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The Ultimate Guide to Understanding and Avoiding Parental Burnout (feat. Dr. Searcy-Pate) S5E9
Episode 925th April 2022 • The Autism Dad Podcast • Rob Gorski
00:00:00 00:33:23

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My guest today is Dr. Searcy-Pate and we're having a very important discussion about parental burnout. In this episode, we're going to discuss the risk factors, signs, and symptoms of burnout. As well as what to do if you're experiencing it, and how you can do to reduce your risk.

Please share this episode with your friends and loved ones.

Background:

Dr. Searcy-Pate earned both her graduate degrees in Clinical Psychology from Johns Hopkins University and Jackson State University. In addition, she completed specialized training in child/pediatric psychology at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota as well as the Department of Defense. As a Child/Pediatric Health Psychologist and credentialed diabetes mental health provider by the American Diabetes Association, she collaborates with parents, schools, primary care providers, and specialty providers to provide assessment, therapy, and consultation services.

Get more information and connect with Dr. Searcy-Pate at the link below.

searcypediatrics.org

Find me at listen.theautismdad.com

Mentioned in this episode:

BrainyAct

BrainyAct® provides tech-enabled, patent-pending therapy programs delivered via gamification for neurological disorders such as Autism, Asperger’s, Dyslexia, and ADHD. BrainyAct activates the underdeveloped areas of the brain through exercises that strategically target a child’s balance, gravity, gross/fine motor, rhythm and timing, visual motor perception, and memory. Putting hope in motion means putting your family first in everything we do and using movement to affect real change. Shifting hope to a reality. 91% of families report global brain improvements after four months. Our company was built on the premise to create real, measurable, and visible change that shows you how your child is improving through data. BrainyAct is for homes and schools. Visit Kinuu.com. Use promo code THEAUTISMDAD and save $500. This is a limited time offer.

Visit BrainyAct

Happy Ladders

Happy Ladders is Parent-Led Early Autism Therapy that empowers you, the parent, to teach your toddler essential developmental skills through play. Studies have shown that the parent-led model is highly effective while eliminating frustration over long wait lists, or the worry about losing precious developmental time. All without the disruption of people coming into your home Happy Ladders includes activities that target 150+ essential developmental skills every toddler needs as well as assessments in 4 different developmental areas. There’s also an exclusive community of parents just like you, and professional coaching to ensure success for both you and your toddler. To learn more, get a free trial, and take advantage of an exclusive, limited-time offer for my listeners, visit happyladders.com. Use the code "theautismdad" at checkout to save 50% off the monthly membership. Plus get a free one-on-one session as well as access to the Tantrums and Meltdowns mini-course. This is a limited-time offer so act now.

Visit Happy Ladders

The Calm Compass

Check out these courses: The CALM Compass is a practical parenting tool that has four directions for you to choose (CONNECT, ARTICULATE, LIFT and MOVE). Each of these directions points you towards specific skills and strategies you will use in everyday situations. For instance, how to respond to a meltdown; how to prepare and plan for problems; or how to help mediate challenging transitions. Visit thecalmcompass.com and use the code "theautismdad" to save 10%

Visit The Calm Compass

Transcripts

Rob Gorski:

Welcome to the autism dad podcast.

Rob Gorski:

I'm Rob Gorski, and I've got a really good show for you guys today.

Rob Gorski:

So thank you for tuning in my guest.

Rob Gorski:

Today is Dr.

Rob Gorski:

Jasmine Searcy pate.

Rob Gorski:

She earned both for graduate degrees in clinical psychology from Johns Hopkins university in Jackson state university.

Rob Gorski:

In addition, she completed specialized training in child pediatric psychology, children's hospital and clinics of Minnesota and the department of defense as a child, pediatric health psychologist, and credentialed diabetes, mental health provider by the American diabetes association.

Rob Gorski:

She collaborates with Paris.

Rob Gorski:

Primary care providers and specialty providers to provide assessment therapy and consultation services.

Rob Gorski:

She's here today to talk about burnout.

Rob Gorski:

Burnout is something that I think impacts so many of us, especially as parents of kids with additional needs, but what is burnout?

