Mental and Emotional Health Issues in Britain at Breaking Point
I just watched a segment on the BBC regarding Kids in Crisis in the UK where they talked about children having mental health issues and parents not getting the support and help they need for their children. It was heartbreaking to see these families going through so much trauma and to witness their feelings of desperation and helplessness. What struck me most though was, how parents are totally unaware of the alternative help available to them and that they themselves can help their children with a lot of the emotional and mental health problems their children are experiencing.
You don’t always need a doctor to help you! There are many things that you as a parent can do!
I remember when I was a child, I had endless health challenges, hayfever, allergies, headaches, shingles, anxiety. I seemed to ‘live’ at the doctors. At one stage, I had weekly allergy shots to overcome my severe hayfever. I had chronic sinusitis and my little body was pumped with antibiotics in an attempt to combat the infections. I also suffered with IBS and chronic headaches. My parents first point of call was always to our GP.
When my daughter was born, she too had health issues, but hers were worse than mine as there were times that she literally couldn’t breathe. She would wake up gasping for air, this made her panic and she would start crying which made her inability to breathe so much worse. I would fill the bath with hot water, close the door and sit on the toilet seat in the bathroom with her on my lap, so she could breath in the steam which would help to open her lungs, making her breathing easier. Most of the time, I would put her in my car and rush her to the hospital where they would put her into an oxygen tent. The doctors did not have a clue what was going on and first diagnosed croup and then asthma. All they knew was that an allergy was causing it and after putting through a battery of inconclusive tests, they instructed me to buy a Nebuliser, gave me a prescription for the meds that went into it. Four times a day she had to breathe in the stinky steam through a face mask, she hated it, but her life depended on it so she had to get used to it. As with any medication though, there were side effects and it made her feel very shaky. I wasn’t happy with the ‘diagnoses’. Telling me my child was allergic to something but not telling me what it is was not enough for me, so I started doing my own investigations and ‘tests’ and I started observing what affected my daughter’s breathing and ‘asthma attacks’. I discovered that she was allergic to dairy and to a preservative called Sulphur Dioxide which was used in juice and other dried fruit products. Milk, cheese, butter, ice cream, anything with dairy in it caused her to have a reaction. Interestingly enough as a baby she had so many ear nose and throat issues, a constant runny nose, sinusitis, tonsillitis, clogged ears, fluid behind her ear drums etc etc and I’m not sure why (this was 30 years ago) but I suspected it was her formula, so I took her off of that and tried to give her an alternative which at the time was soya, which she would not take so she ended up drinking herbal tea. Fortunately she loved fruits and veg so she thrived without the need for milk or formula.
It was hard at the time to radically change her diet, but to me the alternative of pumping her with cortisone and other medication was not okay. Removing all dairy and avoiding any products preserved with sulfur dioxide meant she could breathe again normally. I’m not going to say it was easy, we had to think differently and do things differently and in the beginning shopping became a little bit of a nightmare as we had to read every single label. During this period, I too discovered what was causing my allergies and most of my ill health. Wheat and cheese gave me severe IBS and cramps, my sinus issues were also due to dairy, I got a tummy ache from eating certain nuts and any dishes that contained lots of different vegetables like a stir-fry gave me cramps. What this experience taught me was that Doctors do not know it all and simply accepting their ‘solution’ is not always the solution. To me there is always another way.
People underestimate just how much mental health, stress and anxiety affects your physical health and vice versa
I took the same stance with my own mental and emotional health issues. As a teenager I suffered from depression and had the most awful tension headaches. I was only 13 when the doctors started medicating me with sedatives! I left school at the age of 15 due to my severe anxiety and not being able to cope. By the time I was 22 I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and 5 years after that with Fybromyalgia. Both times Doctors simply medicated me and told me to live with it. It’s not in my nature to ‘just live with anything’ so I once again went on a quest. As a result I cured my body of chronic fatigue syndrome by cleansing my body and changing my diet and I cured my Fybromylagia by ‘cleansing’ my mind and by developing my Emotional Intelligence. I discovered that my unresolved emotional issues from being bullied as a child, and as a young adult, was what affected my state of mental health and was also the cause of my stress and depression which had also made my body sick.
Emotional health comes from understanding emotions and human behaviour. Mental health comes from knowing what to do with those emotions. Mental health and emotional health go hand in hand, what you think affects how you feel and how you feel affects how and what you think.
So coming back to the issue at hand with regards to children being in crisis regarding their emotional and mental health. Don’t just wait around until you can see a GP as they honestly don’t know everything and most of the time all they want to do is give you a prescription. Emotional health can be treated without a prescription, without the need to see a traditional medical professional. Emotional health comes from understanding emotions and human behaviour. Mental health comes from knowing what to do with those emotions. Mental health and emotional health go hand in hand, what you think affects how you feel and how you feel affects how and what you think. There are many books on the subject and many therapists that can help. We can also help! Join our FREE Facebook support group where you can ask Deb, our founder and expert as many questions as you like and also learn more about developing Emotional Intelligence. To join click here