What Lies Beneath Childhood Behaviour

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While working on my book The Road To Mental Wellness, I got to thinking about how far the mental health community has come. The section I am working on is talking about when I was a kid. Let me tell ya, back in the 80’s mental illness was a taboo subject and making jokes about those with a mental health condition was as normal as pouring your first-morning coffee.

Just as I have struggled with mental illness the majority of my adult life, my childhood was packed full of struggle. It was a different time then, where would one turn when they knew that they would become the instant target of bullying had they reviled the fire burning deep within? The answer is a simple one, Nowhere!
One thing I’ve learnt over the years is that some children, I fit in this category of some children, act out in anger when they have some underlying psychological pain. This usually occurs because they are either emotionally underdeveloped and have difficulties regulating their behaviours, or they have some other inlying issue at the heart of the matter.

Reasons children may act out

I was a behavioural child, but I was also kind and compassionate. I had outbursts and often they were physical in nature but I acted out on the objects around me, never people.  The distinction between taking out my pain on objects and not people is or should have been a key piece of the puzzle that no one picked up on.
So then, why is this specific behaviour key to solving my many vocal and physical outbursts? The answer lies within where I chose to express my frustration and where I placed my aggression. To the trained observer, they can see that this behaviour is the result of far more than what meets the eye.

An individual well versed in the ways of all things behavioural related would know that all behaviour happens for a reason and the actual behaviour being witnessed can’t always be taken at face value. Knowing this, a question naturally springs to mind. What is really going on here? Armed with the knowledge that I only hit objects, one can safely assume that  I was not violent by nature. So then, what could it be?

Understanding children’s behaviour (great video)

In my case, I have always had long periods of sadness and loneliness, it is very likely that my major depression started early. Unfortunately, at that time, I had no skill sets to deal with this deep-seated melancholy.

Lacking the proper tools to identify and manage depression, I became angry, aggression was my only way of coping and as a result, I took out my feelings on inanimate objects. Sadly, the adults that surrounded me were also ill-equipped to see what was really going on. That acting based on what they were seeing, an aggressive child that needs to be punished for acting out.

So there you have it, a sad little fella that was punished for the behaviour that depression produced, proving that our perception isn’t always reality. I can’t help but wonder where I would be today if someone would have looked a little deeper.

Please, understand that there is a story behind that little child’s behaviour, the one we all know who seems to be struggling with mood regulation. So be kind and get to the bottom of what is really taking place. Think of the impact you could have.

if you are suffering from PTSD or another mental illness, please reach out. I thank you for your service and you are still worthy and mean something. I believe in you!

If you are struggling please go here: Crisis Services Canada

Want help fund my book? donate: GOFundMe – The Road To Mental Wellness – The book

You may also enjoy: Slowly Walking My Way To Mental Wellness.

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2 Comments on “What Lies Beneath Childhood Behaviour

  1. You are right John. How we view childhood behaviours has come along way since we were young…tank goodness. As a result children are being provided with more support and tools from understanding professionals. The need to inject further support at an early age within the family unit is now the next step. Trans generational trauma is a thing and in order to shape our little beings we need to help suffering parents. Thanks so much for all ur work John!

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