Rob Gorski:

You know, how does it, how does it affect us?

Rob Gorski:

So we're going to learn about what burnout is we're going to learn about the signs and symptoms of burnout are so that we can recognize it within ourselves or a loved one.

Rob Gorski:

We're going to talk about what we can.

Rob Gorski:

We are experiencing burnout to kind of help ourselves through that or help a loved one through that.

Rob Gorski:

We're going to talk about what we can do to help eliminate or reduce the risk of experiencing it in the first place.

Rob Gorski:

And then we're going to talk about the importance of self-care and how all of this can impact our kids.

Rob Gorski:

And finally, take some time and talk about her book.

Rob Gorski:

Olivia takes a mental health day.

Rob Gorski:

So thank you for taking the time to come on the show.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Absolutely.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

It's very important in the context of COVID and in the context.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

All the events that are happening around our world in the context of being a parent to autistic children.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

So thank you for having me.

Rob Gorski:

Could you take just a minute and, uh, tell us a little about.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Yes.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

So about me.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

I am BI from a professional standpoint, I am a licensed clinical psychologist.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

My specialty is with children and adolescents and pediatric psychologists.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

I've been practicing for over 13 years.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

And some of the presentations that I specialize in is children who are autistic or have, who have been diagnosed with autism children who have undergone traumatic experiences.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

ADHD, depression and anxiety.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

And I also do psychological evaluations for parents who are trying to clarify presentations for children, whether it's autism, ADHD, and so on.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

So a little bit about me.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

So,

Rob Gorski:

so let's talk a little bit about burnout.

Rob Gorski:

Um, I, I know that I have personally experienced burnout probably more times, probably more times than what.

Rob Gorski:

I would like to have, um, and it tends, it tends to revolve around me, um, kind of, I guess, kind of giving and giving and giving and giving and giving until I have nothing left to give, or I put everything that I have into my kids until I have nothing left.

Rob Gorski:

Like I've spent myself empty and I was wondering if you could just help everybody out there to better understand what burnout is, because I think there's.

Rob Gorski:

Um, I don't know if there's like negative connotation to it a little bit or, or some misunderstandings about like, whether it's a, like it's a sign of weakness or, or something like that.

Rob Gorski:

And it's, it's not, uh, it's a human thing.

Rob Gorski:

So could we talk a little about.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Absolutely.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

And so thank you so much for bringing up an important topic.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

If you're listening out there, parental burnout is real burnout is definitely real.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Just thinking about everything that's going on in the context of our country.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

But we also think about the viewers on this podcast.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

When we think about parental burnout.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

It looks different for everyone.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Okay, Rob.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

So I could be a parent and I could experience emotional detachment.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Whereas another parent could maybe experience pessimistic thinking.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Right?

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

I think all of us bring something in our parent child relationship based on the history that we have and how we were raised by our caregivers.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

But here are about one to five signs of.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Knowing like, okay, what are the warning signs for me?

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Or what are the signals that Hey, I possibly need to reach out for some.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

And seek consultation from a professional, whether that's mental health, professional, um, spiritual pastor or family member or et cetera, I would say the first sign would be emotional detachment.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Oftentimes we're caring for children.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

If we're caring for children or loved ones who have, uh, concerns regarding mental health.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Health challenges.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Oftentimes we are on the go Rob, like you said, and sometimes that first son could be emotional NAMI or detachment waking up with the same day.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

And dreading that day.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

And sometimes that allows us to emotionally detach from our children, right?

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

So we're going out with them to games to enjoy eating, right.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

And during that time, we are just detached from the situation.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

That's one son, another one is pessimistic thinking or negative thinking patterns, which could lead to.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Or blame.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Right.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

So thinking about things of, oh, I'm dreading this day, right?

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Or I'm dreading waking up to do the same things over and over.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

And I feel like I don't have any relief from my caretaking responsibilities.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

That's another sign.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Another one is.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Weight gain or sleep concerns, right.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Where we're not getting enough sleep or sleeping too much.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Right.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

And forgetting about responsibilities of caretaking or parenting for the ones that we love and that story.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Right.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

And other things could be appetite changes or something.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Because we will likely experience it to some degree of anxiety or depression.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Right?

