Momlogic contributor and family therapist Shannon Fox, will be on Extra tonight for her take on Heather Locklear's arrest -- and how it will affect her daughter. Here's what she thinks you need to know ...
Her daughter, Ava has a double whammy. Both of her parents have emotional issues and, obviously, some sort of drug problem. Kids who have depressed parents are three times as likely to develop mood disorders and over two times as likely to have substance abuse problems. When I see parents who are depressed, I recommend they get their children treated too.
Kids of depressed parents grow up fast. They aren't only affected by their parents depression due to genetics, as some studies say. Just being around the parent in this state can impact them. If Heather was so depressed that she was in a facility for a month, she wasn't functioning properly. Ava may have had take care of mom, wonder if it was a good day or bad day, figure out if mommy was going to wake up, etc. Kids in these cases are forced to be self-sufficient.
Kids know what's going on. Ava was in the car when her dad was pulled over. Unless Heather is going to be in jail, she doesn't need to know all the gory details. Unfortunately, because of Heather's fame, she'll probably hear it.
Anything that alters your brain chemistry should be monitored by you. Pay attention to how you are feeling. If you feel dizzy or not like yourself or tuning out -- make a note. Doctors know a lot about the drugs they prescribe, but not necessarily the exact affect it can have on YOUR body. Finding the right prescription is a trial and error process. It can take a year, or even longer, to get one's medication and dosage just right.
Public incidents like this are a good opportunity to talk to your children. Prescription medication, if you don't take them in the right way or with the right dose, are mind-altering drugs. It's important to know that any drug -- even one that has been legally prescribed -- can be deadly. An over-the-counter cough syrup, when abused, can impair your body and mind.