According to Dr. Deborah Serani, author of the new book, Depression and Your Child, it is only recently that we recognize that children, even babies, experience depression.
If you have ever been on the way to visit your son at college when you get a call that your parent has fallen—You know about the Sandwich Generation.
If you and your wife have just arranged for your Mom to move in when your daughter asks if she, her husband and their dog can return home for just a month—You know about the Sandwich Generation.
According to the Pew Research Center, just over 1 of every 8 Americans aged 40 to 60 is both raising a child and caring for a parent. Dubbed the “ sandwich generation” this ever-increasing group of baby boomers is caring for the needs of family members on both sides.
While dealing with the demands of time, finances, medical appointments, school schedules, transportation, food choices and insurances forms is no small feat, it is often dealing with the emotions inherent in this dual caring that presents the greatest challenges.
Understanding some of these emotional challenges offers some Sandwich Generation Survival Techniques.
The Emotional Challenges
Being in The Middle of the Sandwich
Adding to the strain, the sandwich generation is “ in the middle” in literal and emotional ways. Often they actually are subject to judgment from both sides. It is no coincidence that these folks are often very similar – They do say traits …
If you are human, in a relationship and living on this planet there will be decisions to make and problems to solve. They may be intrinsic to your circumstances, imposed upon you by outside factors, or a function of your personal needs and goals.
For most couples issues related to jobs, residence, children, socializing, religion, sex, money, in-laws and more demand decisions but often invite dissent.
If you want a clear example of the type of behavior to avoid when problem solving as a couple you have only to take a look at the presidential hopefuls.
Recognizing that they are, of course, contenders and putting aside the specifics of their platforms or the campaign engines that drive their rhetoric, they nonetheless offer a glimpse of the type of the exclusionary thinking and reactivity that erodes collaboration, jeopardizes problem solving and risks relationship success.
Dynamics to Avoid:
Consider avoiding the following as you and your partner build the platform for your life together.
In the preceding blog, we considered the importance of recognizing medical illness as psychological trauma.
Diagnosed with a rare disease, Stevens Johnson Syndrome, at age thirteen, Michele journeyed through two decades of undiagnosed PTSD to eventual recognition, recovery and support of many as the founder of www.healmyptsd.com.
What she offers in lessons learned is of value for parents of children who have faced illness, as well as adults who wonder how they will ever reclaim their bodies, heal their sense of self and take a new self into the future.
Michele, your journey from illness started when you were only thirteen. Parents suffer so much when they see their children suffer. How did your parents respond?
My parents were phenomenal! They were there in a very active way. Their presence next to me, their translation of what was happening to me, their role in helping the staff understand me in a certain way were all crucial to my safety and comfort.
Suicide ranks as the eleventh leading cause of death in the United States. We have lost loved ones across the generations.
While there are many factors that contribute to suicide, an important new study identifies two factors that have been associated with increased risk for suicidal thought and behavior across the lifespan – hopelessness and lack of connectedness to others.