It took me several years, and tons of coaxing from my closest friend, to finally enter treatment. Yes, that’s right people, even a family therapist needs someone to talk to! But, going through my own treatment made me have more empathy for the families that I treated and the parents who, at times, just needed someone to talk to about how they were doing. So, I asked myself, do parents need treatment too?
You’re shaking your head no, I bet. More than likely you just clicked onto another post on the site because you know you don’t need treatment. But, the reality is: we all need someone to talk to, especially parents!! So, keep reading!
How To Tell
Let’s look at some ways that you, parent, can tell if seeking treatment might be beneficial for you. Answer the following questions, yes or no.
- Are you more angry than usual?
- Do you feel overwhelmed?
- Do you know where to go to relax and de-stress?
- Do you have 1-2 people who you can vent and express feelings to outside your home?
- Are you more tired than normal even if you slept the night before?
- Are you sleeping at night?
- Do you find yourself yelling more, arguing more, or more irritable than usual?
How many “yes” answers did you have. While this is not a scientific list, having more “yes” than “no” answers means that you are really at a point where talking to someone could not only benefit you, but also help you develop the skills needed to manage life’s stressors more effectively.
Still with me? Good! Let’s continue.
Actually Talking To Somebody
Mental health used to be a really bad word. And, some may argue that it still is. But, let me hit with the truth of the matter: every human being has mental health issues! Yep! The only difference is that some of us have learned to manage it better than others. It’s not a competition to see if you are a better parent than your child’s friends’ mom; it’s more about being the best parent you can be to your children. Also, the cool thing about getting treatment for yourself is that it doesn’t have to be with an actual therapist. Say what? Exactly! Establishing a relationship with someone that you trust and who is not a part of your family can be the person you get therapy from. Now, don’t get all textbook on me! The definition of therapy is: “any act, hobby, task, program, etc., that relieves tension” [Dictionary.com]. This means that as long as what you’re doing is relieving tension it is treatment! And, while I don’t want to dismiss the importance of having a professional work through your concerns and stressors, I do want to emphasize the importance of talking to someone before you completely burn out!
Here are some people that you can actually talk to who can help:
- A religious leader
- Your personal trainer
- Your physician
- Find a nutritionist
- A trusted community leader
- Find a therapeutic group in your community
- Speak with a licensed mental health professional
- Talk with a life/personal coach
The thing about treatment is that it doesn’t have to go on for the rest of your life. Some parents chose to have a therapist that they work with long term, but others have specific goals that they want to meet. Overall, the idea is to use one to the suggestions just stated to get out all the feelings you’re having. It’s so important to do this. Again, not just for yourself, but for your family as well.
So, you think you’ll give it a try?! Let me know in the comments if you find someone to do treatment with and it’s working, or if it’s not share why!!