need fresh hope. We need more understanding. More compassion. Please help us. Only You can. We’re relying onhope27 You.

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DisappointmentToday’s blog is part 2 from Wednesday, January 28th. It was written by Stacy Flury for parents of teens who struggle with self-injury. Her blog is Anchor of Promise. In part 2 she talks about the warning signs, reasons behind why self-harmers hurt themselves and what they can do.

So parents ask, “What are the signs of self-harm?”

It is very difficult to catch a self-harmer. They can hide it easily or explain it away to some other excuse such as an accidental injury. My daughter had often used the excuse of scratches from our cat. However, the differences in a cat scratch and a human self-inflicted scratch are different. Here are a few other warning signs.

1. Covering of the body.
2. Unexplained reasons for bruising and cuts
3. Numerous amounts of scarring, burning, cuts within a period of time
4. Broken bones too often (more…)

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