Empty- Nest Syndrome - homeopathy360
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Empty- Nest Syndrome

Mrs. Mehra walks into Pritha’s room and sits down on the bed. There, piled up on the pillows are all the stuffed animals that she had given her over the years. Fluffy bunny was given to her daughter on her first Birthday. The bunny looks at her now with a sad look in his eyes, or so it seems to her. She picks him up and hugs him to her breast, and it some- how makes her feel close to her daughter. Mrs. Mehra looks around the room at the trophies that her daughter received for many academic achievements. Pritha was always smart in school, and now she is gone to college, to a new life without her. The memories come flooding back: the day she brought Pritha home from the hospital, she was so tiny; the first day of kindergarten, she felt lost then too, but not this bad; and the first time she went out on a date. It seemed like yesterday. Mrs. Mehra begins to cry.
Mrs. Mehra is a fictitious character, but the sadness and emptiness that can accompany a child leaving home for the first time is real. It is called the Empty Nest Syndrome, and can be devastating for a parent. Even though it can affect both parents, more times than not, it is the mother who suddenly finds herself with these feelings of being lost and alone. The affects can vary, depending on different factors. For instance, when the mother is divorced and living alone, it can be particularly difficult. She might feel that life is over, that she has no purpose in living. In severe cases, when depression is severe or last for long time, counseling may be needed.
What some people don’t realize is that Empty Nest Syndrome actually begins sometime during the high school years. Children become more independent and begin to make important decisions for themselves and their future. They begin to miss their children they once were.
Empty Nest Syndrome-This belittling term sounds like a joke, doesn’t it? And yet, parents all over the country are coming to terms with their children leaving home and to the fundamental change in their lives brought about by this big step. For some, it is manageable, “one of those things”, maybe even something to be looked forward to. For others it is, as one mother described it to me recently, bereavement.
Empty Nest Syndrome is a general feeling of loneliness that parents! guardian! relatives may feel when one or more of their children leave home. While more common in women, it can happen to both sexes. The marriage of a child can lead to similar feelings, with the role and influence of the parents often becoming less important compared to the new spouse.
A strong maternal or paternal bond between the parent and child can make the condition worse. The role of the parent while the child is still living with them is more hands- on and immediate than is possible when they have moved out, particularly if the distance means that visits are difficult.
Empty-Nest Syndrome is the name given to a psychological condition that can affect a woman around the time that one or more of her children leave home.
It can also happen when a child gets married, because matrimony is a clear signal that Mum is no longer needed in the same way she once was.
Empty Nest Syndrome has become more prevalent in modern times, as the extended family is becoming less common than in past generations, and the elderly are left living by themselves.
Empty Nest Syndrome refers to the grief that many parents feel when their children move out of home. This condition is typically more common in women, who are more likely to have had the role of primary care. Unlike the grief experienced when (for example) a loved one dies, the grief of Empty Nest Syndrome often goes unrecognized, because an adult child moving out of home is seen as a normal, healthy event. Upset parents may find few sources of support or sympathy. In many cases, Empty Nest Syndrome is compounded by other difficult life events or significant changes hap- pening around the same time, such as retirement or menopause.
Loss of Motherhood
Empty Nest Syndrome can afflict both parents, but mothers seem to be most susceptible. Many mothers may have dedicated 20 years or more of their lives to bringing up their children, and see motherhood as their primary role. This is true even for most working mothers. Once the last child moves out, the mother may feel that her most important job is finished. Similarly to anyone experiencing redundancy, the mother may feel worthless, disoriented and unsure of what meaning her future may hold. However, most mothers adapt in time. Psychologists suggest that it may take between 18 months and 2 years to make the successful transition from ‘mum’ to independent woman.
Some Parents are More Susceptible than Others
Research suggests that some parents are more susceptible than others. People who suffer the most from Empty Nest Syndrome tend to have things in common, including:
•    Change is considered stressful, rather than challenging or refreshing
•     They find moving out of home a difficult and emotional experience
•      Find their marriage is unstable or unsatisfactory
•      Experiences such as weaning their babies from the breast, or sending their children off to school, were emotional and painful
•      People who rely on their roles for self-identity are more likely to feel bereft than people who have a strong sense of self-worth
•      People who are full-time parents are more often affected than people who also have other duties to perform (such as paid employment)
•      Parents who worry that their children aren’t ready to take on adult responsibilities tend to experience more grief
The Child’s Needs Versus the Needs of Parent
When the ward leaves home, the parent obviously want to keep in touch with him or her. But it should not be tried excessively.
