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Separation and Mental Health

(4 Posts)
Ibiza11 Sun 10-Jul-11 10:44:35

Hi I'm new so I apologise if I do anything that seems against usual protocol.

I am looking for some advice. I have 2 children, one has been diagnosed with anxiety. I am on the verge of separating with my partner and I know my daughter (9 yrs old) is going to take it very badly. Fortunately my partner and I are able to be civil and will handle it the best way we can - no using the kids against each other type stuff. But just the fact that it's happening is going to have a major impact on her mental health and I'm dreading it.

Have you got any advice? Any websites or organisiations that were helpful for you in this situation? Anything I can turn to in order to help her survive the separation without sinking.

Thanks. x

NanaNina Sun 10-Jul-11 20:47:55

The best people to help your daughter with this separation are her parents. Is it the 9 year old that has been diagnosed with anxiety - this seems very young for such a diagnosis. What is the root of her anxiety? Do the chdrn know about the separation. I think the main thing you and your H can do is keep calm and matter-of-fact (no great apologies etc etc) and it seems like your anxiety is being raised by the thought of your daughter's anxiety, so this could turn into a viscous circle.

I think the best thing for you is to get some counselling (you will have to go private) because NHS counselling is nearly always CBT and there is a long waiting list. You need help to keep your anxiety at bay, so that you don't pass this on to your daughter.

You and your H need to talk to the chdrn and say that you will both always love them no matter what, but it's just that you aren't happy living together any more. Some chdrn think they are the cause of the break up. I imagine you have arrangements for the childrens future sorted - who they will live with, how much contact the other parent will have etc. Hopefully this is not going to mean a change of school for the children.

I don't think your daughter will "sink" as you put it, though they will noth undoubtedly feel very distressed. I can only reiterate that you (and your H possibly) need to get help for yourselves so that you can show the children that you are emotionally strong and will be there for them as you always have done, and help them adjust to the new situation. It's so good that you and your H are being hospitable and not using the children as so many couples do.

Ibiza11 Sun 10-Jul-11 22:01:14

Thanks Nana. Yes it's my 9 yr old who is diagnosed with anxiety. She's been through a lot - that most people will never go through - no one's fault. This and other mental health issues causes the anxiety. She misinterprets so much and so yes, I do feel anxious about how she will cope. I do cope with most situations very calmly even if it's not how I feel when I see her anxious and want to wrap her up and run away with her!

We would talk to both children about the situation and give them time for it to sink in and have more questions. I guess I was hoping someone else had been through this with an anxious child and whether they adapted how they approached it to help the child the best way possible or whether someone/thing specific helped.

cestlavielife Mon 11-Jul-11 14:52:10

you can ask for professional help, family therapy,. trained child psychologist , child counsellor , play therapist etc speak to her MH team

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