The Journey


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175 in stock


By Paula Cable

ISBN: 978-1-84991-151-1
Published: 2010
Pages: 37
Key Themes: mental health, post natal depression, family, relationships



‘The Journey’ was written by a family struggling to cope as their eldest son (Dan) made the move from primary to secondary school. It describes how the transition process was by no means a smooth one due to added complications in Dan’s life. Read how he copes with everything and see the impact it all has on his family.

Writing this book was very therapeutic for all involved. What spurred us on to complete it was the hope that we could provide much needed ideas and support for other families, experiencing traumas with their children.

At the start of writing we all wondered how we would ever get through this period of our lives. We are living proof that with determination and commitment you can survive anything. Hopefully by reading this, you too can see that it is possible to get through your troubles.

About the Author

There are four authors of this book, each one offering their own important perspective of a very traumatic time.

Mum (born 1967) met Dad (born 1968) and enjoyed ten years together prior to getting married in 1997. Shortly after this they began their family. Following the birth of both Dan and Tom, Mum experienced major episodes of post natal depression; beginning her very close relationship with mental health. It is through her own personal encounters with mental illness that Mum has realised the importance of sharing these experiences, good and bad, with others. It is only by doing this that people’s awareness of the subject can be improved.

Like any other family they enjoy many activities, together and independently including: cubs, scouts, after school clubs, sports, friends, family, holidays and much more.

They are a very close family who have learnt the importance of being there for each other!

Book Extract

Where to begin is the question I ask myself as I sit here, lap top in front of me, mind busy whirling! I guess the reason for writing this would be a good start…

Over the last 5 months my family and I have been exposed to an intense roller coaster of emotions as our eldest son, Dan, has begun his journey through secondary school. To say that the transition process has not been a smooth one is the understatement of the century! It wouldn’t be fair to blame all the anxiety experienced by Dan on the transition process itself: he showed signs of anxiety and stress towards the end of his primary school life as he was diagnosed with a multiple tic disorder just a couple of weeks before leaving primary school. Prior to his diagnosis he suffered for many months from all sorts of body tics and twitches including: neck and head movements, face contortions, leg and arm jerks as well as the odd vocal tic. The frustrations that Dan experienced as he slowly lost control of his body, as the tics took over, were intense and painful to see. He had so much to contend with as he worried about being different from his friends; as he experienced continuous pain from the constant movements; as he was constantly exhausted from trying, desperately, to keep the tics under control. This was really where all his upset and anxiety began; the transition process just further compounded his worries!

Not only did Dan have these two major factors in his life to contend with, he also had the added worry of the medication that was prescribed to help get his tics under control. Dan was given the drug Haloperidol to help reduce his symptoms. Unfortunately, he was told, at the youthful age of ten, that the medication carried its own concerns and serious side effects: in summary, it could be life threatening in its own right. This news Dan (his Dad and I) found hard to come to terms with; it certainly added to the levels of stress and anxiety he was experiencing.

Without all of this we do acknowledge that Dan was always going to find the transition process a challenge, he would always have had his concerns, but never in our wildest dreams did we anticipate the problems that came after that first day at ‘Big School’.

By sharing with others our family experience of the transition process, we hope to help others who are facing similar problems. It has become clear that Dan is not alone in his reaction to starting secondary school: others have experienced similar problems. Often the children who find the transition process hard have other challenges going on in their lives at the same time: health issues or other personal problems. One thing that we do know would have helped us over the last few months is reading about other peoples’ journeys – maybe we would not have felt so alone and, at times, desperate. Having spoken to Dan at the time of writing this I know that he shares a desire to help others as well, as such he is keen to write his part of the story. We have included some of the many solutions we found along our way, solutions that have moved us just that little step further to the place we all wanted to be: settled and happy. Obviously these have worked for us and if someone else can benefit in any way from reading about them then surely something good has come from our experience.


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