I have now graduated and am working part-time in the field of CYW, while restructuring my yoga business to integrate all these trades: yoga, meditation, spiritual workshops, art, writing, and youth.
With today’s rampant issues of bullying, self-harm, suicides and hidden abuse in families I believe society needs to make a big shift in how we are treating (or not treating) these devastating tragedies.
The rising rate of depression and mental-health disorders makes it obvious our eagerness to diagnose and medicate. I am not ‘against’ medication when a person is willing to take it, and there is obvious positive change as a result of it.
Where I hesitate to agree on medication is when innocent children are ‘forced’ to take a pill for the convenience of the parent or teacher or other authority figures ‘dealing’ with them. We do not yet understand the long term effects of these medications for children. We do not know what harm could be happening to their brain development or over-all well-being.
I think our biggest lack of perspective as a society, is honouring the creative spirit of many of the children diagnosed and medicated. Their energy may be trying to the adults in their lives- but I am sure there are resources out there to help everyone cope, and help for the children too. In severe situations (like if the child is harming themselves or others) medication may be necessary. It’s when meds are used as a first resort to problem-solve, that I doubt any problems are really being solved.
Having been through bouts of depression myself, and a challenging recovery after having my baby boy (very close to a postpartum depression diagnosis, which was finally clarified as ‘situational depression’ to my relief), I have been on medication and personally experienced the side-effects and devastating results of it. For me (and I realize this is not true for all people) it is easier to feel the pain and KNOW it is MINE, then to try and numb that pain, have it replaced with NEW and confusing feelings, that I don’t know if it is ‘me’ or the ‘meds’.
My success has come from life-style changes, and learning to make healthier choices for myself. Yoga has helped me immensely, along with meditation and other natural therapies.
My number one goal as a Child And Youth Worker is to advocate for the best interest of the child, as a part of a whole family unit. As we work towards helping these children and families grow and heal in new and healthy ways, our society will be able to shift to new and healthy ways of dealing with the stresses of these challenges.