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Empty Nest Syndrome is defined by feeling very sad with a sense of emptiness and depression. When a child leaves home it can be a really hard time for parents. A lot of times, it is indeed harder on the mother as she suddenly can feel like she does not have a purpose anymore and is alone. All the years of taking care of her child and her life being all about her child are suddenly over; she may even feel like her life is over and depression might set in. It may even be necessary for her to get counseling sessions. Thus, some of the common symptoms of empty nest syndrome are feeling sad, lonely, lost, depressed, not useful anymore, empty, guilty and crying a lot. Also, some parents might experience extreme tiredness, changes in the way they eat, worry and anxiety, difficulty concentrating, indecision and the inability to give or get pleasure. Empty Nest Syndrome, in all actuality, starts when the child is in high school and has become much more independent and less dependent on the parents. Thus, the parents will feel like they are not needed as much and this makes them miss their child already. They will be thinking back to times when their child was little and needed them for everything and this will make them sad. As the child goes through the high school years, they will, of course, make new friends continuously as well as go out more and more on the weekends with these friends or on dates. It is during these years that parents worry the most about their child. Whether it be about alcohol and drugs or everything involved with dating, is it a very stressful time for the parents. Keeping communication going both ways is vitally important, while, at the same time, the child needs their privacy, and the parents need to respect that. So, when the time does finally come for the child to go away to college or get married, it can be quite difficult dealing with all the emotions that parents are feeling. A very deep sense of loss can be felt by the parents along with feelings of happiness for the child, and, this is when family and friends are very much needed. On a positive note, this can be a good time for a mother to reflect on the great job she has done raising her child and to think about this new chapter in her life that is beginning. There are so many things that parents can do to take the focus away from the empty nest syndrome. The things that parents have always wanted to do but had to forget about doing while raising their child can now be done. Perhaps they have always dreamed of starting their own business or going back to school; now they have the time to do these things. Once they start to focus on themselves again after all the years of raising a child, those sad and lonely feelings will dissipate.
Many years are sacrificed when raising a child and a parent really does tend to forget about their wants and desires because they feel their child deserves every bit of attention from them as they are growing up. Empty nest syndrome does not have to be a factor for the parents; they just need to remember what they have always wanted to do in life and go for it!
Drawing upon our more than 30-year history of granting degrees in professional psychology, Argosy University has developed a curriculum that focuses on interpersonal skills and practical experience alongside academic learning. Because getting a degree is one thing. Succeeding, quite another.
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