1. How My Personal War Affects My Son

    October 1, 2013

    by Matthew L (personal story)

    During my last hospitalization the ex wife and I came to the decision that my son would not come to visit me while I was on the psych ward. At the time he was three and we did not think that a visit on the psych ward was appropriate for him. Normally the ward is a rather calm and boring place to be but there is times when the floor goes off so we did not want to take the chance plus I was going through withdrawal off of Effexor, Wellbutrin, Remeron and Lithium which had my brain going every which way but the right way. Not exactly the image I wanted to be presented to my son.


    Every couple of days I would call my son to see how he was doing and what he was up too. These phone calls were essential for the father son relationship but at the same time they took their toll. Mentally I was in an awful place so I needed to psych myself up for the phone call so he wouldn’t have any reason to be worried. My son was told the reason I was in the hospital was because my medications were not working right so the doctors were trying to find the right ones which is basically the reason I was there simplified.


    During every phone call my three year old would ask when I was going to be coming home and if I was better which tore my heart out but I always managed to answer him that Daddy was working very hard and would be home soon. After the calls mentally I was a wreck as I felt I was a terrible parent causing stress on someone so young and a couple of times it put me right over the edge. Thankfully every time this happened a good nurse would be on and helped me to work through it.


    When it came time for me to go home and my son started his routine visits again every time he saw me he would ask if I was okay which is a brutal question to answer for a parent as it makes you realize that you are not the only one being affected by mental illness. Since my ex wife became pregnant I promised my child to be the best father possible and always be there for him and my personal demons are preventing this from happening to the full extent.


    There have been occasions when I have compared whether or not my son would be better off if I was dead and there is a lot of reason on how it could be viewed as positive but I also know that the odds of a child committing suicide because his or her parent did is sky high. The part that always stops this train of thought is that even though at times I am not on top of my game at least I am still there trying and the hope that with time I can be the parent I want to be so I continue to fight.


    My son is what stops me from ending this hell that I live in, my son is the reason I have been trying so damn hard to win this war and my sons laughter is what fuels me for the battles ahead. I don’t really care what happens to me but I care what happens to him and that is all I need to keep going.

    Image Credit: Daniel Horacio Agostini – www.flickr.com/photos/dhammza/100817327

  2. How to Break the Mental Barriers Caused by Hopelessness and Anxiety

    September 18, 2013

    break mental barriers

    by Sue Chehrenegar

    Unlike a brick wall, a mental barrier is not something that is easy to see. Sometimes, friends and family members fail to note the telltale signs of hopelessness and helplessness. They fail to recognize the mental barrier that has resulted in a lack of positive thinking. The person who lacks such thinking often seems to expect that any experience will have a negative outcome.

    Some people fail to note the positive aspect to any situation. Some men and women even refuse to seek out the “silver lining” around any cloud. If such feelings of hopelessness and helplessness are carried to the extreme, the affected individual may find it impossible to see a reason for living. In other words, such a person has failed to recognize the meaning of life.

    Obviously, such feelings could cause someone to consider committing suicide. That is especially true if someone has refused to search for meaning. The people who answer calls to a suicide hot line must be ready to banish a caller’s anxious feelings and to instill renewed hope into the caller’s mind. The caller must show a caring attitude, so that there can be no question that the caller’s perception of failed hope must be re-examined.

    Mankind has been seeking help with problems for centuries. It could not have advanced to the point where it is today, if every potential inventor/innovator chose to give-up, when the going got tough. He or she gained the motivation to continue by recognizing the care and understanding in a friend or relative.  Even if you are not ready to recognize the love of your creator, you can learn to seek out and to find love in the world in which you live.

    That world is full of amazing gifts. As you come across more and more of the gifts that have been bestowed on the people of this world, you should understand better why you ought to be happy and hopeful. Ideally, you will feel less agitated. You will start to feel at ease in your heart and soul.

