Sunday, January 16

Teens, cp and depression

School and teenage life with cerebral palsy:

Like every child and adult, they may go through bullying. Which is horrendous in any case having a disability on top of that can make things even worse. It doesn't matter what type of school the child is at either. 

Listening to the Teen:

This is the most important thing that should come from the parents, friends, family, and professionals that are involved with the child. because it is their lives that you're looking out for as an adult in their lives.

At school:

When the child is at school and if they are being bullied. then the first port of call is to get it dealt with within the school itself. But again if it is not resolved you will need to go higher in the system.

At home:

If at home the child is unhappy and depressed. 

  1. Talk to the teen

  2. Listen to the teen

  3. Don't ignore them or brush off what they are saying or going through.

  4. Point them in the direction for help

  5. Emotionally support them

And just generally support them.

Some of the places to guide them include

  • Childline

  • Social services

  • GP

  • Consultant

  • Friend

  • Adult

  • Teacher

  • Councillor

  • Facebook groups

  • Local groups if there any nearby

Dealing with the cp specifically:

When the teen asks about their condition and why they are different because of whatever evidence the cp has thrown up. Remember the following

  • Treat them as you would any other teen

  • Explain as simply as possible that it's not their fault.

  • Give them time to process the information

  • Support them in whatever way they need

  • Get them to ask the consultant relative questions

Then you can help them move forward and by getting support from other places such as the list below:

  • local groups

  • Scope

  • Facebook groups

  • Councillor

  • Friends

These things might be common sense but sometimes these need to be reminded because they are all intensive purposes the same as any other teen but have added issues that may not be disclosed at the moment through the cp but may show up later in life.

What if the teen is nonverbal:

Ok, the teen is nonverbal due to the cp mainly in their facial muscles. Then get them to talk via their equipment. It shouldn't matter how long it takes for them to get their own message, dreams, whatever across and using their equipment gets them to open up. 

Listen to what they have to say. 

Because I can tell you from personal experience that they want to be heard and treated equally in their own lives. Cerebral Palsy does not mean that we are not capable of doing things. It means it has to be done our way. It doesn't mean that they can't use their brains. It means they are wired differently. Just the same as anyone who has any other disability.

What does this mean?

It means that they are valued. Their opinions are presented equally. They are heard as a person not just as a disability. This way they are the person who has cerebral palsy, not the person who has Cerebral Palsy.

Wednesday, January 12

An amazing quote

This I found on @quote 
And totally believe Marylin Monroe was more influential than a lot people realise ❤️

Sunday, January 9

Dealing with depression and childhood with cerebral palsy

So your child has cp and is mentally struggling:

With this in mind, you're gonna have to think about how things are with your child and cerebral palsy. Want to ensure that the child themselves is happy and well adjusted to the environment and people around them. If this is not done then the child could develop depression at a very early age due to the lack of knowledge for themselves about their own condition and why people are treating them differently.

Equality in the home:

Whilst doing everything possible for the educational and physical side of the person with the condition cerebral palsy, people often forget the mental-emotional side of the condition. Because of this, it can be seen as just a physical condition that doesn't initially change yet when older secondary problems occur. It should be acknowledged that equality in the home must be done both ways, not just treating the child as a normal child without any condition. But remembering that they also do have a condition and the emotional side of things can take their toll. Meaning praising a child enough to gain confidence and independence as much as possible. While also realising that they do need help in all parts of life even at this early age.

Explaining cerebral palsy to the child:

So is the child able to do things and seem happy about what they're doing? Or do you see the child struggling and having frustration and unable to say exactly what they want or do?  If this is the case, this is when cerebral palsy can start the emotional roller coaster. 

Several things can be done to help the situation along in the early stages. Explaining to the child that they are different to a certain extent but they are capable of doing things although differently from everyone else. So this might be walking, talking or just moving around in one place. As I have written before, there are many different types of cerebral palsy.

And depression can be of different strengths as well.

