Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Oppositional Defiant Disorder and ADHD

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Take Care of Your Mental Health: Tips for Distraught Parents

"Is it normal for parents to experience a lot of depression as they deal with their oppositional defiant teenagers? My daughter's behavior is negatively affecting both my work and my marriage now. I feel like such a failure as a parent."

Yes... absolutely!

Here are some of the other feelings and thoughts that occur when parents have to live with a strong-willed, out of control teenager:

  • Ambivalence toward the defiant child (“I love her, but when her mindset causes her to be cruel, I also wish she'd go away.”)
  • Anger and jealousy (“Her siblings resent all the attention I have to give her.”)
  • Anxiety (“I’m afraid to leave her alone or hurt her feelings.”)
  • Bitterness (“Why did this happen to us?”)
  • Blaming self and each other (“If only I had been a better parent... If you would only listen...”)
  • Concern for the future (“What's going to happen after I’m gone? Who will take care of her?)
  • Denial of the severity of the issue (“This is only a phase will pass”.)
  • Depression (“I can't even talk about it without crying.”)
  • Divorce (“It tore our family apart.”)
  • Excessive searching for possible explanations (“Was it something I did?”)
  • Fear (“Will she harm himself or others?”)
  • Feelings of isolation (“No one understands.”)
  • Inability to think or talk about anything but family issues (“All our lives revolve around her behavior-problems.”)
  • Increased use of alcohol or tranquilizers (“My evening drink turned into three or four.”)
  • Marital discord (“Our relationship became cold. I felt dead inside.”)
  • Preoccupation with moving away (“Maybe if we lived somewhere else, things would be better.”)
  • Shame and guilt (“Am I to blame? What will people think?”)
  • Sleeplessness (“I've aged double time in the last 3 years.”)
  • Sorrow (“I feel like I've lost my child”.)
  •  Total denial of the issues (“This can't be happening in our family.”)
  • Weight loss (“I've been through the mill, and it shows in my health.”)
  • Withdrawal from social activities (“We don't attend family get-togethers anymore.”)

This is why it is so terribly important for us, as parents, to take care of ourselves. If we don't make a concerted effort to nurture our physical and mental health, we will become stressed to the point of ruining our immune system, which WILL result in some kind of disease process (e.g., cancer, heart disease, joint problems, etc.).

Take care of yourself before it's too late!!!

My Out-of-Control Teen: Help for Parents

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