Frequently Asked Questions About Manic Depressive Symptoms

Whenever I tell people that my life is like that of a Disney Princess, they all seem fascinated by me. They think that I am a real-life princess who just found out I am one, or I have always known that I am a princess and just hiding my identity from other people. However, when I say that I lived like Rapunzel before Flynn Rider found her, I would see their smiles slowly leave their faces as the reality would dawn on them.

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I Was A Prisoner, And I Did Not Know It

I grew up in a small property at the bottom of a mountain. Since the beginning, I noticed that I did not look anything like the parents that I knew. I remembered asking them why I was brown-skinned while they were both as fair as snow, and they told me that it was because they adopted me from an orphanage in India. After all, they could not have a child of their own. I was pretty contented with their response, so I did not ask about it again. Besides, they cared for me deeply and gave me everything I asked for and more.

The main thing that I was not allowed to do was leave the property. My parents told me that it was scary out there for “kids of color” like me. To make sure I was always supervised, they would take turns going to town to buy our supplies and food for the animals. As for my studies,  I did not really get enrolled in a school, but they would always bring books appropriate for my age and teach me everything from math to science, art, and even history. Because of that, I would say that I did not really miss out. I had no access to children’s TV shows, so I assumed that’s how every kid lived in the world.

Learning The Truth By Chance

As soon as I became a teenager, my parents became more confident about going out of the property together, leaving me on my own. They would give me different tasks to keep me busy while they were gone to get bored. However, I thought of turning on the TV and flipping through all the channels one afternoon. It was another activity that I was not allowed to do when they were present, but I guess it was the rebellious child me that did it anyway.

As if by miracle, I came across a news channel. My eyes instantly fixated on the image of an infant who got kidnapped from a daycare center when she was only a year old. Her pictures flashed on the screen with a message that her parents were still not giving up on finding her.

My heart started thumping so hard in my chest; I thought it was gonna come out. I knew what I looked like, after all. I knew that I was the baby in those pictures. I couldn’t wrap my head around the idea that I was kidnapped instead of adopted, as I wasn’t originally made to believe. So, I fled right away.

I had never been out of the property ever, but I knew which way my parents – or should I say kidnappers now? – would always take. I followed that path but made sure to stay off the road to avoid coming across them. When I reached the town, I went straight to the police station and asked them to contact the broadcasting channel that showed my baby pictures. I was glad that they acted immediately and searched the property where I was held captive for 13 years.

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When I finally met my biological parents, I realized how many milestones we missed in each others’ lives. We cried for hours, and my parents insisted that we should sleep in one room that night as they feared that I would get abducted again. But despite living with my kidnappers for years, all my affection for them vanished. It was even replaced with anger when the two confessed to their crime and reasoned that they did it because they felt lonely.

How does loneliness kill?

Loneliness can be a very overwhelming emotion for many people, especially when it becomes chronic and persistent. A group of researchers has found that loneliness can increase the risk of a heart attack by up to 40 percent. Apart from this, the study also states that the chances of sudden death increase by 50 percent. 

What does it mean to be emotionally isolated?

The basic definition of emotional isolation is when a person can function in social groups or networks. However, they still feel as if they cannot connect with people on an emotional level. In most cases, emotionally isolated people tend to feel quite lonely, and they are most likely unable to communicate with other people. There are also cases when a person emotionally isolates themselves as a defense mechanism to protect themselves from emotional distress.

Why does isolation cause insanity?

A group of researchers had found that after a few hours of being isolated, a person can experience a distorted perception of reality. Concepts such as time, hallucinations, and anxiety are distorted, which is why reality changes the longer you are isolated. After all, humans are social beings, and we require a certain amount of social interaction to keep our minds at bay. 

Is exercise as effective as an antidepressant?

The great thing about doing an intense physical activity like an exercise routine is that it provides many health benefits, including a mood boost. Exercise promotes the release of endorphins, or happy hormones, which makes a person feel better. And so, the risk of depression is low. But a person who is having severe depression needs the assistance of a psychiatrist and antidepressants, together with exercise.

Does exercise help anxiety and depression?

In a study published in May of 2017, it has been found that exercise and antidepressants are at an equal level of effectiveness in treating depression and anxiety. Also, when we add exercise to the treatment of a person going through depression, chances of healing at a faster rate can increase. Although research published does not promote exercise as a stand-alone form of mental illness treatment, you must follow a treatment plan that can be long-lasting, combined with exercise benefits. 

Why is exercise an antidepressant?

Exercise can facilitate nerve growth in our hippocampus, an area in our brain that focuses on our limbic system, which improves the connections in our nerve cells found to relieve depression among people. Researchers have also found that team sports can elevate our moods more than other activities, and when our spirits are elevated, the risk for depression decreases at the same time. However, exercise should not be a stand-alone treatment for depression as researchers still do not believe this can be used. 

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How does exercise affect your mental health?

Studies show that our mental health is also being taken care of when we take care of our bodies. Exercise has been found to give us a better mental state by reducing our anxieties, depression, and foul moods. Exercise can also improve our self-esteem and cognitive functions, making us think clearer and make decisions better. Also, exercise has been found to alleviate low self-esteem, social anxiety, and social isolation. 

