Post adoption stress and how it affects us

Published on 19th September 2016

Post adoption stress and how it affects how we feel

Imagine some fresh playdoh straight out of the tub. The bright vibrant colour, fresh smelling, flexible, easy to stretch, malleable, fun to play with and full of possibility. That was me before adoption.

Now get some old dried up playdoh, its dull, hard, rigid, un-responsive, has cracks and crumbles easily………

I have taught stress management for over 20 years and encountered many stressful situations in my life. As a child I had surgery and was in and out of hospital until I was 5. 25 years ago I had a life changing experience where after climbing Mount Kenya for 4 days to almost 17,000 feet, I became severely disorientated by altitude sickness and I became lost in the African jungle on my own for 5 days surrounded by wild animals. I built up a business with a team of 5 staff and 17 freelance trainers only to have it go into liquidation after 20 years of success. So you would think the arrival of a lovely three year old boy would be simple for me…. Wouldn’t you?

Recent research indicates that having children with attachment difficulties can cause stress that is quite unique: the stress from the challenges we are presented on a daily basis. When we are stressed we tend to stop doing all or some of the pleasurable things in life. This is even more true as a parent of an adopted child. Any spare time is used up with appointments with head teachers, therapists, reading adoption books and attending conferences, in addition to the shear exhaustion of trying to keep life on an even keel. This gives us a double whammy of stress. We also stop getting any good feelings from the things we love to do. A third layer is the high level of negative emotions we experience from being with a challenging child.

What negative feelings does your child(ren) bring out in you?

Angry

Persecuted

Inadequate

Helpless

Hopeless

Fearful

Disappointment

Hateful

Anxious

Rejected

Depressed

Resentful

Overwhelmed

Manipulated

Ashamed

Confused

Exhausted

Other?

Find out how to manage your stress in our Building resilience to stress Less e-course

 

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Member of the International Stress Management Association 

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