Mental health, Parenting

Ugly Truth 30: Today My Son Was Diagnosed

Dear Readers, Today, I fell to tears on my way home from work after a losing sleep battle at 5am, chronic pain, and the challenge of another trying day for my son. Today, Zachary was diagnosed with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Today, I grieve for my son; for the way things will always be harder for him, for the way he can not yet apply insight toward his behavior, for the friends and caregivers who will misunderstand him and unwittingly make things worse, for the way he covers his ears when noises are too loud, for the way his IQ soars but his social life suffers, for the way I fiercely attempt to guard his self-esteem, for the way I fear I wont be vigilant enough, for those who will and do pressure us into difficult decisions, for the way he severely grapples to regulate his emotions, for the songs he sings that so many will mishear, for the constant redirection of a conformist society, for the way his intelligence will always lend itself to his awareness that he is different. If you don’t believe in these diagnoses, do me a favor and keep your opinion to yourself. I can assure you our pain as a family is very real, but it is not unattended. Zachary has received hundreds of hours of counseling, various therapies, behavior intervention plans, the benefits of countless round table committee meetings by his cheerleaders, and accommodations as his progression and challenges fluctuate. For now, I will have to rest in the years of education and instinct I have invested in. I will have to rest in the competence of the team, physicians, teachers and loving family that surround him. For now, I will have to rest in the knowledge that even when I am imperfect, I am enough. Final Summation: The ability to comfort yourself is invaluable. **If you’re a mental health survivor or mental health provider and want to tell your story – please email me at contact@deskraven.com!** For more excellent insight and entertainment through a collaborative approach to all things mental health, including a guest post from yours truly, visit the Blunt Therapy Blog by Randy Withers, LPC! For additional perspectives on suicide prevention from master level mental health providers visit, 20 Professional Therapists Share Their Thoughts on Suicide! In collaboration with Luis Posso, an Outreach Specialist from DrugRehab.com, Deskraven is now offering guides on depression and suicide prevention to its readers. For more information on understanding the perils of addiction visit, Substance Abuse and Suicide: A Guide to Understanding the Connection and Reducing Risk! In addition, for a comprehensive depression resource guide from their sister project at Columbus Recovery Center visit, Dealing with Depression!
Lifestyle, Parenting

Screen Time: How Much is Too Much?

Dear Readers,

In an age of booming technological innovation, you can’t help but wonder about the consequences of it all. Surely, there will be a downside to these undeniable yet ever-excessive modern conveniences. Let’s face it, you can purchase a home, earn a college degree, and manage your finances all from your computer masquerading as a cell phone. So, it begs the question, “How much is too much?”

Any parent, myself included, can admit to the unique challenges we face in a digital age. In our home, we try to limit recreational screen time to twenty minute intervals, with exception given to illness. We attempt to bolster the time in between with enriching endeavors, education and physical activity, with no more than two hours total screen time daily. Of course this isn’t always achieved, but goals are important.

The Mayo Clinic writes,

“The recommendations are really to minimize screen time in children before age 2,” says Dr. Mattke. “Between ages 2 and 5, we would recommend you keep the screen time to one hour or less per day. And in children that are older than 5, we recommend trying to minimize a recreational or enjoyment-related screen time to two hours or less per day.”

Two hours or less a day applies to teens, as well. But the recommendations do not include educational-related screen time.

All this got me curious about considering the sources of screen time. Surely a wholesome movie on television has less cognitive stimulation than the whirring instant gratification of a video game. Or, is it all the same? Does checking your bank statement have the same effect as landing the next level in Candy Crush? Is it possible our vision or neck muscles are going to change over time? Will we see an influx of mental health concerns stemming from social isolation? Will we measure the benefits of technology for the sick or disabled? Does it matter at all if it’s educational?

Many researchers suggest it is simply too early to tell, however we are noticing some small changes. For example, some populations are showing a reduction in the mastery of motor skills displayed by previous generations. Perhaps we will simply adapt to these changes, and some skills will become changed or altogether obsolete.

So, what are your screen time habits?

**If you’re a mental health survivor or mental health provider and want to tell your story – please email me at contact@deskraven.com!**

For more excellent insight and entertainment through a collaborative approach to all things mental health, including a guest post from yours truly, visit the Blunt Therapy Blog by Randy Withers, LPC! For additional perspectives on suicide prevention from master level mental health providers visit, 20 Professional Therapists Share Their Thoughts on Suicide!

In collaboration with Luis Posso, an Outreach Specialist from DrugRehab.com, Deskraven is now offering guides on depression and suicide prevention to its readers. For more information on understanding the perils of addiction visit, Substance Abuse and Suicide: A Guide to Understanding the Connection and Reducing Risk! In addition, for a comprehensive depression resource guide from their sister project at Columbus Recovery Center visit, Dealing with Depression!