Positive Stress



Postitive stress is a term I learned from Lilly’s therapist. Here’s how the subject came up, and how it could apply to you and your child…

One time Lilly was here and played with some neices and nephews, ages six to thirteen. She is in her twenties, but it was her favorite type of  playing, (crawling-around), and she laughed more than I had heard her laugh in a long time. It was a great afternoon. So wouldn’t that translate into a great rest of the day?

The positive stress was too much for her, and things quickly went south.

After Lilly returned to the group home where she was living, her mood turned dark. Lilly locked herself in a room and threw something heavy through a window. She cut herself while staff were trying to get the door unlocked and call the police.

And then she was hospitalized. Talking to the therapist later, I said that I should have seen it coming.

Was there a way to prevent the tragic second-half of the day? Nothing prevents everything all the time with people like Lilly, but here is an idea. We can stop all the fun way before she has to leave, and insist on a rest from playing while providing something quiet to do. There’s no guarantee that will fix things, but it might help.

Lilly really misses people in the family, yet her reactions and interactions prevent her from being around them much. We have to limit who she sees, when she can see them. We must be careful about activties taking place that might cause her to be unable to regroup from the positive stress the visits bring.

Hopefully we’ll all have a low stress Happy Thanksgiving!