It is at this point that it is the easiest to connect to the port of call to help guide the child through the difficult times ahead.  It was thought not so long ago that dealing with social services and medical professionals is a no-no. However, now it is known that actually, it is best to start early to stop any mental illness from becoming very severe. Therefore, having cerebral palsy and mood swings with frustration because of the condition can help both sides of the equation. Because both sides are learning at the same point, although some should be known more now than it was in the past.  However, there are still people in the medical profession who don't know or understand the condition. Therefore they would not know how to deal with the emotional distress and frustration from the patient's point of view.  It is at this point that you really start to push for all access areas in the person's life because more knowledge is known of cerebral palsy in childhood. Yet the medical profession does not know the emotional side of things. 

This is why I mention both sides are learning. Talking to other members of the family and friends and explaining what is needed from them emotionally because they may see the condition and not the person. Some see it the other way around too.

The medical professionals:

Some of the medical professionals who can help you are listed below here in the UK:

  • General practitioner

  • Social worker

  • Consultant

Some charities can help. those are listed below:

  • Mind

  • Childline

  • Carers support groups

  • Scope

  • Facebook groups

Seeing the struggle and feeling frustrated.

This is where you will feel like it could be a double-edged sword. Yes, you are a parent or guardian of a child who is different enough for you to struggle mentally yourself. So use those places to help you deal with things as they come along as well. Except for childline. Remembering that the child is not to blame for how they were born differently is an important thing to keep in mind as they will feed emotionally off those feelings and that can also trigger depression.

Giving independence

If the child can do things then let them. It will give them a sense of independence, self-worth and much more. Also, remember though that things will take longer for them to do. So if you are going out in a bit of a rush then try to remember that they will take longer to do the thing you asked. It might be easier at those times to do the things that need to be done quickly. Also, remember that in the long run that the child's body will eventually wear out quicker than the average person.

Final thoughts:

Remember that a child is a person who is human and has their own thoughts and dreams so listen to the child and aim for it within their own limitations. So be mindful of how things are said and done.  I know it's not easy but do try.

Sunday, January 2

Depression and cerebral palsy

Is Depression and Cerebral Palsy Connected?

That is a question that a lot of people have. It is also a valid one because of the limitations that cerebral palsy causes within the body and the frustration that comes along with it. It doesn't matter what age of the person with the condition there is always going to be times in their own lives when frustration kicks in.

Depression and children with cerebral palsy:

As a child with cerebral palsy, it is going to be harder for them to communicate what is wrong. It may be because they are different from their classmates. That, either they distance themselves to let the others shine. Or they can be bullied. Which is equally wrong. It's also when the parents or family members either expect the child to do the same as other members without taking into account the issues that the child may have. Or won't let them do what they are capable of by smothering. Therefore they are unable

CP Teens and Depression:

This is when things start to spin if things are not gone unnoticed. Because hormones come into play on top of the normal things going on. Such as school, family stresses and strains, their points of reality when they fully understand what cerebral palsy means for them and their future. So it's worth keeping an eye on what they are feeling and listening to them.

CP  20s with depression:

This is really when things are difficult as when they are working if it is possible because quite often the place of work does not understand the persons' limitations. So if you are working then keep an eye on your mental health. Or if you know of someone who has cp ensure that they are mentally ok.

Cp 30s with depression:

Another decade has moved on and your body has started changing yet again meaning that the frustration again kicks off because you may notice the changes in the way things are done. So this is when the body starts to wear out but not completely noticeable both for the person and friends and families.

CP 40s+ with depression:

It is at this point in life that the changes were beginning a decade. They are becoming more and more noticeable. Which will make the frustration more evident. Therefore it is when depression can be strong in the person's life. So make sure you keep it in check.

Final thoughts:

In conclusion, there is every chance that there will be a depressive episode. At some point in the person's life. However, this is dependent on the person's personal attitude towards life as a whole. And is not always going to be there.

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