Parents want to take their depressed, bipolar children on a trip? Without these preparations, your child's condition may worsen!
01. Parents want to take their children on a tour? Don't do bad things with good intentions
After the child is diagnosed with depression, bipolar disorder and other mental and psychological disorders, many parents realize that the psychological pressure of the child is too great, and want to take the child out to travel, relax and speed up recovery.
Many psychiatrists or counselors/psychotherapists will also suggest, "Take your child out for a walk, relax, and don't let your child be too stressed." ”
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Moreover, after the child fell ill, some parents began to realize that they had been blindly "chicken dolls" before, resulting in overwhelmed children, and some parents were usually busy with work, and the promise of promising their children to travel was always impossible. These parents regret and blame themselves, and they really want to take their children out on a trip to make up for their children.
The intentions of these parents are good, proving that they consciously value the psychological needs of their children and know that they need to decompress their children. However, if parents are not fully prepared and take their children to travel rashly, not only can they not let the children relax, but they may also "do bad things with good intentions", resulting in children being activated during the trip psychological trauma, mood swings, and even anger at parents, and the parent-child relationship further deteriorates.
We have encountered real-world examples in the clinic. After a teenager was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, his parents began to change their previous way of education, changed their attitude towards their children, and proposed to take their children on a trip.
The patient was actually not very happy because he thought of traveling to contact many people, and he was a little repulsed. But his mother persuaded him many times and talked about the benefits of tourism. Especially he felt that his mother had been very good to him recently, and he didn't want to disappoint his mother, so he agreed.
The patient's mother was very happy, immediately signed up for the tour group, packed her luggage, and soon set off on the journey with her child. As a result, the journey was not as good as they had imagined. Because they were traveling in a group, their mobility was limited and their time was tight, so they didn't have fun and were very tired.
What is even more depressing is that the patient also has violent conflicts and conflicts with fellow travelers. The patient was a tall man, and he almost couldn't control his emotions and wanted to fight with the other party. Fortunately, the patient's mother pulled him away from the traveler in time, otherwise if he really started, the patient was likely to injure the other party and would have to accept legal punishment.
After this conflict, the patient's mother terminated the tour in time and immediately took the child home. After the patient returned home, his mood continued to be low, and although he knew that his mother was for his own good, he still couldn't help but blame his mother for taking him out on a trip. He didn't get angry with his parents, but he often locked himself in his room, didn't talk to his parents, and his heart was more closed.
Therefore, if parents want to take their children suffering from depression and bipolar disorder to travel, they must fully respect the wishes of their children; If you go, you must make sufficient preparations to avoid causing secondary psychological damage to the child and further worsening the parent-child relationship.
In the following, based on the experience of clinical psychological intervention, we provide some specific suggestions for parents from the perspective of multidisciplinary diagnosis and treatment (MDT).
02. Respect the child's wishes and let the child do the strategy together
First, parents should not tell their children to "travel", but "vacation".
When we say tourism, we immediately think of visiting places of interest and other tourists to take pictures of famous attractions. But sick children often don't like to go to crowded places, don't like to take pictures, and hate the hard work.
Therefore, as soon as they think of the word "tourism", it is very likely to activate superimposed psychological trauma, and they immediately feel bored and resistant.
The word "vacation" refers to spending vacation time leisurely and happily, giving people the feeling of being slow-paced, decompressing, and at ease, which can relax people's spirit and mood, rather than turning travel into a check-in task.
Therefore, parents should guide their children to realize that we are not going to travel, but to vacation, to relax the mind and body, want to go to the attractions, if you don't want to go, you can also find a quiet, child-like place to enjoy a few days of slow life, empty yourself.
That is to say, for sick children, the word "vacation" has a more positive psychological connotation, which is easier to arouse their interest and help them adjust their itinerary and mentality when traveling.
Second, after parents make suggestions for vacation, whether the child wants to go or not, how to proceed, parents should fully respect the child's wishes; If conditions permit, it is best to choose free travel.
Parents want to take their children on vacation, is this what the child really needs and desires, or is it wishful thinking of parents? Parents must communicate clearly with their children first, and do not assume that as long as they go out to play, their children will be happy.
Some sick children are likely to not want to go out at all. Because of the social phobia after they got sick, the thought of going out to face many people, inevitably dealing with some people, they are afraid inside.
If they are children who are suspended from school, they think that others may ask themselves, "Why don't you have to go to class?" "School is on holiday?" , they feel embarrassed and humiliated.
Therefore, if the child is iron-hearted and does not want to go, parents must not force the child, otherwise it is likely to worsen the child's condition.
If the child is willing to go on vacation, this is naturally a good thing. Parents can further discuss with their children where to go and which way to choose, such as with a group or independent travel?
Parents can work with their children to analyze the pros and cons behind each approach. For example, the cost of following the group is relatively low, meals, accommodation, and travel are arranged, and there are many tourist attractions involved.