    Sometimes a person focuses on trying to have a normal life. In that case, he or she may get depressed, after suffering an illness. The person who must live with a medical condition may not have what others view as a normal life. However, once that condition has been treated properly, he or she can enjoy a full and useful life.

    Another behavior that can invite feels of despair is backstabbing. You are not going to have many friends, if you make a habit of backbiting about them constantly. No friend is perfect; still that fact should not be used as an excuse for being disloyal. Friends should help each other to strengthen their talents and skills and to eliminate any big weakness in their character.

    Recently, I learned about the death of a friend’s husband. Soon after I had been informed about that sad news, I discovered that a gentleman who was one of my Facebook friends had been the college roommate of the recently-deceased husband. He even posted on FB the picture of he and his roommate on the day of their graduation.

    At that time, both appeared full of hope. Both appeared to have a very positive attitude, although I do not think that either of them had a job at that time. Eventually both went to graduate school and became college professors. Each discovered how to confront challenges by finding a way to empower the spirit and strengthen exhausted nerves.

    A willingness to open the eyes can be used as a way to empower the spirit and strengthen the nerves. It can aid with recognition of the beauty and love that is in the world; it can facilitate a search for meaning. Those men and women who are ready to acknowledge the presence of that love and beauty are not apt to have disturbing thoughts. Each of them can look forward to a life that is full of meaning and hope.

    Image Credit: Mark Sebastian at http://www.flickr.com/photos/markjsebastian/2820214199

  3. Child Depression

    March 15, 2013

    Child Depression

    We often tend to make fun of certain activities by calling them child’s play. However, it turns out that “child’s play” might not be that playful and happy-go-lucky after all. In the US, child depression on average tends to affect one in every forty kids. This should be a revelation for those of you who assume their child’s apparent depression as being just the “blues.” Neither is such a kid being emotional or moody, or even “difficult” for that matter.


    Yes, granted that children can start sulking at times if their parents or guardians have not given into their demands for that new toy or a sugary treat, even after they have thrown their fair share of tantrums. But the fact is that what with the fast-paced lifestyle that even kids these days have to cope with, as well as all sorts of synthetic and processed food that is being marketed to catch their fancy, it is no wonder that they have started experiencing similar mental illnesses as their elders.


    Symptoms of Childhood Depression

    If you see your child displaying irritable behaviour and getting angry all the time of petty things or on the flip side, becoming somewhat withdrawn socially or start brooding habitually, then there is a cause for concern. Furthermore, even though you might not immediately sense it, but your child is usually very sensitive to the environment in their homes and schools as well as the attitudes of various people that they interact with. Thus there is a whole range of emotions triggers that can bring about feelings of hopelessness, despair, guilt, self-loathing, worthlessness and even committing suicide.


    Worrying Factors about Child Depression

    The most disturbing factor that may be involved in your child developing a bout of depression with an underlying suicidal tendency is that it may be brought upon by the very medication that is supposed to treat it. Since the late 1990s, there have been several studies conducted within the scientific community that have shown that antidepressants such as the SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) drugs such as Prozac and Zoloft tend to increase the risk of suicide, especially amongst children.

    Your little ones have a body chemistry that is constantly undergoing changes as it is. Add to that a class of drugs that interfere with their brain’s job of regulating levels of serotonin, the so-called “happy hormone,” and you have a virtual suicidal time-bomb on your hands. Even the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) that is the official branch of the US government overseeing the marketing of pharmaceuticals, among other things, has issued strong warnings over the potential link between suicides and the usage of SSRI antidepressants.


    How to Effectively Alleviate Child Depression

    Where it is essential to discuss the moods and feelings with depressed adults, it is even more important to engage children and have a heart to heart with them. Children can also have a lot of hesitation when it comes to revealing their inner feelings and it takes time, patience and trust-building with them for positive results to come out. Make sure your children are getting plenty of exercise outdoors, preferably when the sun is shining. This is essentially for natural vitamin D production, the depletion of which has been linked to child depression.