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

So anger, irritability, mood difficulties, right.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

A family member could say, Hey, Rob, or, Hey Jaz this week, something's off with you.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

You're more snappy than usual.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Those are also signs of parental burns.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

They can all look differently for all of us.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

So I think that the one thing is just being aware and asking family members, Hey, have I changed?

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

I'm feeling this way, but do you think you've noticed anything within the past week or two weeks?

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

For me when we think about parental burnout.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

So, um,

Rob Gorski:

how do you, uh, and you brought it up at the very end, but a lot of those seem to kind of overlap with symptoms of depression.

Rob Gorski:

How do you, how do you know.

Rob Gorski:

One from the other, I guess, if that makes sense

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

between parental burnout and depression.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Okay.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

That's a great question.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

A lot that they can also, they can overlap.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

So when we think about parental burnout, obviously the signs that I just mentioned, but when we think about parental depression, here are some things.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Okay.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

So there are symptoms, sadness, irritability, loss of appetite, sleep changes.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

We're popping off as this generation would say are more snappy than usual.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

If we think about symptoms of depression or anxiety, if they're lasting more than two to three weeks at a time, and we're experiencing that every day or maybe five times out of seven days, that's a signal.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

And that really.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Differentiate us between depression and parental burnout.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Parental burnout is more of short term that could lead more so into clinical depression and anxiety they overlap.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

But we want to think about the timing and how long we're filling that way, because oftentimes we can be burned out as a parent, but also could be experiencing clinical depression and anxiety.

Rob Gorski:

So what are some of the.

Rob Gorski:

W even with parenting in general, I mean, parenting in general, isn't easy.

Rob Gorski:

So I don't want to take that away from anybody because I'll inevitably hear from people about that.

Rob Gorski:

But, uh, when you're parenting kids with additional needs, it, it ups that challenge in ways that are very difficult to understand, unless you're kind of living that or you have firsthand experience, what are some of the, what are some of the things that cause burnout in parents?

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Things that could cause parental burnout is doing the same task demands schedules every day, right?

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

With no relief, no help.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Waking up to the same thing that can lead to burnout.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

If we already have a history of symptoms of depression or anxiety or any other mental health challenge that can also expedite.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Signs right.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Or symptoms of parental burnout too.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

I think those are the two main things thinking about parental burnout that can lead to just doing the same thing and not having a support system.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Oftentimes when I'm working with family members, I'll say, mom, dad, you two, can't be the only ones that are doing this for a little Jasmine.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Right?

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Who's your support system who are the individuals that can give you a break?

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

If we don't have a support system, there are resources in the community.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

We can also hire help, right.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

To help us and give us a mental health day.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

If we need one, I think.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Thinking of those signs are things that can lead up.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Just not really asking for help in things that may be within us that can expedite us filling parental burnout as well, such as depression and anxiety.

Rob Gorski:

Okay.

Rob Gorski:

So if you are prone to things like depression, uh, or, or you like I've battled with depression on and off my whole life, are you more prone to things like burnout?

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

If it's not managed.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

So if one is.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Or have dealt with anxiety and depression, the majority of their life.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Obviously we have highs and lows, right?

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

So we can have a low, we can have a high, depending on what's going on in our environment.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

If it's not managed, it can definitely increase your chances of experiencing parental burnout.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Right?

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

So if someone has, does not have those symptoms manage, it can increase our chances of experiencing parental burnout.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Unfortunate.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Okay.

Rob Gorski:

Uh, to, I guess this is a two-part question.

Rob Gorski:

Um, and we probably take it one at a time when, when parents are burned out or dealing with depression that can obviously have an impact on their kids.

Rob Gorski:

How, how can we avoid having that impact our kids and what can we do?

Rob Gorski:

To lessen the impact or reduce the impact of parental burnout?

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Yes.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

I think this is a great question.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Rob, a lot of parents acts that I do think using your support system to take a day to step back and reflect on your own self.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Forget everyone else.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Forget hubby.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Why?

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Kids within that hour or two hours that you're asking to step back and reflecting.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

And during your reflection, I think parents could really say, has, have I changed in the context of the last three months?