What is the best natural antidepressant?

Natural means of healing are always a good alternative for wanting to be medicated for a mental illness, especially if we find antidepressants a little out of our budget. There are numerous plants, herbs, and other food that we can use as natural antidepressants, which we can easily find. These plants are St John’s Wort, Omega 3 fatty acid, saffron, folate, and zinc. All these natural sources can be used as a natural antidepressant, but of course, the best one will depend on the person’s bodily reactions.

What type of exercise is best for anxiety?

There are many different physical activities or exercises that we can do to help with our anxieties. Some of these activities are swimming, biking, running, walking, tennis, and dancing. Of course, the best exercise will still depend on what makes your serotonin levels increase, and whichever exercise it is, that makes you feel good about yourself afterward. The point of exercising is taking care of our body, and the more we release sweat and stress, the less anxiety we have in our body.

How long does it take for exercise to improve mood?

According to the article published by the American Psychological Association, it can take only five minutes of exercise or physical activity for a person’s mood to enhance. As one of the researchers has pointed out in the article published, the connection between exercise and mood enhancement can be pretty strong, so it is no wonder that when we exercise, we feel a sense of happiness or productivity right after even if we might feel tired afterward.

What gets rid of anxiety?

We can do different things to try and calm ourselves when experiencing anxiety. Some are pretty physical, and some are as simple as just taking deep breaths. What you can try to do is when we feel anxious, we can take a deep breath and count to 10. You can also start eating well-balanced meals and exercising daily, even for at least 10 to 15 minutes a day. Also, try to limit your caffeine and alcohol intake to avoid any panic attacks that may stem from this. 

Does walking help with anxiety?

Simple tasks such as biking, dancing, or even a simple brisk walk is a powerful tool that helps us be in a better mood. Psychologists have been studying how walking can affect our mental health for a while now. So far, they have discovered that a ten-minute walk might be as effective as a 45-minute workout. In other studies, exercise has been shown to quickly uplift our moods, switching from our depressive states to a happier and healthier mood.

How can I improve my mental health?

Multiple studies have shown a strong link between our mental and physical health. So when we take care of our physical bodies by eating healthy, exercising, and drinking enough water, we also take care of our mental health. We can do for our mental health to choose to do whatever it is that makes us happy. If journaling or singing, or drawing, or whatever it is, make us happy, then go ahead and do it. An increase in our serotonin levels can help balance our moods and help decrease our mental illness risk. 

Does exercise help stress?

What exercise can do is it can boost the production of your endorphins or your feel-good hormones. Apart from the fact that exercise can help you with your physical health and self-worth, when we exercise, the more endorphins are produced, and the more endorphins produced, the less stressed we feel. So when our bodies start feeling better, our minds do too. So keep exercising, and you might feel healthier throughout. 

Does exercise increase serotonin? 

In some studies that we recently published, it has been found that exercise can actually increase our production of serotonin and also the release of it. Even the simplest of exercises like biking, walking, or jogging can increase our serotonin levels. The more we exercise, the more we release serotonin.

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How do you know if someone is manic-depressive?

There are seven signs of mania that we can look out for in other people. These seven signs can characterize manic depression, so make sure that you are careful with these symptoms. We have overly happy periods, a reduced need for rest, fast-paced talking, impulsiveness, becoming easily distracted, sudden overconfidence in our abilities, and a sudden engagement in risky behavior that was never an issue before. So, keep an eye on those who have the highest moods and suddenly the lowest of periods.

How long do manic and depressive episodes last?

Usually, mania can last up to four months. A depressive episode can go as long as eight months. Treatment is needed for people with these disorders.

Is Manic Depressive the same as bipolar?

The term “manic depressive” used to be what Bipolar Disorder is now. So, yes, it is the same. Bipolar disorder is a mental health issue that displays extreme mood swings from high episodes (mania) to low attacks (depression).

 How do you deal with a manic depressive?

To be thorough, here are ways to deal with a manic-depressive loved one.

  1. Education and awareness
  2. Listening to that person
  3. Reassuring the person that you are there for him and that he or she has positive qualities
  4. Assist them during therapy, however necessary
  5. Create a plan of action whenever an extreme mood manifests
  6. Be supportive and never pushy
  7. Be caring and understanding
  8. Take care of yourself too
  9. Stay positive and be patient with the person
  10. Ask help from a professional if it gets too much.

Can a bipolar person truly love?

People with mental health issues are human beings, and they deserve to feel love and be in love. But their extreme mood swings can negatively affect their romantic relationships. Treatment is necessary to get them healthy. 

 What are the four types of bipolar?

There are four types of bipolar disorder – bipolar I disorder, bipolar II disorder, cyclothymic disorder, and bipolar disorder caused by substance use.

Final Thoughts

I could never bring back the years that my kidnappers stole from me. I learned that they both had manic depression, and they would be rotting in a mental health facility for what they did to me. Instead of dwelling on that, I enrolled at an alternative learning school and went to a class for the first time. My new dream was to become a law enforcer and always look out for predatory people who lurked around children. This way, I could help ensure that they would not have the same fate as I did.

What If Your Teenager Doesn’t Want To Go To Counseling?

