web analytics
December 21, 2014 / 29 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



My Soul Is On Fire (Part II)


Schild-Edwin

In Part I of My Soul Is On Fire, I told my readers about Allan, a very distraught nineteen year old who, in a moment of dire pain, told me he felt his soul was on fire.

As promised, this week, we will further explore childhood and teen distress, what help is available, and how to know when to seek help. We will also take a look at long-term pain and pain handed down from parent to child.

What is meant by distress? A common definition is, “great pain, anxiety, or sorrow; acute physical or mental suffering; affliction; trouble or a state of extreme necessity or misfortune.” From this definition we see that “distress” is more extreme than the average stress or feelings of unease.

A common prelude to distress is stress and frustration. It’s important to understand the triggers that set off these emotions because that will allow us to predict certain follow up feelings and behaviours. By being able to predict such feelings and behaviors, we can learn to be in control of them.

What are some of the most common triggers to stress, frustration and anger? These emotions usually come from one or more of four areas. First, and most common, people identify areas relating to other people as a common cause of distress. This includes family, friends, employers or teachers and peers. A second area comes from internal features such as concern for how one looks and acts, what one is accomplishing in life and worries about the future. It’s interesting to note that these stress triggers affect some people more than others, depending on age, culture and background. A third area of distress would be the changes in one’s life such as the loss of a relative or friend, moving, a new job or school. The fourth distress trigger area includes specific situations such as money worries, a family or friend in trouble and learning and skill problems.

Whether we are children, teens or adults, there are always people in our lives causing us some level of stress. When does that normal stress turn into distress and pain – and how can we deal with it?

Dr. Tian Dayton, in his book “Emotional Sobriety: From Relationship Trauma to Resilience and Balance” discusses the effects of past trauma on one’s life today. As he notes, unfortunately what we don’t know can hurt us. By that we mean that what we can’t consciously feel can still have great power over us. Children from families with high levels of emotional pain and stress may find themselves moving into adult roles carrying burdens they aren’t fully aware of – and that interferes with happiness. Unresolved pain from yesterday gets transferred onto the relationships and circumstances of today – and is so hidden we can’t trace back to the origins of the pain. We think that our intense emotional reactions to circumstances in the present belong entirely to the situation that is triggering them and we are unconscious of what might be driving them from underneath. In fact, looking back on many situations I have discussed in previous columns, you can see this phenomenon in action. That is, people suffering today because of trauma from the past.

This is why it is important to seek counselling. “The key is how often you are feeling this sense of distress, how bad it gets, and how long it lasts; that is what can help determine the seriousness of your situation,” says Abby Aronowitz, PhD, the director of SelfHelpDirectives.com.

Experiences need to be processed so that we can let it go. If a person begins reacting to situations from a reactive, instinctual mode, the likelihood of developing more serious symptoms is great. Years after the stress is “over,” our body/mind are still holding onto it. If it occurred in the context of intimate relationships, intimate relationships may act as the trigger that causes unresolved fear, pain and resentment to re-emerge. The same way that a soldier may over-react to a car back firing hearing it as if it is a gunshot, an adult who has been hurt, as a child, in parental relationships may over-react to the stress of emotional intimacy when they become an adult and experience same, or similar, feelings of vulnerability and dependence that are a part of close connection.

There are a number of reasons why the sooner help can be offered the better:

The person will be feeling very lonely and distressed, and, regarding children and teens, parents will be very anxious because they don’t know what to do.

Difficulties that continue for a long time are likely to impede a person’s normal development, affecting progress at school or work, for example, or relationships with family and friends.

Struggling with problems will sap the person’s confidence and self-esteem, making it increasingly hard for them to cope.

Problems are usually much easier to deal with in the early stages, before they have become entrenched.

Problems of a child or teen that are not dealt with may resurface in adult life and have a serious effect on the young person’s future.

Here is a list of symptoms you should not ignore. If any of these signs seem true for you, speak to your family doctor and request a complete physical. If everything checks out, ask your doctor if you might benefit from professional counselling.

* Sleep disturbances
* Dramatic weight fluctuations/changes in eating patterns
* Unexplained physical symptoms
* Difficulty managing anger or controlling your temper
* Compulsive/obsessive behaviors
* Memory problems
* Shunning social activity
* Chronic, tiredness, and lack of energy
* Intimacy is no longer fun
* Mood swings and erratic behavior noticed by more than one person

Of course, any one or more of these symptoms do not mean you are under emotional distress. Listen to your inner self while also listening to your friends and family. You will know when something is really wrong. Remember, there is nothing wrong with seeking help; the only wrong comes from denying ourselves that help.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “My Soul Is On Fire (Part II)”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Eleven people were injured by a motorist who plowed into a crowd in southern France. The driver yelled "Allahu Akbar" as he attacked. Dec. 21, 2014
French Driver Shouting “Allahu Akhbar” Plows into Crowd
Latest Sections Stories
Games-121914

Here are examples of games that need to be played by more than one person and an added bonus: they’re all Shabbos-friendly.

South-Florida-logo

The incident was completely unforeseeable. The only term to describe the set of circumstances surrounding it is “freak occurrence.”

South-Florida-logo

The first Chabad Center in Broward County, Chabad of South Broward, now runs nearly fifty programs and agencies. T

The NHS was also honored to have Bob Diener as keynote speaker.

Written with flowing language and engaging style, Attar weaves a spell that combines mystery, humor, adventure and Kabbalah in the most magical place in the world, the Old City of erusalem.

There are those who highlight the diversity of these different teachings, seeing each rebbe as teaching a separate path.

Rav Dynovisz will be speaking in Hebrew on Wednesday, January 7, at 7:30 p.m.

Rabbi Simeon Schreiber, senior chaplain at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, saw a small room in the hospital that was dark and dismal but could be used for Sabbath guests.

“The secret to a good donut is using quality ingredients and the ability to be patient and give them time to proof.”

I so desperately want to have a loving relationship with my stepsons.

The Liberty Bell is a symbol of American Independence.

Because you can’t have kids pouring huge jugs of oil into tiny glasses, unless you want to turn your house into an environmental disaster.

Try these with your kids; there’s something for every age group and once all the recipes are made, dinner will be ready!

You children will build the country and you will help restore Israel to her former glory.

More Articles from Edwin Schild
Schild-Edwin

Interestingly, sometimes people who have a very high self-awareness may experience intense reactions to circumstances that others might respond to more mildly.

Schild-Edwin

We define stress as the feeling we get when there is too much to do and too little time to do it in.

I’d like to share some valuable insights that, with clear and meaningful understanding, will have a tremendous impact on our family’s future

Josh is only nine years old, yet he’s an addict. How is that possible? You’re wondering where he gets his drugs from, how does his addiction manifest itself and if there are treatment plans.

often find myself telling clients, “There is no such thing as emotions!” Then I wait for their reactions. My hope is that the client will challenge me, as obviously we all experience emotions. It’s the way we are wired.

In Part I talked about celebrating 30 years of Regesh Family and Child Services providing services to children, teens and families. I shared the agency’s origin and the many lessons I have learned through this journey. As I mentioned, it is my hope that my experiences will add to your toolbox of life skills.

As I look back, it is clear that I learned much as an administrator and therapist – and as an individual experiencing life. I hope you will stay with me as I reminisce.

I know what you are thinking. What possible situation could cause a professional to advise a parent to “Pray hard that your children ignore you”?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/parenting-our-children/my-soul-is-on-fire-part-ii/2012/12/13/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: