Our Home was a Battlefield but Now it’s a Happier Place to be
My son suffers from depression and anxiety. He has had a difficult time since he was 5 years old. When he was little he was a very social child; he was always trying to play with other children but was unsure how to relate to them. He had few friends and as parents we have always had to work hard to encourage other children to play with him. He has been a victim of extreme bullying; in grade 8, the bullying was so bad that every day he left for school and came home from school in tears. One of the most difficult challenges that he faces is his younger brother. His younger brother is a social butterfly, he has many friends, and our telephone rings off the hook for him. The tension between the boys is extremely intense; we can never relax when the two boys are home together. The fights are constant and I never know what to expect or when a flare up will occur. I used to be a fairly relaxed person but for several years, I have lived in a constant state of anxiety. I feel at times as if I need to escape from my children. Home to me should be a refuge but often it feels like a battlefield. Don’t get me wrong our eldest son is a delight! Most adults like him, and one on one he is usually a joy to be around.
Lately we have observed some changes. We have sent our son to private school where all of the staff understand what it means to be an anxious child. They helped our son to realize that he is a smart person and that he has many wonderful gifts and talents. Consequently, he has become a straight A student. He is on a medication that helps to control his anxiety and depression. He sees a psychiatrist on a regular basis. Our family sees a family therapist to help work through the sibling jealousy that we live with and to teach us to be more effective parents. Our boys are starting to like each other and their relationship is less adversarial. Our home is becoming a much calmer and happier place to be. It has not always been easy but he is worth all of the hard work. With the help of many gifted professionals, he is truly beginning to live up to his true potential. My son is starting to smile and laugh on a regular basis, and for the first time in his life when the phone rings, it’s for him!
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