Expert event (14 to 18 September) - relationships a... - Mencap

Mencap

3,166 members732 posts

Expert event (14 to 18 September) - relationships and sexual health

Sarah_Mencap
Sarah_MencapAdministrator

Amber from Brook (brook.org.uk/) was here to talk about relationships, sexual health and learning disability.

Thank you for all your posts.

This topic is now closed, but please read Amber's posts for advice and information for anything to do with relationships and sex.

Amber helped with questions about relationships, sex, bodies, online safety and much more. Please see some of her other posts here:

> Digital boundaries - healthunlocked.com/mencap/p...

> Sex positive approaches - healthunlocked.com/mencap/p...

> Consent - healthunlocked.com/mencap/p...

> Practical tips for talking about sex and relationships with your children or teenagers - healthunlocked.com/mencap/p...

If you want to post about school (or anything else) please just write a new post - healthunlocked.com/mencap/w...

Best wishes

Sarah

The ability to reply to this post has been turned off.
18 Replies
oldestnewest

My boyfriend broke up with me and I’m very emotional how do i deal with this get support my mental health is bad

Sarah_Mencap
Sarah_MencapAdministrator in reply to Dogmad600

Hello Dogmad600

Amber will be around later today to talk about relationships, but please do talk to your doctor about your mental health - it is really important that they know how you are feeling so they can help you.

There are some excellent charities that can help support your mental health too.

> Sane - sane.org.uk/

> Mind - mind.org.uk/

But talking to your doctor is the best place to start.

Best wishes

Sarah

Ok thanks

Amber_Brook
Amber_BrookExpert in reply to Dogmad600

Hello there,

I’m sorry to hear you are going through this. Please know it is completely normal to feel a whole range of emotions during and after a break up including sadness, anger, regret, anxiety.

Here are a few tips which you may find helpful when going through a break up

•A break up does not mean you or the relationship was a failure

.

•You’re allowed to be sad, psychologists compare going through a break up to a bereavement. The person hasn’t died but you may still have a serious feeling of loss. It may be hard to believe right now but however sad you feel at this moment, you won’t feel this bad forever.

•Look after yourself, this is the perfect time to be selfish and put your needs first. Do things that make you feel good about yourself! Look after your health, still try to get enough sleep, eat and exercise if you can, many people find taking care of themselves makes them feel better.

•Keep in touch with your support network, call a friend organise to meet up with family. Some people in your life might help in different ways, some are better for talking others for distracting you.

It may be hard to believe right now but however sad you feel at this moment, you won’t feel this bad forever.

Sarah’s advice about mental health is so important, don’t be afraid to talk to someone about how you are feeling, a doctor, a charity like Mind or Sane. Also, Kooth (kooth.com) is an online counselling service which you may also find useful!

Thanks so much

Sarah_Mencap
Sarah_MencapAdministrator

Hello Amber

Would you be able to look at this post too? healthunlocked.com/mencap/p...

Thanks

Sarah

Sarah_Mencap
Sarah_MencapAdministrator in reply to Sarah_Mencap

Read Amber's response to this post here - healthunlocked.com/mencap/p...

It is all about dealing with inappropriate behaviour.

thanks

Sarah

Hello. I have a teenage son with moderate LD. He is in the middle of puberty and I know sex is on his mind. I try to have honest and open conversations with him. School wise obviously nothing had happened for the last 6 months but hopefully they will be covering again now he's back.

The one area I feel I am making assumptions is about sexuality. He talks about girls alot but he's never directly expressed any preference. I don't have a lot of knowledge to talk to him about this. Do you have any ideas? This is particularly relevant for him as one of his friends is gay. He knows this and doesn't really think it is very interesting.

Thanks

Amber_Brook
Amber_BrookExpert in reply to Freddy44

Hi Freddy44,

Thanks for your question, it makes me so happy to hear you are having open, honest chats with your son and how aware you are about making assumptions about sexuality!

It sounds to me like you are doing all the right things, by not assuming and allowing your child to lead the conversation he knows that you are there if he needs to talk. It may be the case that your son doesn't know just yet how he identifies which is super normal, sexuality is fluid for many people and can change over the course of our lives.

It can be useful to discuss relationships in general with your son, what is the difference is between a healthy and unhealthy relationship, what kinds of things you might look for in a romantic partner if you want one. These conversations are separate to gender and sexuality and you can use gender neutral terms like 'they' and 'partner'.