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Am I eating?

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Have I been going to the gym as usual?

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Have I been sleeping right as I should, typically I sleep eight hours a night.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Have I begin the least half of those hours?

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Asking your support system.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Do you notice, or have you noticed any changes within me?

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Do I, do I, um, when you look at me or interact, do, am I more irritable?

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Does it look like I'm taking care of myself and asking for feedback from your loved ones during that?

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Self-reflection I think that's one way where we can kind of see.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Hey, I need to stop and think about what's happening here and then press the gear and start driving again to see if I need to reach out for support or see what's happening here because oftentimes parents and caregivers often miss the signs until things really start to worsen where people are saying, Hey, you need to stop.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Right.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

But I think if we're being proactive, maybe.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Every two weeks or once monthly asking for help and taking a moment to reflect and take a step back to actually reflect on what do we need so that we can continue to push forward for the children that are in our lives.

Rob Gorski:

So, so we're talking a lot of.

Rob Gorski:

Self care type things, right?

Rob Gorski:

Like you mentioned, you mentioned going to the gym, uh, not going to the gym, like you normally would, would be a sign of, of a potential problem, but going to the gym, like for me, that's an outlet for me.

Rob Gorski:

That's like, I can do.

Rob Gorski:

So anxious and I can go to the gym and I can burn off all that anxiety and I don't internalize it.

Rob Gorski:

Um, but basically just taking time for yourself to put back, uh, so that you have something to give my, uh, I had a therapist tell me once you have to be selfish before you can be selfless.

Rob Gorski:

And I always feel like, because I talk a lot about self care and I always feel like it's so counterintel.

Rob Gorski:

To most people like when you say, you know, I think our, our initial approach to parenting is we always put our kids first, no matter what, and I get that and that's fantastic, but I think it's misguided in some cases and you can spend yourself into physical and emotional bankruptcy.

Rob Gorski:

And then what good are you to your kids?

Rob Gorski:

Right.

Rob Gorski:

So.

Rob Gorski:

It's uh, I found that parents, especially parents of kids with additional needs have a really hard time they've they feel like they're taken away from their kids in order to put into themselves.

Rob Gorski:

And I don't think it has to be that way, or at least it shouldn't be viewed that way.

Rob Gorski:

Um, I was wondering if you, if you see that when you, with the people that you work in.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Absolutely.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

So a lot of my caregivers who are taking care of children with many mental health challenges, I often every session I save about 10 minutes to talk to caregivers and I'll ask mom and dad, or grandma or grandpa, how are you taking care of yourself?

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Walk me through what have we done for self care?

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

This.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

And during that time, I'm hoping that parents say, all right, Dr.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Jazz, after surgery, I went to the gym or I practice mindfulness.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

I looked into that, right.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Or I practice meditation, or I went to get my nails done after jazz, or even dads, they say, Hey, I took a trip or I wouldn't have to eat by myself or went to get some ice cream.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

I always am asking about that because I do Rob, like you said, I remind parents if we're not good, Ourselves right independently.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

We're not going to be or show up emotionally, therefore our children, because children, they can read through the laws.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

They can children as young as three or four connects.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Mommy, you don't look well, mommy stressed or mommy, sad children.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

They can internalize.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

And they know when we need help.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

We just need the accident too.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

So I think that's a very good question, Rob.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

And I do remind caregivers.

Rob Gorski:

For the parents out there who are, who may be really struggle with the concept of self care, what are the negative effects on our kids that can be avoided if we take better care of ourselves?

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

What I tell caregivers, and this is a great question, is that when we model self care and the importance of our mental health, we are communicating to our children that it's okay to step.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

For a moment to recover and that in turn positive, totally affects our children when they see this.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

So I think when we model that self care and say, daddy is not feeling good today, daddy's going to take a step back and go get a pedicure or manicure or some ice cream, or go walk at the gym.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

I think that models that self care, mental health and prioritizing that, but also our children will learn that in the context of curious.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Even if it's 30 minutes or an hour.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

So I do think there are positive effects of that, but also when we engage in self care, think about our brains, right?

