If you have a teen who is struggling with an eating disorder, you know it can be overwhelming, frustrating, lonely, scary, and sometimes feel like a full-time job. Your teen may be reacting angrily one day and the next day melt on the floor in tears.
Eating disorders can disrupt family and work life, create stress in relationships and be a financial hardship. Here are some tips to weather the storm:
Last month I interviewed Tom Sturges, a music executive and mentor, about his tips for cultivating creativity in kids. This month I wanted to share some great tips from Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way for Parents: Raising Creative Children.
If you’re unfamiliar with Cameron, she penned a bestselling book on the creative process called The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path To Higher Creativity. She’s also a novelist, playwright, songwriter and poet.
Being scared isn’t always a negative. You can be scared in many different ways.
There is the “scary movie” kind of scared, where you don’t know what’s going to pop out on the screen. There’s the jumping out of a plane kind of scared, where you fear real death and your adrenaline is pumping loudly. Lastly, there is the taking a chance kind of scared, where you have to address someone or something that’s anxiety-producing and you don’t know if the outcome will be favorable.
As a mom, when you hear that it’s important to take care of yourself, your eyes might glaze over and you may be thinking something like: “Another thing I need to add to my to-do list: ‘self-care.’ How am I supposed to do that?”
That’s the reaction Elizabeth Sullivan sometimes gets from her clients.
My father was a machinist and my mother a nurse. I still recall the smell of the machine shop on my father’s clothing when he came home from work, the name “Gary” embroidered on his blue shirt. When I was a child, my father chopped wood and sold it by the side of the road to help make ends meet for his family of 5.
Due to my education I am considered “white collar” but still have “blue collar” values. I identify and belong to both groups.
Last weekend, we had a lot of excitement. My nine-year-old daughter got a betta fish, which she named Esther.
When we were talking to the clerk about how to care for the fish, she told us, “Be sure not to overfeed your fish. Just two pellets.”
When we read the little instruction book that came with the bowl, it said, “Do not overfeed your fish.” On the bottle of fish food, it said, “DO NOT OVERFEED.” So it seems clear to me that people have a real tendency to overfeed their fish.
Which got me thinking — why is it so fun to feed animals, birds, people? Even when it’s not such a good idea.
One of the most nurturing, compassionate women I know is also an abused wife who once shared her biggest regret. Did she regret staying with her abusive husband? No. The most regretful day of her life was when she phoned the police after he physically assaulted her yet again.
“I ruined his life,” she said. “It’s the biggest mistake I ever made.” Immune to any reason, she pressed on, blaming herself for the “humiliation he had to endure” at anger management classes, the draining of her family’s resources on lawyer fees and the indelible black mark “she caused” on his otherwise spotless veneer.
So how come you’ve been feeling unappreciated lately? Your needs never seem to count. It’s not fair.
You take other people’s feelings into account. How come they run roughshod over yours?
Researchers believe that society is more willing to report, talk about and act on allegations of the abuse of vulnerable adults. Over the last two years, the number of reports of abuse has risen by almost two percent, according to statistics from the Health and Social Care Information Centre in Leeds, England.
Although it is impossible to determine whether this marks a real increase in adult abuse, or simply an increase in reporting, there are reasons to suggest that the latter may be more likely.
Going to therapy is hard enough for adults. Stigma stops many of us from picking up the phone and making an appointment. Plus, therapy is hard work. It often requires revealing our vulnerabilities, delving into difficult challenges, changing unhealthy patterns of behavior and learning new skills.
So it’s not surprising that kids might not want to go either. This resistance only escalates when they misunderstand how therapy works. “Many children are afraid or nervous to go to therapy, especially if they have the belief that they are in trouble or because they are ‘bad,’” said Clair Mellenthin, LCSW, a child and family therapist.