 

 

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Some teenagers are excited to visit a counselor. They love talking to an impartial adult who can help with their various problems. However, not all teenagers agree with counseling, and persuading a hesitant teenager to go to a counselor feels like a never-ending struggle.

This constant struggle can leave us, parents, wondering, “Do I need to force my teen to see a counselor? Can I bribe my way to him? Or should I surrender to the idea of counseling for him?”

If you are suspicious that your teenager is suffering from a mental health condition, substance use concern, or behavioral problem, then treatment is vital. You can try numerous things to help your teenager get the treatment he needs from a counselor.

Forcing Your Teen To Visit The Counselor

A young adult who is obliged to get counseling help won’t probably be determined to change. Even if he is hauled to their consultations, they won’t likely open up about their concerns – at least not constructively. But it doesn’t mean that you should not make it obligatory for him to go to his consults.

Often, experienced counselors are capable of making a teenager feel more relaxed after several visits. Sometimes, teens that express their hatred for counseling or claim that they are fine without it might begin to open up to a counselor. It may just be that your teenager doesn’t want to admit to you that he actually likes to go to counseling.

Certainly, there may be moments when your young loved one requires help, whether they approve or not. If there is a danger of harming himself or others, do call 911 or bring him to the emergency department. If he is presenting with dangerous behavior, having him treated must be obligatory.

Telling Your Teenager About Counseling

If you believe that your teen can benefit from counseling, the manner you tell him about it is vital. The initial conversation that you are going to have will most likely set the stage for your young adult’s approach towards counseling.

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It’s not unusual for teenagers to be shy about their problems, and this could make it difficult for them to confess that they are struggling. So you mustn’t send him a message that could cause them to feel embarrassed. Please do not suggest that your teenager is insane or not intelligent enough to decide for himself. Rather, tell him why you believe that he can benefit from talking to a seasoned and trusted counselor. Allow your teen to ask questions and hear him out when he expresses his opinions about it.

It can be more engaging to him if you say, “I was wondering if it would be beneficial for you to be talking to someone other than me.” Or you could say, “I don’t know all the answers to your questions, so I was wondering if you would agree that talking to someone professional would work for you.”

If you’ve had some experience with counseling yourself, telling your teenager about it would most probably eliminate the stigma and further normalize the situation.

Discussing It With Your Teenager’s PCP

Whatever your concerns are about your teen, whether it’s depression, anxiety, ADHD, or PTSD, the initial step would be to talk to your teenager’s primary physician, who is very much capable of evaluating his needs and can help assess whether or not he would improve with counseling. If additional management is needed, the physician can pinpoint the proper regimen and professionals for your teen. And though your teen is hesitant to go through these regimens, knowing your options is very important.

Your teen may not welcome your suggestions about how a counselor can help him. Still, they will probably listen to their physician, who he believes can explain how counseling can help and how treating him can manage his symptoms.

What To Do When Your Teenager Declines Counseling

If your young adult does not want to see a counselor, do not worry. Here are some helpful options that might work.

  • Make a written contract with your teenager. If it’s a minor concern that you’re worried about, make a contract with your teen, both agreeing that he attend one or two counseling sessions before he decides whether or not he will continue his visits regularly.
  • Find A Counselor By Yourself Without Your Teenager. Usually, parent training is effective in helping your teen. A counselor is capable of educating you on how to instruct your young adult. If he is aware that you are talking to a counselor about him, he might be curious and interested in telling his side of the story.

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  • Talk To Your Teenager’s Guidance Counselor. Ask the school counselor if there are available services that your teen can have access to. A teenager who is hesitant to consult a qualified professional outside of school might be more comfortable talking with his school counselor.
  • Consider Counseling Online. Occasionally, teenagers who are embarrassed or reluctant to speak with a counselor personally will perhaps benefit from online counseling. Although online counseling is not effective for everyone, you must talk to a counselor or your teen’s doctor about the possible advantages and disadvantages before starting with the sessions.

 

 

Disciplining The Defiant Child – Tips From A Counselor

 

 

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What are vital points to keep in mind when trying to discipline your child? Counselors often get to talk to frustrated parents who are looking for a magic weapon or a powerful parenting technique that will work effectively and turn their defiant child into the obedient angel that you wish they would become.

The truth is, there is no magic weapon at all – no weapon that will instantly eliminate your child’s defiant problems. However, one crucial point is to keep in mind if you desire a discipline technique to work. The most significant key to productive parenting is regularity or consistency.

Parents who do not consistently perform discipline will have more difficulty and experience more defiance problems in the long run. If you cannot follow through with restraint and regulation, this will convey a message to your child that he can keep in doing what he does even if they get in trouble and nothing unpleasant will happen to him. It makes him feel that it’s totally fine to break your rules.

We are actually sending the same message to our kids when we are not applying consistency in terms of our anticipations and rules. Also, they will have a tough time making sense of the confusing messages that we send them. This form of parenting might result in us parents breaking our own rules more often in the long term. Why? Because the first time your child came home 30 minutes late, nothing happened, as you bent your rules. Perhaps the week after, he’s going to do it again, hoping that you’ll be in the same lenient mood when he comes home. Inconsistency results in drained, devastated parents who do not comprehend why their kid is not the polite, well-bred angel they hoped he would be.

If you are among the parents who are presently raising a defiant child and struggling to manage his manners, family counselors are the best professionals to seek. They aim to work with you to develop a parenting technique that works for your child eventually. They will also discuss various challenges that you might have encountered (or not) as parents and help you learn some suitable strategies for you to apply to your child.

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How To Deal With Your Defiant Child

The combination of frustrated parents and defiant children goes hand in hand, like peanut butter and jelly. Perhaps. One thing is sure, though – there is no scarcity of suggestions and recommendations for managing your defiant child. Some believe that a sensitive method, such that the parents would literally implore and beg until their child hears them out. Other parents lecture their kids about ‘how mom used to do it using a firm hit to the behind. But precisely just what is the perfect method to use to deal with a defiant child?

Simple Tips To Deal With The Defiant Child

Consistency Is Key. It is vital to note that it took months or years for your child to develop his present behavior and manner of interacting with other people, so it will take time to modify these patterns. By practicing regularity, you can accelerate the process and develop quicker, more permanent modifications of your disobedient child. A with the rest of the parenting techniques, this tip will not work efficiently if parents do not stick to it 100% of the entire time.

Keep Calm And Move On. Your defiant child is frequently just consuming your energy. A rebellious child usually does not feel emotionally controlled or connected at the moment. It may feel like the rebellious child acts out only to be rude to you, but this is most likely the scenario. For example, a rebellious child refuses to dress up in the morning. He doesn’t act like this because he wants you to be late for your daily office work. A potential explanation for this is that he is hungry or drained and isn’t mature enough to convey this to you verbally.

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Stay Positive. Your rebellious child permanently hears you rant about his wrongdoings – at home, school, and everywhere else. He often hears unpleasant comments about the way he acts and the consequences of his negative actions. Although they’re all negative, your child has adjusted to the fact that he can triumphantly gain all the attention with his disobedience. It’s time to change the emphasis not on your child’s unpleasant behaviors but towards his pleasant ones. Please focus on the positive behaviors that he shows because you know too well about his negative behaviors. And all that energy that you used up stressing the negative – pour it out when you praise your child for the small bouts of good that your child is showing.

Try these simple tips when you are trying to manage your defiant child. And while you’re doing so, keep your cool, focus your time and effort on your child’s pleasing behaviors, and most importantly, be consistent. We truly hope all these will work for you!

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Guilt And Shame

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Ever since I graduated from college, it had been my lifelong dream to become a social worker. I belonged to the foster care system, you see, and I met a lot of kids during that time who needed help but did not know who to ask. Because of that, some of them ended up committing various crimes that caused the justice system to label them as juvenile delinquents.

I was fortunate to join a non-profit organization that offered counsel to such children as soon as I received my diploma. At first, of course, I was ecstatic to get the job. It was something I had always wanted to do; I genuinely felt like I could turn their lives around by showing them the correct path. However, reality struck me harshly when the first kid I dealt with seemed like the toughest nut to crack among the group.

Dealing With A Young Delinquent

Let’s call him Joel for the sake of not using too many pronouns (although that’s not his real name). Joel was only five years old when his parents died in a car accident, and no relative wanted to take him in, so he went straight to foster care right after the funeral. Based on the old pictures that his social workers gave me, I saw that Joel used to be a happy boy. The older he became, though, the more his smile lessened until he had nothing but a poker face from age 11 onwards.

It was challenging to blame Joel for his bitterness, given that he had already been in more than 20 foster homes. Some of them were nice, but others apparently tried to take advantage of the little boy, so he learned to be tough. Then, his last foster parent starved him, so Joel did not think twice before stealing from the grocery store a couple of times until he got caught and sent to the authorities.

The first few times I talked to Joel, he would not even acknowledge my presence. He merely looked at other people or scratched an invisible smudge on the table while I continued to babble. The only time I got Joel’s attention was when I asked, “How do you feel about what you did?”

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“I feel guilty,” Joel said, his eyes still unable to meet mine.

I thought, Wow, this is a breakthrough. Not wanting to let the opportunity pass, I prodded, “Why do you feel guilty?”

“I took what was not mine. I shouldn’t have done that.”

Joel lifted the collar of his shirt to his face, and then I heard him sniffling. My heart broke for the boy. I wanted to give him a consoling hug, but that was against the protocol. Instead, I took a deep breath and said, “If you let the judge and the grocery store owner know that you are sorry, perhaps they can dump your case. You need to be brave enough to accept your mistake.”

Joel finally looked at me with those tear-filled brown eyes, and my heart melted even more. Gone was the brusque teenager that I met not too long ago. He was still wearing the same clothes and everything, but in his place was a scared little boy who felt helpless and did not know how to get out of his situation. I realized there, and then that guilt could make or break a person.

What type of emotion is guilt?

 Guilt is a type of emotion that you experience when you figure out that your actions have caused misfortune to someone or that you have done nothing to do what’s right or expected of you. It is typically felt by individuals who have survived a life-or-death situation or have committed a mortal sin.

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What is pathological guilt?

 Pathological guilt is an abnormal type of accountability that affects people’s lives and aggravates various mental disorders like phobia, depression, addiction, anxiety, etc. It is irregular in the sense that a person feels guilty more often than others.