The parent needs to be sensitive to the fact that the son or daughter is trying to take a big, significant step in life – which isn’t actually-much to do with them.
The offspring will need support; but will not want to feel swamped, And the more the parent clings or; shows that he or she is upset, the less likelihood there is of him or her contacting the parent.
They need to ration their calls to no more than two a week. Also, they should try texting or using email instead of phoning. Such ways they will be able to put their feelings succinctly without getting too emotional. This form of communication will probably suit the ward better, too. It’s much easier for a young person say ‘I really miss you’ in a message rather than on the phone, when other students might be listening.
If the ward is having a miserable time at university or college, the parent should resist the impulse to be pleased about this! And they should not suggest that he or she gives up and return home.
Plenty of teenagers are very miserable and lonely for a couple of weeks, but they deal with it. And that is a great accomplishment.
So the parents need to be supportive, but don’t sort everything for them – and certainly don’t try t bring them back home.
Tips to Ease Empty- Nest Syndrome
It is important for the parents to be sensitive to their children needs. They should learn from their friends. Maybe some of them going through the same thing have already gone through it.
They can think of some treats for example, they could have a Iong lie in a scented bath. They may even come to see that although they have lost a teenager, but gained a bath room!
Some practical things to help parents feel better:
•    They may buy some credit for their son’s or daughter’s mobile phone or a voucher to help with
book costs.
•    Try to agree a time once a when they both can have a good natter to each other on the phone.
•    Email some funny snippets what’s happening at home.
New Challenges
The challenges faced by parents experiencing Empty Nest Syndrome include:
•    Establishing a new kind of relationship with their adult children
•     Becoming a couple again, after years of sharing the home with children
•     Filling the void in the daily routine created by absent children.
•     Lack of sympathy or understanding from others, who consider children moving out to be a
normal, healthy event
Other Difficulties
The grief of Empty Nest Syndrome may be compounded by other life events happening at the same time, including:
•    Retirement
•    Redundancy
•    Menopause
•    Death of a spouse
Working Again
Some full-time mothers (and fathers) return to work or retrain.
Suggestions include:
•    Write up a list of all those things promised, would do ‘one day’ and start making those dreams a
reality.
•    Set achievable goals to start with, for example, short courses are probably more realistic as a first step, than launching into a three year degree.
•    Network with friends and associates to uncover employment opportunities.
•    Join professional associations or hobby groups.
•    Consider volunteer work to expand network of contacts.
Coping with Stress and Depression
The child moving out of home is a significant stress. Suggestions for coping include:
•    Acknowledge the grief (even if they feel that no one else seems to understand) and allow to feel upset
•   Rituals, such as funerals, help to come to terms with difficult changes. Create own rituals to help acknowledge the feelings. Suggestions include planting a tree, or redecorating child’s old room
•   Discuss thoughts, feelings and future plans with spouse.
•   Seek advice and support from other friends who understand how they feel, some of them may also have experienced empty nest syndrome
•    Give some time to adapt to the changes. Don’t expect too much, particularly in the first few weeks or months
•     Pursue hobbies and interests
•     Some people find that keeping a journal is helpful, while others find peace through prayer
•     Put off making any big decisions  such as selling up and moving to a smaller house – until they
feel have adapted
•     Keep up regular routines and self-care, such as eating a healthy
diet and exercising regularly
•    Should seek professional help if feel overwhelmed
Planning in Advance.
If one child has moved out and they still have others living at home with them, plan in advance for the day when nest will be empty of all children. Small changes made over time will mean less of a shock when last child moves out. With thought and careful planning, the occasion of the last child leaving home will offer a little happiness too, as they can then implement their plans for an independent life with spouse.
Things to Remember
•   Empty Nest Syndrome refers to the grief that many parents feel when their children move out of home
•    This condition is typically more common in women, who are more likely to have had the role of primary care
•    If one child has moved out and they still have others living at home, plan in advance for the day when nest will be empty of all children
•     Seek professional help if feel overwhelmed
Homeopathic Remedies for Empty Nest Syndrome
Homeopathy can be very helpful both immediately after bereavement and for long-term grief when a person has difficulty coming to terms with the loss. The two remedies most often used are Ignatia in the acute stage – when the person either cannot cry or cannot stop sobbing – and Natrum mur, often used for long-standing grief.
