I am sure we have all felt it…the sense of feeling nervous. Feeling like we just can’t get everything done in our day. Or perhaps we feel we are not doing things well enough. Maybe for you it comes in waves like when your schedule is too busy. In many situations, you can call it by any name you want…but anxiety can hit us all.
The same goes for feeling a bit down, you know the feeling, like when you just DO NOT feel like doing the shopping or a certain task. We all have days like this. Feeling a bit down or depressed happens to us all.
I always teach Elizabeth that any feeling is normal. That we all have so many feelings in any given day or even a five minute time span. I know I can go from happy one minute (“Ah, the kids all have breakfast and we are right on time.”) to overwhelm (“What do you mean you forgot to write a report…we have to leave in two minutes for school!”) These span of feelings are normal and to deny any of them is hard work. It is better, I think, to feel them, deal with them, regroup and move on with your day. But what happens when you cannot deal with some of them? When they don’t go away and seem to just get stronger?
We have a month devoted to these issues and it is officially the month of May. A month devoted to the very diverse, and complex issue of mental health. With the topics of anxiety and depression coming to mind immediately. So many people suffer with these conditions on a daily basis. But those issues, while recognized on their special month can and do affect people everyday of their lives.
Let me tell you as a mom, there are times when just being the best mom you can be can stress one’s mental health. Trust me on this or if you want more proof, ask my children what happened that one morning in September. I joke here because we all get this as moms to our children we love so much. But the reality for many of us reading this is that we are not just moms to typical developing children, we are moms to children who have special needs.
And this, my friends, changing the whole picture…completely.
From the initial time when you don’t know what your child has, to the time of diagnosis. From the time spent finding therapies, to the time spent at therapies
From the time spent teaching them each day to the time spent hoping the world will be kind to them each day. Yes, it changes things completely.
With all this in mind, I went to Dr. Joseph Marzano, Ph.D., LPCC, who is a Psychotherapist and Clinical Counselor in the Youngstown, Ohio area to ask a few questions about the special needs of these parents. According to Dr. Marzano, parents of special needs children seek help for two reasons.
-One is that they are getting help for their child’s emotional needs
-The other is parent’s are so busy advocating and working for their child that they do not give themselves a break, they forget to take care of themselves. “They are so busy fighting so hard.”