I recommend careful attention to two issues, when helping people dealing with familycaught$ (or CYFs).
1. Mental Health
2. Parenting Skills
New Zealand Guidelines Group published a booklet for GPs:
Identification of Common Mental Disorders and Management of Depression in Primary Care.
An Evidence-based Best Practice Guideline.
Published by New Zealand Guidelines Group; Wellington: 2008.
Published: July 2008
Review Date: 2011
ISBN (Print): 978-0-473-13683-3
ISBN (Electronic): 978-0-473-13684-0
Hard copies of this guideline are available free from: Wickliffe: 04 496 2277
Order Nos. HP: 4597 (full); HP: 4619 (summary)
This guideline is also available online at: New Zealand Guidelines Group
(http://www.nzgg.org.nz) and the Ministry of Health (http://www.moh.govt.nz)
This booklet is aimed at GPs and covers basic diagnosis and treatment.
I suggest that it may be used by advocates, to obtain a basic understanding of mental illness and the treatments available. In all humility, we cannot aim to apply this knowledge, but a general understanding may assist in suggesting what a person might do, to take the best care of themself. www.Wikipedia is also very good in explaining these issues.
It is very common, that people under the stresses of separation and possible loss of access to their own children, may suffer from a degree of mental illness. This may be of short duration or intermittent. This is a circular situation, as this will make them more likely to suffer separation and also more vulnerable to suffering more from separation.
Mental illness, even at a low level, impacts onto relationships, both intimate and parental. Rather than suffering in silence, I suggest to yell from the rooftops and set off bombs.
More practically, quietly go and get social support (ie an advocate) and get professional support for any illness issues. Don’t wait for major problems to become obvious, act early and quietly. This avoids allowing yourself to become an easy target, for any relationship vandals that you might misschance to meet.
Most men underplay their problems and as a result, deny themselves help that is available. I suggest maybe even put your symptoms more bluntly than you think and make sure you get some help, apart from anti-depressants. (You have probably just ended up being more honest.)
Equally, get support and assistance in parenting.
During separation, men usually lose most of the learning from their wife/ex-wife and if they lose a lot of contact with their children, they lose much of their parenting skill development.
Again, rather than suffering, they need to act strongly, to protect their development as a skilled and stable parent. Develop alternative contact with other parents, cultivate more contact with the children’s schoolteacher, cultivate more contact with your nephews and nieces, offer to take care/babysit neighbour’s children….. Discuss parenting issues with workmates, your siblings……
Rather than be paralysed by embarrassment, act to protect your role as a parent. Rather than being proud, protect your relationships.
I want to offer hope. If I am depressing anyone, contact me personally. MurrayBacon – axe murderer.