Today’s bright, bold, beautiful crochet mandala for the Mandalas for Marinke depression awareness art project is from Maddy in Pennsauken, New Jersey, who can be found on Instagram @maddylopez324. She writes:
“My sincerest condolences to Wink’s family for the loss of such a creative soul who touched so many. Although my mandala may not be the prettiest, it was made with love. We all tell a story with our craft, the colors we choose, and this one is a Happy Burst of Sunshine.
I crochet for therapy. I am a product of a divorce, a broken home at an early age. Having been separated from my siblings, I was raised by family. I am now an adult, empty nester, and have more time to devote to crochet. It is my therapy, at times my only friend.
I, too, get very depressed and lonely, and we all want to be accepted and be part of something. I hope this project brings many together!”
I think Maddy’s mandala is beautiful, and I love the choice of bright colors. I’m happy to see it as part of this project; aren’t you?
Since Maddy mentioned divorce, I thought I’d share some depression awareness information relevant to that. Studies have shown that children of divorced homes are at higher risk of depression. Christopher Taylor reports that the two years immediately following divorce are typically the most difficult, and the time teens specifically are most likely to experience depression. Studies indicate that female children are more prone to suicide attempts after parental divorce than are male children; this risk continues throughout their lives.
Jann Gumbiner, PhD notes that “Divorce even has long-term consequences for grown children. First, it affects their relationships. I went into marriage knowing I could leave. Statistical studies indicate that children of divorce are more likely to divorce. I also was cautious about trusting others because I knew they could leave me. Parental divorce affects children’s’ future relationships. … There is no such thing as an intelligent divorce. There are no firm rules about a good divorce or a bad divorce. Divorce hurts children, even grown ones. My parents’ divorce has had lifelong effects on me and I am still feeling them.” A 1989 New York Times article on the topic refers to the “sleeper effect” where the divorce-related depression and other issues comes up as the child becomes an adult, not immediately in the wake of the divorce.
This is not to say that parents in unhappy relationships should not divorce or that their children will necessarily experience depression if they do. It’s to note that the stressors that come along with divorce in a family can have emotional consequences including child/teen/adult depression and that’s something to be mindful in the healing process. Rosalind Sedacca suggests, “The key for parents is in finding more time for emotional support and reassurance to help your child feel less alone or isolated — especially by the new circumstances in his or her life. If extended family — grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins are not close by, this becomes even more essential. Children need the support of emotional anchors — close family and friends — and the consequences of divorce too often isolates them from the very people who can best help them through the transition. For this reason, you as a parent must continuously keep your eyes open for signs of emotional distress — and then quickly respond with love, attention, compassion and both physical and emotional support.”