You are feeling as if you are losing your mind and you begin to question if you have a mental health disorder? Your anxiety level is through the roof! You are having trouble eating and sleeping. In addition, memories of being with your children are running rampant through your mind. You can’t stop the flashbacks from the past life you happily lived with your kids. Are you crazy? Probably not but you could be a targeted parent.
When it comes to understanding parental alienation syndrome, researchers spend a great deal of time investigating the impact on the child. This is critically important, but it seems that there is not enough time spent on the impact of alienation on the targeted parents mental health.
For those of you that are not familiar with the term “targeted parent,” it occurs following a divorce, when one parent convinces the children that the other parent is not trustworthy (targeted parent), loveable or caring towards their child when there is no evidence to back up these claims.
Being separated from your children is a major situational stressor. It is one of the worst unresolved losses a parent can endure. Parents experiencing this kind of loss report feeling as though there is a “black hole” in their heart. Other targeted parents have reported that they have experienced severe anxiety, panic attacks, depression and post traumatic stress symptoms. Does this mean that these parents are mentally ill? Probably not. It does however mean that they do suffer from situational stress that is often relieved once they reunite with their alienated children.
Situational stress can occur in any of our everyday life situations. It’s usually a situation you do not have control over which involves conflict. Sometimes people begin to feel hopelessness, sadness or fear due to the situation.
5 Tips To Help You Feel Less Stressed
- Increase Self-Awareness
Recognize the symptoms your body is throwing out to you when you become upset. If your muscles tense or you begin to feel your heart race-stop, focus and take a timeout.
- Avoid Toxic People
Avoid people who may cause you stress. You have a choice here. If someone is consistently causing you stress in your life, limit the amount of time you spend with them.
- Let Go Of Control
We usually feel most stressed when we can’t control things or we don’t know what will occur next. Many things in life are beyond our control. Rather than stressing out over them, focus on the things you can control.
- Try To Alter Situation
Be willing to compromise. When you ask someone to change their behavior, be willing to do the same.
- Share Your Feelings
Center yourself and open up about your feelings to supportive friends and family.
Please know that anxiety is a symptom that can be reduced quickly. Don’t give your negative thoughts power. What you are coping with as a targeted parent is extremely provoking, but if you let your anxiety spiral out of control, you will limit your ability to move forward.