All the cool kids are doing it

“All the cool kids are doing it.”

This was a saying I remember hearing a lot about in the 80’s/90’s. I tried to use it on my mom numerous times to no avail. My mom was relentless. It sounded something like this…

“Mom, can we have a boy/girl sleepover? The  boys can sleep in my brother’s room.”

“NO!”

I whine. “But Mom, EVERYBODY has boy/girl sleepovers. You just want me to be a dork! You HATE me!”

“No, but I’m no fool either. Now if you don’t quit now, you will NOT be having a sleepover!”

(I sigh, roll my eyes and stomp off to my room- making sure she hears my door shut).

“Cool kids” or “everybody” often lead us to things that weren’t necessarily good for us.

We came from a generation where ‘no means no’ with no explanation needed and ‘because I said so’ was good enough.

Things have changed.

My daughter came home from a friend’s house. I asked her why she came home early. It sounded like this…

“Mom, I need you to come get me.”

“You okay.”

“No, just come.”

“I’m on my way.”

She gets in the car.

“What’s going on?” I ask.

“They were vaping.”

“Oh…” I looked at her confused. My friends smoked, did drugs, drank, I didn’t always leave, I just didn’t participate if I was uncomfortable. If it was too bad, I left.

“Mom, I HATE being around vaping! It’s disgusting. It smells disgusting…”

“I thought it doesn’t smell?”

“Mom, I can smell that crap a mile away. It makes my breathing hurt, just when they do it. I can’t imagine doing it myself!”

“Wow. So you decided to leave?”

“Yeah.”

“Will your friends be upset at you for leaving so soon?”

“I don’t care what they think. Mom, I don’t like it so I’m not going to be around it. That’s my choice.”

“Nice! I’m really proud of you. Thank you for being so strong!”

Another circumstance looked like this…

My son comes home from school with a strange look on his face.

“What’s up?” I ask.

“Mom most my friends don’t believe in God.”

“Okay, so how does that work for you?”

“I pray louder when I eat.”

“Huh?”

“They always ask me what I’m doing so I tell them I pray.”

“You’re not ashamed to pray in front of them?”

“No, just because they don’t believe in God doesn’t mean that I have to be stupid too!”

“Nice. That makes good logical sense. I think you are very brave!”

“I’m mad at them.”

“Why?”

“They’re going to the devil.”

“Whoa. Don’t assume that. People can change. How about you pray for them too?”

“Yeah.”

The irony, is it’s not just my kids. I talk to a LOT of kids. They are warriors for their beliefs. Often, I hear people talking about this generation in a negative way, like they’re soft. They may not be as rough and tumble as we used to be, but they are standing up for themselves when they are brave. That is amazing!

How does this tie to mental health?

Back in the day, we swept our feelings under the rug. Boys didn’t cry, girls weren’t taken seriously. People would turn a blind eye to trauma. Like this generation, things have changed.

The cool kids, well they’re seeking help when they need it.

Therapy isn’t just for insanity, or extremely mentally ill as some people may think.

People come to therapy for a variety of reasons and not just for depression.

They come to therapy for:

Financial advice

Talking about how to make friends

Dating advice

How to achieve goals

How to tell their family they want a change

How to propose to the person they love

For someone to listen to anything they have to say, without being judged

My point, EVERY PERSON IN THE WORLD could benefit from therapy.

So, this time I agree. All the cool kids are doing it. Especially the ones who want a positive future.

It’s time. The New Year has come. Make your appointment today.

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Holiday Depression

Image result for free pics of depression

The unspoken truth of the holiday season…

Depression.

Let’s face it, the expectations are high, kids compete with kids and parents compete with other parents. Commercials don’t make it any easier. Go into a store and there’s a constant reminder of what the expectation is whether you can afford it or not.

You can’t escape the demands of the holidays. Religious or not, rich or poor, family or none, Christmas is expensive and can be awfully lonely.

So many discuss who they spend their holidays with. So many others discuss what they’re getting their loved ones or not.

People forget that there are people out there who feel fortunate to get a single phone call for Christmas.

I’ll never forget counseling a guy one time. He was thrilled. Happy as can be. I asked him what the cause was for so much happiness and he told me, “Well, I didn’t think I was getting anything for Christmas. My family disowned me due to the alcohol. I am too poor to cook. So, I went to the church dinner, played some cards, and the next thing I know, someone handed me a gift. They knitted me a hat!”

He pointed toward his head and showed me the blue and white knit beanie that he had on. He then said, “You know, Christina, this is the best Christmas I’ve had in ten years!”

A knit hat thrilled him. Weeks leading to that day, I was talking to him about ways to pass the holiday without focusing on his own demise. That’s right, Christmas brought on feelings of depression that were so thick he wanted to die.

Being a hundred percent honest, the holidays are very hard for most people. There’s hustle and bustle combined with a ton of pressure and a lot of feelings of loneliness and despair.

Every life has value and purpose. If you find yourself struggling through the holidays, find a local church to eat dinner at. Call an old friend. Write a letter to someone serving in the military. Find a way to distract yourself from the season.

If it’s due to money, please don’t hesitate to ask for help. There are a TON of programs out there. Don’t worry about your pride, we all need help sometimes.

If you’re one who loves the holidays, don’t forget to reach out to people who may be alone on Christmas. A phone call or two. A plate of food for a friend can make a huge difference. Remember all it took was a knit hat to make someone’s holiday special.

A Frame of Mind wishes everyone a very Merry Christmas and a safe and healthy holiday season!