Most of us know how important sleep is to anyone … without enough sleep and without enough quality sleep, you can find yourself with sleep deprivation or deficiency. You may not be sleeping soundly, and you may not be getting into the different types of sleep everyone needs (think REM sleep and dreaming – essential to our overall health). Sleep is a basic human need – not just for our physical bodies, but also for our mental health.
Well … it’s true. This pandemic isn’t any fun. There are multiple side effects, not just of the virus itself, but in other ways which are harming all of us. One big thing is that our kids (and we, too) might be experiencing some short- and long-term mental health issues. While most of our kids have not had the virus, due to all the stressing and restrictions implemented in an attempt to safeguard us – like medications – this strategy has unintended and downright dangerous side effects! Other types of top-news events that have happened in the past, such as hurricanes, the 9/11 attacks, and school shootings, have demonstrated long-lasting emotional impact, especially on our kids.
Some of the mental health issues that kids have are anxiety, depression, disruptive behavior (especially seen in classrooms), sleep issues, substance use disorders, suicidal ideations (and unfortunately a very few completions). During times of crisis such as what we are experiencing now with coronavirus, rates of these adverse mental health issues go up even higher.
Did you ever grow up under less-then-stellar circumstances?
Did you ever wish your family life had been different?
Many of you would probably answer yes (although it’s not true for everyone). Or perhaps you are raising kids and it is more challenging than you ever thought it would be, especially if they are in their adolescent years!
Parenting is extremely challenging in today’s environment; of course, it’s been challenging since the beginning of time. Life now is complicated with issues like teen depression, suicides (completed and attempted), a lot of distress, and substance use. Today we live with social media and technology, something that was not as common years ago. All of our technological advances bring increasing layers of stress to our daily lives, both for our kids and ourselves. In today’s world, both parents have jobs, careers, often take care of aging parents, and still need to parent their own kids effectively.
Whether you call it ADD or ADHD – the condition is the same. The older designation is attention deficit disorder (or, ADD); the current name is attention deficit hyperactive disorder (or, ADHD). The latter has three presentations as it is currently called, or subtypes: inattentive, hyperactive-impulsive, and combined. So, you or your child can have trouble paying attention, be very overly active and impulsive, or can exhibit both kinds of behavior, hopefully at different times (for your sanity)!
Did you know that as of around 2011 when data was collected, 8.1% of adults in the US between the ages of 18-44 have been diagnosed with ADHD? Nearly 10% of children (6.4 million) were also diagnosed with ADHD ages 2-17. Seen globally, about 7.2% (129 million) kids have this condition. Scary, right?!
Hold on – not all behaviors that seem to fit into this diagnostic category mean you or your child has or doesn’t have ADHD. Let’s explore some myths about ADHD.
Dr. Donna Poppendieck (Dr. P) has over 30 years of experience in the mental health care field. She is a seasoned college professor and instructor for providers. She uses credible, proven holistic health strategies in instruction for parents of children with mental health challenges looking for another approach as well as healthcare providers seeking to implement or understand holistic strategies.