When a parent hits a snag or feels unsure about their capabilities when it comes to taking care of an autistic child, their go-to individual is a psychologist. After all, this person is not only licensed to provide mental help but can also offer clarifications to parental duties that seem hard to execute.
One of the mental health issues that autism parents are prone to having is depression. “Depression is an illness, an illness that you have little control over, just like any other illness. Nobody tells people with broken bones to get over their pain.” Charmaine J. Simmons, LPC said. That is especially true for moms and dads who have had to deal with the kids’ emotional and physical outbursts for a long time without getting a diagnosis. As you know, the confirmation that your son or daughter is in the spectrum can take years to come, and a lot of things may have already happened while waiting for that information.
In case you want to get over your depression and be able to always be there for your disabled kid, these are the activities you need to stop doing.
Being Afraid Of Change
Change happens to any human being or object in this world. If you’re distressing over your kid’s condition, you have to make peace with the reality that he or she might carry this neurological disorder forever. “A mental illness cannot be willed away or brushed aside with a change in attitude. Ignoring the problem doesn’t give it the slip either.” says Deborah Serani, PsyD. As for primary carer of the child, there are things you might not be able to experience anymore as well, such as partying with friends till dawn, having an independent kid who helps with house chores and seeing your baby grow up like your friends’ children. Still, those are nothing to cry about; as long as your child seems happy, you should be as well.
Comparing Yourself To Others
Scientifically speaking, no two persons are alike – not even twins – so it’s pretty crazy to compare yourself to others or be insecure of what others have. There are a few things that you have that they don’t, and vice versa – it’s a fact of life. When you stop this way of thinking, you’ll be able to get out of your depression wholly and quickly. “Focus on yourself and your own happiness and do not compare yourself to others.” Marc Romano, PsyD said.
Moving in just two points in your room can solve no problems, albeit that is something that troubled folks tend to do. In your mind, you might think that the movement will somehow jiggle your brain or allow you to remember possible solutions. However, in reality, there is no basis in that, so stop pacing and start focusing on the things that make you happy.
The worst-case scenario when you pick a fight with someone who has life issues as well is that you might end up in the hospital. Even squaring off with a non-disabled individual cannot be recommended as an outlet for your emotions, though. You will gain nothing but enemies by doing so. You need to go of all the anger that you have in your heart with regards to the things that depress you instead.
A valid decision can only come once you stop fighting within yourself. I do believe in the “inner demon” thing that some folks talk about, but I do think that there is an “inner angel” too. So, you should always seek the latter and stop arguing with yourself.
Abstract only gets celebrated in a canvas, but it’s already a bad thing when it’s applied to your life. For instance, when you are trying to name one emotion, you entertain other feelings, to the point that you no longer know what to do. Worse, you randomly pick an idea and dwell on it even if you have been unsure from the beginning about its validity. Stop being abstract-minded if you want to go back to your old self.
Trying To Live Through Your Kids
Some people become depressed if they realize how impossible it is for their kids to fulfill their – the parents’ – dreams. After all, there is no guarantee that the autistic child can lead a healthy life in which they can take on leadership roles in a company, become a doctor, etc. Although it’s nice that you want to be happy, but you should never live through your children because there’s a high possibility of it bringing disappointment to you.
Being A Zombie
Zombies are not only scary; they also have no sense of direction and no feelings. These are the characteristics that depressed folks tend to embody, especially when the disorder has gotten severe. No one can talk to you about normal things; you get irritated or aloof when someone tries to reach out to you. The thing is, you need to stay away from this zombie effect to be able to heal from depression.
Being an autism parent is undoubtedly incredibly hard to even with all your limbs and mind functioning completely. When you have to factor in conditions like depression, the difficulty level of being in your position multiplies by a few dozen folds. Despite that, you should always to strive to get better because you are the only person who can look after your autistic child in the best possible way.
Follow the tips above to kickstart your healing process. Cheers!