What’s guilt trip mean?

 A guilt trip is an act that an individual commits to another when they want to force the latter to do their bidding. For instance, X is pregnant and wants her husband, Y, to buy food in the middle of the night. When Y refuses, X guilt trips him by saying that not fulfilling her cravings might affect the baby’s development.

What is the guilt?

 Guilt is a remorseful emotion that a person deals with once they realize that they have offended someone or committed a crime. You may also feel guilty when you lie to another person, no matter how big or small it is.

Final Thoughts

I was in the courtroom when Joel faced the judge and the grocery store owner. I noticed in their reactions that they were surprised by the change in the teenager’s demeanor. He seemed respectful and sincere in every word; he did not even cuss at all. All Joel did was admit how guilty he was for his wrongdoings and hoped to get another opportunity to grow up like the other kids.

It did not take long for Joel to be released from the juvy. Though I no longer had to work on his case, considering he was already back in the foster care system, I made it my new mission to find a permanent home for him. It honestly was a challenge, considering most adoptive parents wanted babies or young children, not a boy who would become a full-fledged adult in less than three years. However, after dealing with a few more bumps on the road, I accompanied Joel to his new parents’ doorsteps.

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The affection and bond between them were instant, so they filed for adoption after four months. They managed to provide all the necessary papers in no time; there were no contests from Joel’s remaining relatives. Hence, on the 22nd of June 2018, Joel – a former juvenile delinquent – got the family he deserved.

How Mental Health Affects Your Child’s Behavior

Parents provide their children with basic needs such as food, shelter, clothing, education and health care, among other things. Frequently, however, we forget to check up on another equally important aspect of every person’s life: mental health. 

According to data, around 10% of young people aged 5 to 16 years old have a clinical mental health problem. Among the most commonly diagnosed mental disorders in children are anxiety, depression, ADHD, and behavior problems. 

The World Health Organization also found that 20% of adolescents experience a mental health problem every year. Unfortunately, around 70% of these cases are left unaddressed and surface in their older years. 

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Common Risk Factors Of Mental Health Issues In Children

External influences like culture, family, and upbringing are critical during the formative years. Although each child has their temperament and characteristics, they are still like blank slates who mostly rely on the environment. The things they learn in these critical years may be hard to change once children grow older. That’s why good parenting and a healthy environment throughout childhood are essential. 

To better understand how a safe environment for your child looks like, first, let’s take a look at the common causes of mental health issues in children:

1. Bullying And Peer Pressure 

Bullying comes in many forms – it can be verbal or physical, and it can also be from anywhere – either in school or at home. Most bullying accounts are unreported because it’s either the child is not aware of it, or the bully is threatening the child.

In any case, these can have detrimental effects on the child’s well-being. It can lower their self-esteem, develop trauma over time, constant stress, anxiety, and even depression. 

2. Frequent Lifestyle Changes

Children’s comprehension and emotional regulation abilities are generally not as developed as adults. Children could have more difficulty adapting to changes, and it can be harder for them to make sense of.

Some of these changes include moving into a new house, changing their schools, having a new sibling, or even a parent’s divorce. If not appropriately handled, events like these may cause depression, anxiety, or behavioral problems on a child. 

While these events are sometimes inevitable, take extra time to talk to your child about their feelings toward the changes and explain the situation in a way they will understand. 

3. “Bad” Parenting 

Children look up to their parents no matter the case because parents can both provide and deprive the child of their need. Parents affect the children by the rules they implement and how they make them feel.

Bad parenting doesn’t just mean the failure of giving the child’s necessities, but it can also pertain to unhealthy or inconsistent discipline styles

An extreme authoritarian parenting style can make your child feel unheard and that their feelings are unconsidered if the rules should solely be up to you. A permissive parenting style wherein you set rules that you barely follow can also be confusing and detrimental to the child.

For example, they may not learn at all, or they could feel entitled and spoiled. And worse, an uninvolved parent who doesn’t spend time asking or bond with their child can also create issues with the child’s social and self-esteem aspects. 

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It is recommended that parents keep an authoritative kind of parenting style. It is the middle-ground that balances between strict enforcement of rules and keeping the caring side of parenting.

With an authoritarian parenting style, parents take the time to create and maintain positive relationships with their children by getting to know them and letting them talk about their feelings.

You also have rules, but you explain the reasons behind them, rather than just saying “because I said so.” In this way, you create a loving, friendly, and guiding relationship with your child with a foundation on respect and love. 

Why Is It Important To Take Care Of Our Children’s Mental Health

When mental health issues in children are left unaddressed, it can resurface in other forms, such as appearing as a “difficult child.” Some children may turn their frustrations onto anger, aggression, and violence. 

For example, a child who experienced bullying can also be a bully and pass on the aggressiveness to others. It can mean revenge for what others did to them or simply because they think it is the “cool” thing to do.

Meanwhile, a neglected child or a child who experienced a lot of pressure may turn to desperate ways to get what they want. They might fear their parents’ disapproval more rather than the implications of their means.  

Therefore, a problematic child may or may not be because he is hard to deal with, but maybe because there are underlying reasons or events in the past that influenced his/her behaviors. The earlier the intervention, the better. 