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

And the chemicals in our reins, thinking about serotonin or different neuro-transmitters that improves mood, we are generating all those positive neuro-transmitters to improve our mood, to improve stress levels, anxiety levels.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

When we're engaging in self.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

There's a bunch of research that supports that.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

So I think by us engaging in those things, our children are seeing it, but it also improves our overall level of care to and functioning.

Rob Gorski:

And if you, if you wanted to tell parents, um, if there was like one message surrounding self-care that I'm trying to think of how, how, how to ask this, like, When we don't take care of ourselves, that can have a negative impact on our kids.

Rob Gorski:

We can be like you mentioned, we could be shorter with them.

Rob Gorski:

We can have a shortlist.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Yeah.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Are our pay more reactive

Rob Gorski:

patients that, you know, the pool of patients we have to pull from can be a shallower.

Rob Gorski:

And you know what I mean?

Rob Gorski:

There's, there's just all of these things that I don't know that we always.

Rob Gorski:

Recognize in the moment, because when I'm experiencing things like this, it's hard for me.

Rob Gorski:

I think it takes a certain level of self-awareness to be able to identify this within yourself in the moment, especially if you're a single parent, when you are.

Rob Gorski:

Overwhelmed like by default every day.

Rob Gorski:

But if you, if you don't take care of yourself and you don't do these things, then that can have a negative impact on your kids, it can affect your parenting skills.

Rob Gorski:

It can affect your ability to, uh, spend time or, or, or things like that.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Children may mix signals within that communication.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

So dab was reactive he's mean, therefore he doesn't love.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Right.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

So children can also receive mixed messages if our parenting is affected because we're not taking care of ourselves.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Right.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

That's a good point.

Rob Gorski:

I didn't think about it like that.

Rob Gorski:

Yeah.

Rob Gorski:

Oh.

Rob Gorski:

And kids are really good at blaming themselves for everything that happens.

Rob Gorski:

Right.

Rob Gorski:

So like, if dad's in a bad mood, maybe it's their fault.

Rob Gorski:

Maybe they did something wrong and it has nothing to do with them.

Rob Gorski:

It has everything to do with work or.

Rob Gorski:

You know, dealing with everyday adult life, that can be problematic as a really good point.

Rob Gorski:

I want to take a couple of minutes and talk about your book because it's such a cool thing.

Rob Gorski:

It's called, called Olivia.

Rob Gorski:

It takes a mental health day.

Rob Gorski:

Could you, could you tell us a little bit about the book and like what, um, like what inspired you to, to write that and what, what's the message that you're trying to say?

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Yes.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Thank you so much, Rob.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

I believe in 2021.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

So I wrote the books and two weeks I took a sabbatical.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

So as a psychologist, I take a sabbatical every year for two weeks to do nothing other than what I want to do.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

And I wrote this book, which was really guided by the us surgeon general.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

We're poor about children's mental health needs and the context of COVID.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

So what they found was that there was increased number of.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Emotional concerns and behavioral concerns such as depression and anxiety as well as suicide rates.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Unfortunately.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

And so that was a narrative that really drove me to write this book, but also we always talk about adult, right mental health, and we all then miss the children.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

So Olivia takes a mental health day, which is in the background is about a nine year old girl.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Name Olivia who decides to take a mental health day after she experiences anxiety.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

And she's diagnosed with a medical diagnosis, which is type one diabetes.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

So in the book she learns to take a step back.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

To recover and take care of her mental health, um, needs.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Right.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

But she also connects with friends, a counselor, a psychologist in the book, as well as her team to talk about the challenges that she's facing.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

The book also has tips on parental burnout and ways to model healthy emotions and behaviors in children as young as five, as, as well as.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

I would say age five to maybe 11 for the book.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

And so parents could really find additional information if they're listening to the podcast about additional tips, that may be helpful.

Rob Gorski:

Very cool.

Rob Gorski:

The avenue coat, I mean, COVID has, has changed.

Rob Gorski:

Oh my God.

Rob Gorski:

So many things.

Rob Gorski:

And I feel like it's still not over yet.

Rob Gorski:

Um, but I have found my kids need mental health days, you know, they're, they're just overwhelmed and.