Side note: I love the fact that your son doesn't find the sexuality of his friend "very interesting" because it's not really an "interesting" thing about a person, we wouldn't say being heterosexual is an interesting trait in a person so being gay shouldn't be either! I am sure there are lots more interesting things about your sons friend that has nothing to do with sexuality!

For more info on sexuality check out the Brook website! brook.org.uk/topics/sexuality/

Also Stonewall has some tips for parents!

stonewall.org.uk/help-advic...

Sarah_Mencap
Sarah_MencapAdministrator

Don't miss Amber's post about Digital boundaries

here -

healthunlocked.com/mencap/p...

Thanks

Sarah

Hi Amber. Things have moved on a bit since I last posted about my adult daughter and her boyfriend. They are in physical relationship and I am delighted for them. They say they have everything covered, but I do worry about contraception. I would like to talk to them (both) about this again so be sure. Is there anyone else (apart from the GP) they could talk to. I don’t need to be involved, but I want to make sure they are taking it, and diseases, seriously. Thank you. Grace

Amber_Brook
Amber_BrookExpert in reply to Grace2232

Hi Grace2232!

Thank you very much for your question, it's good to know that you have already had these kinds of conversations with your daughter.

In terms of places that they can go in person to get more information about contraception and STIs it completely depends on where you are based! SXT (sxt.health) is a great website which can tell you your closest sexual health services filtered by exactly what you need. I would recommend your daughter calling beforehand to organise an appointment and you can also request a double appointment if she also wanted her boyfriend to attend too.

There are also some great online resources which your daughter could use to learn more about these topics herself, you could always link her to these and then let her know you are always there to talk if she had any questions.

brook.org.uk - the organisation I work for, you can find pages on everything relating to sex and relationships and a tool which helps you find your closest Brook service!

youtube.com/user/BrookChari... - Brooks youtube channel featuring educational videos on condoms, contraception and virtual clinic tours

bishuk.com - educational site about sex and relationships aimed at young people

I hope this was helpful!

Amber

Hi. A quick one from me. My daughter has PMLD and has started her periods. She finds this a bit traumatic and needs a lot of help with this. We have looked at a lot of puberty related into but it is specifically the periods that are freaking her out. Can you think of any way to make this a bit easier for her?

Amber_Brook
Amber_BrookExpert in reply to crazysquirrel

Hello there,

Thank you for your question! This is actually a really common feeling, many people can find periods distressing.

It would be useful to first work out what exactly about periods your daughter is finding difficult. Is it the pain, discomfort using period products, irregular periods, difficulty regulating emotions, communicating discomfort and pain.

A great starting point is talking about periods and doing preparation work before the period comes, trying to reduce the panic and shame around menstruation and debunking stigmas. You can use images, videos, cartoons, comic strips, social stories to help explain. You may want to try practising using period products before the period comes.

Some people may find it helpful to try different things to reduce symptoms. Some people consider menstrual suppression for example GnRH hormone or contraceptive methods such as pills, patch, implant, injection. But this would need to be thoroughly explained, with the involvement of the young person as much as possible and done with consent. It would be advisable to speak to your doctor/ GP about all of these options, they should also be able to refer you to health care professionals who work specifically with people with disabilities perhaps in the realm of sexual health.

A more practical tip is to consider introducing your daughter to different period products to see if she has a preference. Tampons and pads can often cause anxieties about leaking and can physically feel uncomfortable. Some people find period pants easier to manage! You can buy them online, they are more expensive than a pack of pads but they are reusable/ machine washable so in the long term the price works out.

Here is some more info on periods in general! brook.org.uk/your-life/peri...

Sarah_Mencap
Sarah_MencapAdministrator

Amber has written another great post all about Sex positive approach. Have a look here - healthunlocked.com/mencap/p...

Thanks

Sarah

Sarah_Mencap
Sarah_MencapAdministrator

Hello Amber

Please could you have a look at this post too - healthunlocked.com/mencap/p...

thank you

Sarah

Sarah_Mencap
Sarah_MencapAdministrator

Amber has written a fantastic post about Consent here - healthunlocked.com/mencap/p...

Sarah_Mencap
Sarah_MencapAdministrator

I hope you found this event about sex and relationships helpful.

Amber has done another post called How do I even start talking about sex and relationships with my teenager? - healthunlocked.com/mencap/p...

This topic is now closed, but please do read the amazing posts for advice and information for anything to do with relationships and sex.

If you want to find more about Brook please read Amber's final post here -

healthunlocked.com/mencap/p...

If you want to post about relationships (or anything else) please just write a new post - healthunlocked.com/mencap/w...

Best wishes

Sarah

The ability to reply to this post has been turned off.

You may also like...