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But its drawbacks are also obvious: tourists have to get up early in the morning, follow the schedule of the tour group, have little freedom, and may encounter disguised charging links. After the whole journey, it will be more tired, and the body and mind will not be relaxed.
The advantage of independent travel is that it is indeed very free, and the time and route are controlled by themselves. But the downside is that it costs relatively more money, and it is necessary to plan and prepare in advance.
Parents can fully understand the information and consult with the child, and finally leave the decision to the child without touching the bottom line.
My personal advice is to choose to travel independently whenever possible, if the financial conditions allow.
Because many teenagers fall ill, they are likely to have black and white upside down, insomnia at night, and cannot get up early during the day. If you are with a group, the child must get up at the time specified by the travel agency, and it is likely to be very tired.
Lack of sleep can affect mood, so that children not only do not feel the relaxation and happiness of vacation, but also easy to irritability, anger, psychological trauma is easier to be activated, and it is easier to conflict with people. This is not a journey of relaxation, but a journey of "suffering", and the child's condition may deteriorate.
Moreover, if you travel independently, sick children do not need to face a large number of group members and "enthusiastic" tour guides, and the interpersonal pressure is less, and it is easier to enjoy the pleasure of a real vacation.
I believe that if conditions allow, many children will prefer to travel independently, which is a very popular way of vacation for young people. If you want to compromise, you can also ask a travel agency to provide route advice or book accommodation, and the rest of the itinerary is up to you.
Third, parents can encourage their children to do vacation strategies together, fully respect their children's wishes, and even let their children take the lead.
If you want to have a comfortable and relaxing vacation, it is very important to do a good strategy, and it is also very testing personal ability, especially for independent travel.
If the child is willing, or even actively proposes to do the strategy himself, the parents can give this work to the child, the child will take the lead, and then finally the parents will assist or give advice. Today's children are involved in a wide range of topics and can learn a lot of information on the Internet. Their ability to do strategies is not at all inferior to that of their parents.
When a family goes on vacation, the most important thing is to have fun, especially the children. Therefore, if the child makes the strategy, as long as the strategy does not involve principled issues, and the basic accommodation travel and safety are guaranteed, then parents should fully respect the child's wishes. If parents are really worried, they can make appropriate suggestions for their children to consider again, but do not oppose and point fingers.
More importantly, after full communication, parents respect the child's wishes, which is the first step for children to learn to take responsibility for their own choices, so as to avoid that when the vacation does not go well, they will shift all the responsibility to their parents and worsen the parent-child relationship.
03. What should I do if my child's mood fluctuates during vacation?
Fourth, before the vacation, parents first communicate with their children in depth, adjust their mentality, agree on some points of attention, and parents should repair some psychological trauma behind this as soon as possible.
In fact, even for a relaxing vacation, it is entirely possible to encounter something unexpected. In this regard, parents can guide their children to be aware in advance, if there are some accidents during the vacation and slightly break our plans, the children can discuss with their parents to solve them, try to treat them with a relaxed and positive mood, and don't let these accidents ruin our holiday mood.
Moreover, children with mental and psychological disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder often suffer from superimposed psychological trauma, and may be activated part of the psychological trauma and have mood swings when traveling.
For example, if a child encounters someone's appearance, tone of speech, or even a certain behavior while on vacation that is very similar to someone who has caused great psychological damage to the child, the child may suddenly appear irritable, angry, and even emotionally outburst.
Some children get sick because of the side effects of psychiatric drugs, gain weight rapidly, become obese, and have low self-esteem, which is more common in girls. If the child sees a lot of good-looking, slim girls taking selfies when traveling, it is likely to touch the child's inner sore spot, become depressed, and lose interest in playing.
In addition, many sick children have severe learning disabilities and are suspended from school at home. If they encounter others talking about grades when they travel, especially after the college entrance examination this year, many candidates are also traveling, if the child is exposed to information such as the college entrance examination and choosing a major while on vacation, this may activate their superimposed psychological trauma in learning. The child suddenly feels sad, hopeless, confused, and mood swings.
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There are many more of these cases and I will not list them all here. Parents can think with their children about what "stimuli they may encounter" when traveling.
On the one hand, parents should learn scientific and efficient spiritual psychology knowledge, and try to help children repair the superimposed psychological trauma behind these "stimulation points" for these "stimulation points".
On the other hand, parents and children should discuss in advance how parents and children should respond if faced with these situations.
First of all, when the child's psychological trauma is activated, parents should remain rational, do not accuse and criticize the child, but empathize and listen to the child, let the child release negative emotions as much as possible, stabilize the emotions, and then actively guide the child.
If the child has conflicts with others, parents should intervene in time to prevent the child from making extreme behavior.
Parents should also have the awareness of "bad things become good things", if the child has emotional swings because of some "little things" on vacation, it means that there is superimposed psychological trauma behind this. Parents can use this "clue" to trace what traumatic events their children have encountered and help their children repair psychological trauma as much as possible. This can be done after the holiday and when the parents and children are reviewing.
