Mental Health (2117)
Sean and Rosa were into a familiar pattern. Convinced that Rosa did not fully understand his position, Sean insisted that he needed to explain it to her again. Every time she opened her mouth to speak, he overrode her, insisting that she needed to understand his side of things.
Rosa was convinced that if only he listened to her, he’d see her point. So she kept trying to speak. When he kept talking, she just waited him out, waiting for her opportunity to make him hear her. She wasn’t listening; she was just waiting her turn.
When he paused and she did speak, it became obvious that she had been waiting to make a point but had not listened to anything that he’d said. Frustrated, Sean tried again to speak over her.
Each time, eventually, they both gave up, convinced of the hopelessness of the effort.
Sean had been participating in leadership training at work and figured that what he was learning might be useful at home; there had to be a better way than the way they’d been doing it.
The coach had stressed that a good leader listened before he led if he hoped to be followed. Sean had no desire to become a leader at home, but he did want Rosa to follow him in the sense of paying attention to what he had to say.
At the next opportunity he told her right away that he wanted first to hear and to understand her side of things.
Rosa blinked several times while she attempted to shift gears. Afraid to lose the moment, she collected herself and started talking. She spoke quickly in hopes of getting it all out before he changed his mind. To her surprise, he listened without interruption. When she was finished, he asked her a couple of questions to understand more fully what she had told him; then he listened again to her answers.
It was only after that that he shared his own point of view. Because he’d listened to her, his own perspective now reflected his understanding of her perspective.
Once Rosa felt that she’d been listened to, she was more willing and able to listen to Sean. With listening as the first step, and his understanding of Rosa’s issues, Sean’s presentation was now much more persuasive; and Rosa was much more open to hearing and considering it.
Members of the Maryland General Assembly unanimously approved a new law making it a crime to use the Internet for electronic harassment, cyberbullying, and character assassination. Called “Grace’s Law” after a teenager who committed suicide in Howard County after being cyberbullied, this extends the harassment law already in effect in Maryland that applies only to harassment via email.
The new bill states, that “a person cannot use a social media site to intentionally inflict serious emotional distress on a minor or place a minor in reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury.” A conviction of the misdemeanor would carry a penalty of up to a year imprisonment or a fine of up to $500.
Once the bill is signed into law, educators, teachers, and school staff’s, licensed health professionals, human service workers, and police officers, are court mandated to report incidents of electronic harassment in Maryland.
K.R. is a teenager recently attacked by a belligerent and aggressive cyberbully using an anonymous Twitter account. The cyberbully has initiated a terroristic offensive of character assassination against K.R.
The anonymous posts are written to coerce K.R. by threats or force as well as to garner support from other like-minded Twitter followers who would like to join the cyberbully’s terroristic offensive against K.R. The cyberbully openly sneered at K.R. in front of the entire Twitter community in a violent and intimidating way attempting to provoke a response or a fight.
There are distinctly opposing views on cyberbullying resulting in heated arguments.
One group of people including certain parents, educators, and health professionals say that victims of cyberbullying are soft and weak if they have an emotional or psychological reaction to cyberbullying. They say, victims should stop complaining, grow a tougher skin and just accept that anyone using the Internet should expect it and just learn to deal with it.
The other group expects teenagers and individuals to be protected from intentionally malicious targeting, electronic harassment, and menacing words and behavior no matter how they are delivered.
K.R. decided to bring her own case forward and be the face of strength of character and courageousness to help all teenagers who have faced similar cyberbullying attacks to restore their self-esteem and ability to fully function. K.R. and others will now have the law on their side to secure electronic records that can identify the anonymous perpetrators and bring them out of the darkness and into the light to explain their point of view to the courts.
“Domestic violence is more than just physical abuse. The power and control wheel describes the behaviors that are used together as a system in violent relationships. The wheel is drawn with violence as the outer rim and the other behaviors as spokes. Just like a wheel, they depend upon and reinforce each other. Together this system of behaviors builds barriers to a woman’s escape.”
Nearly three out of four (74%) of Americans personally know someone who is or has been a victim of domestic violence
On average, more than three women and one man are murdered by their intimate partners in this country every day.