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What Can You Do?  

Children may be younger than us, but we must treat them with equal respect by considering their feelings and gently talking to them with utmost love and understanding. Be a wise friend to them, not a dictator ruler; be reasonable and explain to them why there are rules, and ask their opinions about them. 

Remember, being a strict parent does not always mean fitting for your child. Your child will grow a better person in a loving and healthy environment. 

However, if you are having trouble with parenting, seek professional help as early as you can. A child psychologist or a guidance counselor will help you arrange a plan to assess what are the reasons behind your child’s behavior and what are the suitable therapy plans. 

 

The Role Of The Family In Helping Teens Recover From Substance Abuse

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Teenage years play a crucial role in a person’s overall development. It is the period when a child starts to explore and act on their curiosities in a manner that may be adverse. For some, it results in exploring substance use and other troubling behavior that may affect their growth. If it all gets worse — it can lead to addiction.

Early Warning Signs

For parents and family, this rapid change in the behavior of a teen can be challenging to address. It’s not easy to supervise a teenager’s activity, especially if both parents are working. As such, they can put up barriers when it comes to communicating their worries and needs.

Here are the warning signs that you must watch out for when it comes to teen addiction:

  •     Sudden change in behavior and in the way they talk
  •     They often appear dazed and are hard to talk to
  •     Hiding drugs or drug paraphernalia and alcohol in their room
  •     Bloodshot eyes and smelling
  •     They no longer take part in hobbies that they used to enjoy
  •     They are not introducing their new friends to you
  •     A sudden drop in their school grades

If the family fails to address these warning signs, it can result in worse outcomes, such as becoming an offender. As a teenager, becoming an offender may often lead to repeating the offense as an adult if not given the proper intervention.

Addressing The Warning Signs Of Teen Substance Abuse

If you observe the warning signs on your teen, it is possible that they may be under the influence of addiction. As parents, you need to them cease using it.

It is essential to talk calmly. Show that you are present and willing to listen to what they have to say. Then, you have to set a clear and safe boundary for them to follow. 

It is also essential to get involved and start knowing your teen’s peers. In most cases, peer pressure may trigger the cause of substance addiction. After reaching a rapport with your teen, only then can you start a specific treatment and recovery path.

Treatment And Recovery Options For Teen Substance Abuse

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There are several available treatments for substance abuse. Often, the effective interventions involve the guidance of a counselor or a therapist for an objective view of the situation. They can help you come up with recovery plans that usually happen in sessions.

 

1. Group Therapy

 

Occasionally, teens who get into substance use can successfully recover by taking part in group therapies. Learning the adverse effects of addiction from teenagers who got cured or listening to an impactful speaker can encourage them to stay clean.

Moving, educational, inspirational stories can raise understanding and knowledge on substance abuse that can reach your teen in ways you simply cannot.

 

2. Individual Counseling

 

Teens often become dependent on substances because of stress from family, job, academics, or the environment. Individual counseling is a positive step towards analyzing and diagnosing the root of the problems. By knowing the source of the problem, the counselor can offer effective treatment alternatives.

 

3. Family Therapy

 

Fundamentally, the point of therapy is to develop deep family ties and a healthy home environment. Working with specialists that help families support their teen’s recovery has many advantages. It includes:

  •     Improving communication skills
  •     Restoring trust between family members
  •     Strengthening personal boundaries
  •     Coming up with clear life goals and expectations
  •     Preventing recurrence and maintaining self-discipline

 

 

4. Peer Group Activities

Teenagers are extremely emotionally sensitive from their peers’ opinions, especially in middle school and high school.  Peer group activities can build their bond with other teens in recovery while sharing their strengths and coping skills.

 

5. Recreational And Experiential Therapies

 

Most teenagers that undergo recovery may benefit from regular physical activity and creative self-expression. It allows them to divert their energies against substance use and their other problems.  It can be significant support for young clients in enduring the emotional challenges of therapy.

Programs such as art therapy, music therapy, wilderness activities, and equine-assisted therapy can provide emotional stability while teaching them essential coping strategies and social skills.

BetterHelp is the easiest way to get therapy while staying at home

Relapse Prevention

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The road to recovery does not end after the treatment period. More often than not, aftercare is a crucial element in a successful recovery. This part of recovery needs the help and support of the whole family. Without carefully planning how they will go on after treatment, it can lead to a relapse.

A relapse may occur because addiction is a chronic condition requiring lifelong support and management with its symptoms. As a whole family, here are the things you can do to prevent relapse:

 

  • Your Teen Might Seem Different 

 

Expect that your teen before and after treatment may be a different person. During and after therapy, act normally when you’re around them as much as possible. By doing so, they will slowly get to adjust and be comfortable while at home.

 

  • Steer Clear Of Enabling Behaviors

 

Learn and understand how you can avoid enabling behaviors. Even if you have good intentions, it can cause a trigger for teens during their early recovery.

  • Monitor Constantly

Keep track of their activities and who they’re with when going out. As parents and caregivers, you are expected to keep close supervision with teens who are recovering from addiction.

  •     Spend Time 

Regularly schedule bonding time with them. Plan something that the whole family enjoys. Also, encourage and join them in pursuing their hobbies.