And the child himself should also consciously control his emotions, if there is a case of taking medicine, the child should take medicine on time when traveling, which is conducive to maintaining the stability of the condition. If you feel irritable, angry, or even have conflicts and conflicts with others, children should realize that they can seek help from their parents and do not resort to violence or other extreme behavior.
In addition, if the child is willing, parents can also agree with the child that during the vacation, parents and children can open up and talk about what they think. This is not only conducive to enhancing the relationship between parents and children, but also allows parents to understand the real thoughts of their children in time and gradually enter the hearts of their children.
Some parents may say that we also want to communicate with our children, but the children do not want to speak, what should we do? This shows that the parent-child relationship still needs to be further improved, and parents still need to continue to work hard to gain the recognition and trust of their children.
But at the same time, parents can also take advantage of some communication skills.
For example, if the child's travel strategy is beyond the budget, but it is still within the range that the parents can afford, or the child makes some additional requirements, then the parents can also peacefully put forward some of their own requirements to the child, "Mom and Dad can work hard to do what you want, but you also agree to some of our requirements, okay?" ”
If the child is respected by his parents and wants to fulfill his wishes, they are likely to say yes.
Of course, if the child really agrees, when parents listen to their children share ideas, remember to still use the "three steps of benign communication - empathy, listening, and positive guidance", don't inadvertently hurt the child, and the child closes the door of his heart again.
04. When parents mention "learning" on vacation, children may resist
Fifth, the purpose of parents taking their children out on vacation is to let the child relax the mind and body, do not intentionally or unintentionally carry the "ghost fetus" that allows the child to return to school early, otherwise, this is easy to provoke strong resistance and even anger from the child, and feel that the parents' motives are impure and ill-intentioned.
Some parents take their children on vacation, in fact, they can't relax, always thinking about what to do with their children's illness? What about children's learning? When will the child be willing to return to school?
We can understand this mood of parents, but parents must consciously adjust their mentality, otherwise it is easy to transmit this anxiety to their children.
For example, some parents may immediately can't help but say to their children when they see that their children are very happy on vacation, "I see that your mood is much better this time, let's go back and try to learn it?" "Some parents are very anxious and may even tell their children directly about returning to school.
As a result, the child immediately lengthened his face, and if the two were judged just now, he might not be in a good mood for a day and ignore his parents; Shigeon immediately became emotional and accused his parents, "When you are so happy, do you have to mention unhappy things?!" "I knew you weren't so kind enough to take me out to play, it turned out to be to let me go back to school early!"
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The child is likely to immediately fall into catastrophic thinking, denying all the changes and efforts made by the parents before, making the parents feel very aggrieved.
I can understand the good intentions of parents, parents hope that their children can return to school as soon as possible, so that their children can return to the normal growth track and better stand in society in the future. However, before the child's emotional disorder is resolved, parents are desperate for their child to go back to school, which is putting the cart before the horse.
Parents should be aware that they should first solve their children's emotional disorders, and then solve their children's learning disabilities after their children's emotions are stable, which is the correct way to deal with them.
Therefore, parents should not take their children out on vacation with a "utilitarian" purpose, and do not mention their children's troubles at an inopportune time. The meaning of vacation is to let children decompress, relax, enhance parent-child relationship, and cultivate a closer parent-child relationship, parents should keep this in mind.
Cultivating a close parent-child relationship is the most critical step in "self-family therapy", which in itself can speed up the child's recovery and make it more likely to return to school smoothly.
When the holiday is over and the parents and children return home, the parents can also review the trip with the children.
If the child behaves more rationally and peacefully throughout the process, and there are no obvious emotional fluctuations, then parents should give the child timely and concrete affirmation. If the vacation is very smooth and happy under the strategy led by the child, parents should give the child a big affirmation and recognize their serious and scientific method of doing the strategy, which is conducive to improving the child's self-confidence.
But if the child has mood swings while on vacation, it is likely that the psychological trauma has been activated. Parents should find a suitable opportunity to use the three steps of benign communication - empathy, listening and active guidance, in-depth communication with their children, understand what psychological traumatic events their children may have suffered, and how to deal with similar situations in the future.
Even if parents and children can't remember what superimposed psychological trauma is behind this, parents can try to consciously avoid these emotional sensitive points before the child recovers, helping the child to maintain emotional stability more easily.
A comfortable, relaxing vacation can help children relieve stress and improve their mood. But the premise is that parents should be fully prepared, adjust their mentality, and learn scientific and efficient spiritual psychology knowledge to know how to deal with the state of their children.
Moreover, it is unrealistic for parents not to hope that after their children return from vacation, their condition will improve greatly and they will soon be able to return to school. If you want your child to speed up his recovery, it is more critical for parents to learn "self-family therapy" and find a rehabilitation route suitable for their children and families as soon as possible. Subsequently, we will write an analysis on the topic of "finding a recovery route".