Rob Gorski:

It w it feels like what I was very frustrated during the time that we were on, uh, there was remote learning and, and even since we've been back in school, there's so much pressure put on our kids and, and they're not, they're not failing school.

Rob Gorski:

They're not struggling.

Rob Gorski:

They're like surviving the worst public health crisis of our lifetimes.

Rob Gorski:

And I, and I feel like when we're in the middle of that, State testing, which like my kids are doing right now just creates so much undue stress for what you know, and, and when my kids get to a point where they are just, they're not sleeping or, uh, the stomach aches are a big one, you know, It's like, you know what guys, it's Thursday night, we're just going to write Friday off.

Rob Gorski:

We're going to just take it easy.

Rob Gorski:

And just, and until COVID I never really, it never really occurred to me, which is really sad, honestly, but it never occurred to me that like kids need mental health breaks as well.

Rob Gorski:

Well, they're dealing with the same things that we're dealing with as adults, but lack all of the life experience to actually cope with that.

Rob Gorski:

And if I'm struggling as an adult, what are my kids experienced?

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Absolutely.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

And I don't know about Ohio, but Chicago and other states, our children get five mental health days off for the entire year.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Yes, I have.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

I heard, I have children who take mental health days now boundaries are placed, so they're not playing video games.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

They're, you know, they're actually doing the things necessary, but it has helped so many of the youth that I actually see and treat, but also.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Modeling that.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

So Rob, like you said, Friday, we're writing it off where we're going to take care of our sales today.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

I think that's great modeling to children to say, Hey, sometimes it's okay to take a step back.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

We don't need to always be in drive mode, right.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

To step back and reflect and kind of take care of our sales in the context of everything that's going

Rob Gorski:

on.

Rob Gorski:

Yeah.

Rob Gorski:

One of the things that we're doing in my family, uh, well, more so as the weather gets better, but like we're taking Sundays.

Rob Gorski:

To take the kids hiking and get out into the woods and just, just get away from the noise and experience nature, because it's such a, it's such a positive, it's a grounding experience, I think.

Rob Gorski:

And, and it removes all of the things and you're not taking your phone to like Pokemon haunt and whatever.

Rob Gorski:

You're like, you're going to go climb trees or go.

Rob Gorski:

Get dirty or, you know, like just, um, kid things right.

Rob Gorski:

Where they can just be kids and have fun.

Rob Gorski:

We did a, we did an impromptu trip to lake Erie, not too long ago and had no plans on doing that.

Rob Gorski:

And it was really cool.

Rob Gorski:

But, but that's where we ended up, you know, an hour and a half away from home.

Rob Gorski:

And, and it was one of the best days that I can remember the kids just had so much fun and everybody walked away in a better place.

Rob Gorski:

You know, it didn't, it wasn't like a structured anything.

Rob Gorski:

It was just, we just went and did it.

Rob Gorski:

Everybody felt better afterwards.

Rob Gorski:

And that was a really positive thing.

Rob Gorski:

And I think planning activities, whether it's every weekend or whatever works for your life, Have those have those experiences because it's, you know, that that grounding effect of, of, um, it gives all the th that anxiety and everything kind of like, um, like a lightning rod or, or, uh, a ground on a circuit.

Rob Gorski:

It gives that all that negative energy, a channel away, you know, and you can, you can just give it back and walk away from it.

Rob Gorski:

And, uh, I wish I wish people would do that.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Yeah, absolutely.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

And I challenge caregivers if you're listening once a month.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

I think Rob that's great planning something for the family, whether it's hiking, it's going to rock climbing GM.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

It's something that the family and the children.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Benefit and experience from, to kind of reset and ground everyone back.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

And then we go back into the world, right.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Do our normal, and

Rob Gorski:

it gets, it gets you away from screen time and you kind of disconnect from everything else.

Rob Gorski:

And you just kind of experience look like what my childhood was like, you know, way back then.

Rob Gorski:

And you know, so it's, it's.

Rob Gorski:

I, I want my kids to have those experiences so that they can pass that on to their kids and they're not doing it virtually, you know, whenever possible.

