Meltdowns, tantrums, defiance, or aggressive behavior can mask underlying feelings of anxiety. Typically when we see a child being defiant at home or school, our first thought might be, “that child is angry” and “they don’t like to follow rules.” Or we might say “that child is disrespectful.” But, underneath that anger or tantrum, are often feelings of overwhelming anxiety or worry.
Not all repetitive thoughts are obsessions and not all repetitive behaviors are compulsions. Many people worry or have routines… A person with OCD can’t just stop what they are doing because they get tired of it or it’s time to leave. If their obsessive thought was that “stepping on a crack would break their mother’s back,” they would continue to avoid all cracks in any surface walked on.
This woman was so filled with shame. If shame were a color it would pour out of her eyes, staining her cheeks. I sat across from her letting my eyes fill as well. I could normalize her experience — not just because I am a trained therapist — but because I have thought those very same things too. If you are reading this, please help me to NORMALIZE MENTAL HEALTH.
Adjusting to college is hard enough without adding the curveball of COVID into the mix. You may be someone who welcomed the changes brought on by the pandemic. The reality is some people are ok with or even prefer the “new normal” and others do not. The truth is that it is okay to not be okay AND it’s also okay to be okay.
Ask, “Are you thinking of killing yourself?” This may seem like a difficult question and many fear that asking someone this question will put thoughts of suicide into their minds, but research indicates that asking individuals that are at risk of suicide does not increase the chance of suicide attempts or suicidal thoughts.
This week is National Suicide Prevention Week, but preventing suicide is a topic that should never drop out of the conversation — no matter what time of year it is. Suicide can be preventable, and it is important to take seriously. We can all play an important role in preventing suicide.