Conclusion

Dealing with substance abuse of teens can be a challenging time for the whole family. With the proper intervention and support, you can make a tremendous difference in your teen’s life.

Keep in mind not to blame your child for what they have done. Instead, focus on what you can do to correct it for good — for your teen and for your whole family.

 

Soothing Thoughts During Quarantine For Teens Stigmatized By Past Wrongdoings

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Everyone has life stories that they are most embarrassed about during their teenage years. For instance, a friend once told us secretly (Sorry, James!) that he soiled his pants on the bus in high school and acted like it did not happen. A colleague mentioned that her former classmate became a laughingstock for an entire year because she showed up at a school fair wearing a sun costume.

However, how would you feel if you found out that a teenager wanted to alter their life, but their previous wrongdoings often stigmatized them?

I do not need to be acquainted with a once-troubled teen to understand what they go through while trying to repent. If you think the world is already harsh to nerds, geeks, and poor folks, it is more jarring for those youngsters with criminal records. When the truth comes out, they get stigmatized because of that, and no one seems to want to give them another chance.

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If that is what you are experiencing now even during quarantine, I am sorry. Some individuals are merely narrow-minded; they do not understand what repenting means. It will be best to stop paying attention to them and remembering the following instead:

You Can Change

The first thing you should ingrain in your head is that you can change. Improving yourself is not impossible, though it may require a lot of effort from you. If you wish to be a better person, you can do it.

Try not to listen to those individuals who say, “Once a wrongdoer, always a wrongdoer.” They can talk smack until their mouths bubble, but it does not mean they are correct about you. Only you can tell if you can genuinely change your life.

A Sketchy Past Can Be Used For A Good Cause

I have gone to various seminars over the years in which the guest speakers are former delinquents. Some of them sold or used drugs as teens; others got caught stealing stuff or bullying people. However, they managed to see the fault in their actions and started living lawfully.

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My point is that you should not be too ashamed of your sketchy past too much. Instead of hiding it from everyone, you can talk openly about it and discuss how you have survived that aspect of your life. This way, you may help current delinquents think of leaving their old habits and becoming better versions of themselves.

Your Dreams Can Come True

Hearing folks say that you will amount to nothing because of your past wrongdoings can be very discouraging. That is especially true for teenagers who are only beginning to dream. 

If that is the case for you, I strongly advise you to stop listening to insensitive comments. They are no different from evil spirits that will do everything to see you fail because that’s what makes them happy. 

News flash: It is not your job to make others happy at your expense. You should live your life and work hard so that your dreams can come true.

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Source: pexels.com

Final Thoughts

It is always heartwarming to know that some rebellious teenagers want to turn their lives around without prompting from anyone else. That is enough proof to show how serious you are about changing for the better.

Now, I get how painful it is to hear others mention your previous wrongdoings, especially when you are trying to straighten up your act. But if you genuinely wish to change, you should never let them who you are and can be. You are still young; you can do so many incredible things if that’s what you want.

Good luck!

Why Quarantine Is Good For Rebellious Teens

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I can say that I have been blessed with the most responsible teenager in the entire world. She always comes home one time and enjoys school work. She has a lot of friends, but she has never felt the urge to sneak behind our backs. Of course, there are some crushes and admirers now, but my daughter told me that her focus is on going to college. My husband and I cannot be prouder of her because of that.

I am aware that not every parent is as lucky as we are. In our neighborhood alone, I have a few friends who often complain about their teenage sons and daughters. They always catch them sneaking out in the middle of the night or bringing friends over without permission. Some have also flunked their classes because they prioritize other activities than academics.

Whenever those parents ask me how my daughter seems to be unaffected by the puberty stage when it’s forgivable to be rebellious, I have no idea what to reply. I still don’t, frankly speaking. My daughter has always shown that responsible side of her, and it’s what’s normal for us.

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Source: rawpixel.com

Luckily, though, my supposed “parenting luck” may be rubbing off on my friends, given that they no longer complain about their kids these days. Here are a few positive things that have happened to the rebellious teens during the quarantine.

Enjoy Family Nights

Since the entire state is under quarantine, the schools have been closed. The kids need to attend classes online during the day, but the teachers no longer give tons of assignments. This change has allowed a lot of parents to coax their teenagers to come out of their room and attend family nights.

A friend, in particular, said that a lot of excuses were thrown in the air at first in their house. Her son went out of his room but was still hesitant at first. But the more games they played, the more he showed real enthusiasm for family nights.

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Source: rawpixel.com

Talk To The Parents For Real

A lot of parents agree that some kids turn into ogres when they become teenagers. I don’t mean to say that they look like those beasts, but they seem to forget how to use words when answering parents’ questions. You tend to hear grunts and sighs as if they can’t be bothered to put intelligible words together.

But since the entire family is quarantined under one roof, these grunting teens warm up to their mom and dad again. They talk more and even stay in a conversation without looking at their phones. Perhaps they realize that it’s cool to open up to their parents as much as they do to their friends.

Control Emotions At Your Own Pace

Teenagers typically rebel against their moms and dads because they feel like the latter won’t understand whatever they’re going through. After all, the raging hormones can make them moody and prevent them from seeing reason. It doesn’t help that they need to deal with it while being expected to excel at school and extracurricular activities as well.