Aurum Metallicum
The grief that an Aurum patient experiences’ will plunge them into a marked; depression even to a point of feeling suicidal, which might or might not be acted upon. They have a strong feeling of being forsaken by the person they have lost and will become oversensitive to many things. This remedy has a strong sense of responsibility (doing one’s duty) and grief can cause them to think that they have neglected their duty to the person; they will carry guilt and self reproach for this. They take their responsibilities-very seriously.
Causticum
This remedy has ailments from injustice’ as one of its characteristics, in grief this is represented by a depression or anger where the person repeatedly claims the death of the person to be unfair. Before the event the Causticum patient might have a great sense of foreboding and fear that something terrible is going to happen. Sleep is greatly disturbed and the person cannot get comfortable in bed, tossing and turning or they wake with a start. They can be intensely sympathetic to those around them who are also bereaved.
Ignatia Amara
This is one of the most important grief remedies in the homeopathic materia medica. Its main indication is when the person cannot motivate himself; he tends to sit in a chair looking into the middle distance and sighing. In fact ‘sits and sighs’ is one of the main keynote indications of Ignatia. They tend to hold their grief rather than let it all out. Ever since the grief event they might suffer from headaches describing the pain as if a nail has been driven into the side of the head. They might show a shift in their character becoming oversensitive and nervous. They could have mood swings changing at the flick of a switch from joking and laughing to crying and sadness. In fact a contradictory mood or contradictory physical symptoms e.g. leg pains that are better for walking about is another key feature of this remedy.
Natrum Muriaticum
This is also a very big grief remedy. A typical Nat-m patient bottles everything up inside, they have the stereotypical ‘stiff upper lip’ attitude to problems and worries. They are refined and reserved, they will bear their suffering stoically and might only open up to a very close friend or family member, otherwise they hold their feelings in. They do not want consolation and any grieving will only be done in private and on their own. With regard to crying the Nat -m. patient can go one or two ways, the more typical is that they cannot cry, the grief rises in them but stops at their throat and they can have a strong sensation of a lump in their throats. The less typical response is that they will weep freely, but still reject consolation when it is offered.
Pulsatilla
If Nat-m is the epitome of the’ stiff upper lip’, then Pulsatilla is the exact opposite. People requiring this remedy are not closed, they do not bottle up their emotions and want to off load to anybody who will listen. They are very tearful and. want a lot of consolation. They do not want to be left alone and will try very hard to get people to stay with them, even to the point of putting themselves out in order to keep a person’s attention. They are very much people pleasers in every way. If they fail they can have a nasty flip side and can be quite spiteful to/about people they have failed to win over or feel have not made enough of a fuss of them’
Staphisagria
This remedy might be linked to grief via its keynote of resentment, there might .be resentment rand anger towards the person who has died leaving the patient on their own or to others around who are trying to help and console. The person requiring this remedy will be moody and depressed preferring to be on their own rather than have people fussing round them. They  may be particularly sad, irritable or depressed after a fit of anger. They are easily offended and can become very indignant over things people say or do. They are snappy, but equally they might hold their anger and irritability inside which them even worse in the end.
The above are just a few many remedies that might be cable to a case of grief. The effects of the remedy on the patient will be variable, for example the tightly toned down Nat. mur. might vent their grief and open the gates of silent suffering, the effusive Pulsatilla will start to become independent and begin to build lives again. Thus homeopathy great deal to offer those who are suffering bereavement or feel that have never quite got over a previous death. It can be a very gentle way enabling a person to move on.
References
1.      http://en.wikipedia.orglwiki/ Empty_nester
2.      http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/wo sheklth/features/ens.htm
3.      pages/story21.html
4.       http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pageslEmnest_syndrome?OpenDocument
5.      . bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pageslEmnest_syndrome?OpenDocument
6.      http://www.integrativepractitio com/artic1e_ektid9502.aspx
7.      http://www.carolineputus.co.uk/ empty-nest-syndrome.shtml
8.      http://www.whatreallyworks.co. start/Homeopathy.asp ?artic1eJIJ=

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