Sunday, October 18, 2015

Depression and Anxiety Oh My!

     According to the National Institute of Mental Health, " Depression is caused by a combination of genetics, biological,environmental and psychological factors". Me I know some of the symptoms all to well. Diagnosed about 3 years ago with Depression and Anxiety I've been trying to live life day by day. Daily I experience feelings of worry, nervousness and unease especially about things I'm not in control of. I often experience feelings of loneliness even though I have people around me. I struggle with friendship/ relationships because when I feel alone others don't understand how to help me feel loved and not alone.
     Aside from having troubles with friendships and relationships, I'm a mother to two amazing boys and it becomes difficult because both my children have each their own special needs. Johnny(LJ) was born at 30 weeks gestation and is now 5 years old. He suffers from Seperation Anxiety, Developmental Delay, ADHD, Severe Asthma, Sensory Processing Disorder, ASD and Generalized Anxiety. He also suffers with elevated CPK levels which causes him to have muscle weakness and recently diagnosed with GP6D Deficiency. I become very overwhelmed with worry, guilt as well as become very protective about where I take him or who comes around him. If you are sick I ban you from my home until you are well. Johnny also suffers in the Fall and Winter seasons with Upper Respiratory Infections as well as ear infections. My oldest son Andre suffers with ODD, ADHD, Generalized Anxiety and SLD. He has been put on medication to help manage his ADHD but at time his ODD becomes a problem for me and the school. I always worry that I will have to come to the school because Andre has gotten into a fight or altercation with an adult or student.
     I've been asked as a mom dealing with a mental illness how do I tend to my family and the answer isn't always simple, but for the most part I put my boys first. I try and concentrate on their well being.  In doing that it keeps me busy and it gives me something to concentrate on so I don't worry as much. I put them first which mean my needs are met last or sometimes not at all but to see my boys happy and blossoming makes me proud and gives me a sense of reward.
    In those times where I have feelings of loneliness I found it helpful to blog, write, Facebook or tweet my Twitter followers. I have been told it is essential if you suffer the way I do to have an outlet because it can help soothe your feelings of being alone.
     Lastly if you suffer from Depression or Anxiety like I do, finding someone to talk to like a therapist and or someone you trust helps with symptoms. Sometimes there is medication that a psychiatrist can prescribe to help with the unease and day to day struggles of  Depression and Anxiety. If you or someone you know suffers with Depression and or Anxiety you can help by being a person whom they can talk to or someone that can help link them to professional help. Please don't turn your back and walk away for Depression and Anxiety are real illnesses!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

"Mommy Don't Go"

     You ever find yourself running late for work because your little one is having a meltdown because you are leaving the house without them? Well I have! Recently I have found out my little one suffers from Seperation Anxiety Disorder. It is a condition that causes a child to experience extreme discomfort when being separated from parents or caregivers. It is common for children to experience anxiousness separating from their parent especially when first starting school or Day Care. For months on top of months my son would ask anxiously, " Who is going to be with me?, "Who is going to pick me up off the bus?, "Who gets off work first? And " Why do you have to leave?" Then he started loosing sleep. He started crying and having meltdowns that would lead me to feel like a bad mother because I couldn't understand what was causing my poor child to act in such a way. He wouldn't sleep in his room or be on another floor in our home without a parent. He would wake 3-5 times a night to ask these questions even though I answered those same questions before he went to sleep.  Not until I took Lj to see someone in the Sleep Clinic did I find out that these meltdowns was an effect of having Seperation Anxiety. I was in denial at first, like no way could my child be suffering from Anxiety at such a young age. I then took him to see a Child Psychologist and she confirmed the diagnosis. She said to me, " Ms Brown your child suffers from Seperation Anxiety. Disorder" I was then thinking to myself is it something I did wrong. What is it that I did to cause him to feel this way. Even though the doctor said there was nothing I did to cause the anxiety I felt guilty.
     I find myself feeling guilty every time Lj cries or screams in that type of high pitch voice that lets you know that there is pain somewhere in the body except I can't make the pain go away. My son screams and cries and family at one point thought he was just acting out. Watching him scream and cry you would assume that he just needed attention but that is not the case. He needed to have a ritual a routine that would help comfort him when it is time to leave.
     If your child suffers with Seperation Anxiety or Seperation Anxiety Disorder, create a ritual to say goodbye or see you later. For me I use a goodbye ritual. I stop and kneel down I tell Lj, "Its time for mommy to go to work. Remember I have to work so that we can have a place to stay warm at night,"I tell him that I will get off at whatever time I get off that week and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't . At times it takes a little more patience . A little more time to hug and kiss him more than usual and a little more reassurance. Still it may not work and yes I have still been late to work because his meltdown lasted more than usual but if you can stick to a ritual and remember to have lots of patience hopefully time will help Lj grow out of this stage in his life. If anyone has suggestions or has a child that suffers with this disorder, share you thoughts and strategies. I can use all the help  and knowledge I can get.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

1st Day Back!

Hello fellow followers! It's well into 2015 and I wanted to share what's been going on with my family and I. After this post my plan is to start sharing my everyday joys and struggles that life presents me with. So let's get started!

     As you can see from the picture little Lj is in Kindergarten. It has been a long hard road getting him ready for he is still developmentally delayed. He is still having trouble sleeping through the night and has really bad Separation Anxiety. Some of his other diagnosis include Expressive Receptive Language Disorder, Cognitive Delay and Fine and Gross Motor Delays. For him the list goes on because he suffers with GP6D Defiency. His has elevated CPK levels that leave him weak and tired. It requires him to go to the doctors more than a few times. Also for me to call off work when he is having a crisis.
     At first he didn't like school because he was getting hit at school but now he seems to have acclimated himself. He still has trouble separating from his parents but we found out if we follow the same routine he doesnt have such a hatd time. Lj doesn't do well with changes in routine. He definitely has a terrible overload  meltdown. His meltdowns are strong and intense and can last for a long time.


Andre is now a Freshman in highschool.  He has had a long road to his first year of highschool. 7th grade he had a lot of suspensions and outbursts. 8th grade he matured into the blossoming young man he is turning out to be. He made Merit Roll twice in the school year and was disappointed  when he didn't make Honor Roll. As a Freshman he is still in Football. He is a starting player on the Freshman Team. He also has been a guest player on the Junior Varsity team. Sometimes his temper flares up  but through the years of counseling and getting roll models into place he has been able to learn how to deescalate a bad situation.  He makes his mama proud!


I am still prayerful. Hoping that things stay calm and mellow out. Still trying to be a strong advocate for my special needs boys. Sometimes it gets hard because I too suffer  from illnesses but with all that I am  and the strength that GOD gave me I push through. I am working full time as an Endoscopy  Technician.  It can be a very intense job. It's a very high demanding job as well. I'm away from the boys a lot. I get home late most days buy early on some. My anxiety is high and causes me to be closed in but I carry a smile on my face at work while I'm on the clock. But the moment I clock out and walk out of work my life reminds me how stressed I am. How full of doubt I am and how as s mom nothing matters except my boys happiness.