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Source: rawpixel.com

Now that the teens are at home 24/7, though, they may be able to control their emotions. There are no more friends to please or classmates to beat; they can finally focus on themselves. Thus, these teenagers may realize soon enough that they should stop rebelling ASAP.

Final Thoughts

The rebellious stage that your teenage children may be dealing with will eventually pass. It is a side effect of hitting puberty; not everyone can dodge it.

You’re lucky if being in quarantine has helped curb your kid’s rebelliousness. But if it hasn’t, breathe and think of how you can discipline them more efficiently.

Good luck!

How to Discipline Bad Behaviors of Your Teen

Lucky catch! You stumbled upon this article to help you in putting reigns to your teens after developing bad behaviors. Learning bad behaviors is normal for a developing teenager. But, it does not mean that you have to tolerate these bad behaviors. As their parent, you still have to make sure that your once angelic baby will grow up into a responsible adult. To help you stay sane in managing your troubled teen, here are some easy tricks that you can use:

Set Clear Rules

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Teenagers usually push the boundaries of their parents. That’s why it is important to set clear rules among your teens. If you tell them to be home before midnight, they might have the tendency to push the boundaries by being home at 11:59. If you warn them not to drink at bars and clubs, they might just go to their friend’s house and get drunk there. Setting clear rules will establish understanding between you and your teen as to what are the rules to be followed and why they are being disciplined after breaking them.

Use Consequences

Discipline doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to punish your teens. However, you still have to do something that will allow your teen to learn a lesson after breaking rules. You can use consequences depending on the gravity of the behavior. You have to make sure that these consequences would be fair for your teens. If your teen failed to do his/her homework, you can take away his/her privilege of hanging out with friends in the weekend.

Source: teachhub.com

Moreover, try to give appropriate consequences with bad behaviors. Let your teens know that they would receive these consequences if they break these specific rules. They are more likely to abide by the rules if they understand why they have to follow them and why they will receive such consequences if they fail to follow.

Be Firm and Consistent

Being firm and consistent is very important to teach your teens responsibility. If you set clear rules and established consequences when those rules are not being met, then you have to responsible in implementing them. Bad behaviors in teens will flourish if they know that you are very lenient in your rules. Your teens may think that following those rules is not really that important because you don’t give your full commitment on them — so why should they bother as well.

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We all know that being parents is really a tough job especially if your teens are constantly developing bad behaviors. That is why it is important for you to be responsible in your own way and be a good role model for your teens. If your teens are surrounded and influenced with responsible individuals like their parents, then most likely they would eventually be responsible teens.

 

What You Need To Know About Identity Theft

We know how to secure our physical valuables, such as our money and gadgets. However, many of us don’t know how to protect something more important: our identity. In the US alone, identity theft affected more than 16 million people in 2017. These people collectively lost more than 16 million dollars, and that doesn’t include intangible costs, such as damaged reputations and lost time. Indeed, identity theft can sometimes be worse than physical robbery, so you need to make adequate preparations for it.

Identity theft can be a confusing matter to understand. Why would someone claim to be you, and how do criminals do it? Learning more about this brand of crime will help you prevent yourself from being an easy target by these criminals. As long as you follow the best practices for avoiding this type of theft, you can rest assured that your identity will remain secure for years to come.

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Stealing Someone’s Identity

You might be wondering: why would someone impersonate you? As a productive citizen, you already have precious assets such as social security benefits or the salary from your employer. You have access to one or more bank accounts, many of which hold substantial amounts of money. You also have friends and acquaintances that have their valuable assets. Someone who pretends to be you can seize all of these.

Impersonation can take one of many forms. For instance, thieves can intercept your connection when you access the Internet through an unsecured connection, such as public Wi-Fi spots. When you try to access banking sites or log into social media accounts, they can retrieve your credentials and use them to access your accounts. They can withdraw your money, lock you out of your accounts, and use your online persona to trick more people.

Another common technique used by identity criminals is phishing. They can create websites that look like login pages for legitimate sites. When you enter your credentials, you’re left with a useless site while they get to steal your data. Other digital forms of theft include sending you emails laden with malware, which scours your device for passwords and other private data. 

Less sophisticated approaches also exist. Some criminals will sift through your garbage for documents from which they can glean information, such as credit card billings or tax forms. Sometimes, they can use public data about yourself, such as your home address or phone number, to gain access to your other accounts. This method is possible because many security questions ask for personal information that they can obtain, such as your mother’s name.

Identity theft can cost you a fortune, damage your credit score, and ruin relationships. Even when reported, it can take years to reverse the worst effects. Hence, prevention is of utmost importance.

Protecting Your Identity

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One quick way to prevent identity theft is to limit the amount of personal information that you share online. When creating new accounts, use the least amount of information you can. Don’t share sensitive information such as your birthdate, complete home address, or phone numbers.

You should also secure the login credentials you use. Activate two-factor authentication whenever you can to make it harder to access your accounts. Use a secure network for your connections. Use long, alphanumeric passwords, and use a password manager to keep them safe. Finally, shred any physical documents before disposing of them.

Always remember that your identity is one of your most precious belonging. Protect it at all costs.