|Planting your head in the sand leaves you |
vulnerable for a swift kick in the butt!
I typed this blog a few months ago after dealing with a series of difficult patient cases but didn't publish it because the timing seemed off.
With the recent movie massacre in Colorado I thought now would be the perfect time to publish this post. One of the many things that concerned me about this shooter was that his mother allegedly "identified" this tragedy as something her son could potentially carry out.
My intention with this post is not to condemn the mother of this shooter but to inform parents about the importance of paying attention to your child, even through the teen and young adult years. Some parents appear to be totally clueless about their teen's issues. It is important for parents to give our children some freedoms but to turn a blind eye to their indiscretions and say "This is just a phase" is not only silly it's dangerous.
Parents, you cannot allow pride or embarrassment to keep you from reaching out for professional help when you see your child behaving strangely.
The following are signs that your son/daughter may be suffering from something beyond their control:
- Drug and alcohol use
- High-risk sexual behavior (taking repeated sexual risks despite previous bad outcomes)
- Awkward behavior (suddenly a loner/avoiding social interaction)
- Mood disorders like Depression sometimes present with outbursts of anger/rage
- Strange thoughts (People are watching me, Everyone is out to get me)
- Sudden change in personality
These are not to be seen as a cry for attention.
Parents, I'm not coming down on you but I want to stress the urgency of you paying attention to your teenagers. Sometimes you can be so focused on doing well at work, paying the bills or making an impact in the community that you forget about the more important things like FAMILY.
Given the horrible movie massacre that occurred in Aurora, Colorado we ALL need to pay attention to subtle signs of mental health disorders.