Rob Gorski:

Um, is there anything else that you wanted parents to, to know, just to help them.

Rob Gorski:

I guess be better

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

or, yeah.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Be better for themselves.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

One thing I want to leave parents with is the idea of knowing that we are not.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

A hundred percent for our children or cannot be if we're not a hundred percent for our sale.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

So if you're listening, definitely take a pause and self-reflect and identify areas, whether it's Rez, whether it's eating healthier, whether it's getting back in the gym, whether it's engaging in meditation, taking a step back to see from a values perspective, what do you value and what can you start doing to prevent or decrease?

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Parental burnout for yourself.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Okay.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

I do want to leave parents with that and if you're not sure if you're not sure as you're reflecting, if you have experienced changes X, your loved ones, I think enact your children as your children in your own way, is mommy or daddy seen more upset, right?

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Apologize.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

The children, they will tell you specifically, if they're autistic, they'll tell you you'll don't.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

If you want to ask you want the answers, definitely make sure you,

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

and then if you have all the data and let's say you don't know what to do, I say, seek out professional support, mental health provider to guide you on.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

How could you.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Be a better parent, even though you're doing everything you need to be doing, but how can you best engage in self care for your own mental health?

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

I would say that that's what I would leave.

Rob Gorski:

Very good advice.

Rob Gorski:

It's very good advice.

Rob Gorski:

Thank you.

Rob Gorski:

Um, where can, where can they find you?

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Yes.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

So if you go to www dot.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Searcy S E a R C Y pediatrics, that org, I have resources there.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

You're going to of course, purchase the book.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Olivia takes a mental health day and find more information about me.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

You can send me an email.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

If you have questions after this podcast,

Rob Gorski:

I'll have all that information in the show notes so that you guys can just click on it because.

Rob Gorski:

I can't remember what I have for breakfast today.

Rob Gorski:

Most of the time you just click on it and you'll be good to go.

Rob Gorski:

Um, thank you so much for your time.

Rob Gorski:

I really, really appreciate.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Absolutely.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

And I appreciate being on your podcast.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Let me know how it can be further helpful in the future.

Rob Gorski:

Absolutely.

Rob Gorski:

Thank you very much.

Rob Gorski:

And I don't know what date, what is it?

Rob Gorski:

Tuesday?

Rob Gorski:

It's Tuesday, Tuesday, Tuesday, have a great have a great week.

Rob Gorski:

Yeah,

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

look, that's the sign and self-reflecting

Rob Gorski:

yeah.

Rob Gorski:

I don't even know.

Rob Gorski:

Date is, oh God, man.

Rob Gorski:

It's it's yeah.

Rob Gorski:

Well, thank you again.

Rob Gorski:

Have a fantastic rest of your day.

Rob Gorski:

And, uh, we'll be in touch.

Dr. Searcy-Pate:

Absolutely.

Rob Gorski:

Before I close things out today.

Rob Gorski:

I just want to take a minute and say thank you to Dr.

Rob Gorski:

Searcy paid for taking the time to come on the show and talking to us about burning such an important topic.

Rob Gorski:

And we gained a lot of insight and information that I hope you guys are able to apply to your life and better recognize the signs and symptoms in yourself or in a loved one, or, or hopefully prevent yourself from ever having to experience something like that.

Rob Gorski:

So, you know, thank you again for helping educate us and, uh, for more information about Dr.

Rob Gorski:

Um, you can find her@searcypediatrics.org.

Rob Gorski:

The link will be in the show notes below.

Rob Gorski:

You'll be able to check out her book and all of her other information.

Rob Gorski:

So again, thank you very much.

Rob Gorski:

I really appreciate it.

Rob Gorski:

As for me, you can find me@theautismdead.com.

Rob Gorski:

All my social links are top of the page.

Rob Gorski:

You can subscribe and rate this podcast and any one of your favorite podcasts, listening to naps.

Rob Gorski:

Just do that for me.

Rob Gorski:

I'd really appreciate it.

Rob Gorski:

And, uh, yeah, I hope you guys have a great week and I will talk to you next Monday.

Rob Gorski:

All right.

Rob Gorski:

Take care.

Rob Gorski:

See you.