Studies suggest that between 3.3-10 million children witness some form of domestic violence annually.
Approximately one in five female high school students reports being physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner.
Eighty-one percent of men who batter had fathers who abused their mothers.
Children who grow up in violent homes have a 74% higher likelihood of committing criminal assaults.
“Domestic violence and emotional abuse are behaviors used by one person in a relationship to control the other. Partners may be married or not married; heterosexual, gay, or lesbian; living together, separated or dating.
Examples of abuse include:
• name-calling or putdowns
• keeping a partner from contacting their family or friends
• withholding money
• stopping a partner from getting or keeping a job
• actual or threatened physical harm
• sexual assault
Violence can be criminal and includes physical assault (hitting, pushing, shoving, etc.), sexual abuse (unwanted or forced sexual activity), and stalking. Although emotional, psychological and financial abuse are not criminal behaviors, they are forms of abuse and can lead to criminal violence.
The violence takes many forms and can happen all the time or once in a while. An important step to help yourself or someone you know in preventing or stopping violence is recognizing the warning signs listed on the Violence Wheel.
If you are experiencing anxiety or uncertainty about pursuing college because you have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or a learning or physical disability, you are not alone. Thousands of high school students in this area are sharing your fears. To minimize your anxiety and ensure successful enrollment and performance while in college, there are a few conditions that should be put in place.
The U.S. Department of Civil Rights supports your right to reap the rewards of college without barriers or complications. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 protects you from discrimination based on your disability.
The conditions that need to be in place at your college so you can be successful are:
1. Documentation of your disability
2. A written report of college approved accommodations
3. A plan to share the information with professors
4. Knowledge of additional academic, social, and psychological services on campus
Documentation of your disability generally comes from a qualified psychologist or medical doctor. This information includes a diagnosis, date of diagnosis, assessments and methods used to determine the diagnosis, long and short term diagnosis implications, and the impact on academic, social, emotional, and psychological functioning. An Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or Section 504 Plan, is generally not considered adequate documentation for colleges. As a result, additional current assessments are necessary. Some high schools and colleges provide these services while others do not. Also state offices of Vocational Rehabilitation Services offer testing to students who qualify.
Once your documentation has been successfully registered with the college, the college will make accommodations for you based on your disability. Examples of accommodations include tutoring, modified course load, recording devices, adaptive software, extended test time, preferential seating, quite testing environments, prepared notes, sign language interpreters, Braille documents, priority registration, and designated dorm rooms.
Taking the time to ensure these conditions are in place can play a significant role in reducing anxiety and stress and maximize college success. College graduation significantly increases the quality of living, earning potential and overall family stability for persons with disabilities. In particular, a college degree neutralizes income disparities among students with disabilities and their general education peers. A qualified professional can help provide anxiety and stress reduction strategies and assistance with handling transition assessments and wrap around services for high schools to college transition.
We all experience anger from time to time. Nevertheless, most people find it uncomfortable, and many people fear it, believing that anger is always harmful.
Actually, anger does not need to be hurtful. It is one of various ways we internally become alerted to something that needs to be dealt with. Many people are ill-at-ease about anger because in their past they have experienced it as harsh, punishing, blaming or attacking. They don’t realize that such intense expression is rarely warranted, and that there are more effective ways of managing anger.
Anger is a bodily sensation—our bodies tighten and contract, our stomach or teeth might clench. It’s also a feeling. Anger is accompanied by a situation, either current, anticipated, or remembered. It’s how we’re currently viewing a circumstance that triggers the experience of anger. In the clutch of the feelings, it can be very hard to remember that our way of looking at something may not be the only way of seeing it, because intense emotion makes that sort of reasoning very difficult.
We learned how to express anger as kids—when we observed others dealing with it. Perhaps they were explosive, or held it in, or moved to blaming or even violence.
Assuming that people are born with different temperaments—some, more calm, others more easily aroused, the style of one’s handling of anger is still largely an acquired habit. That’s good news, because people can learn to convert ineffective or explosive anger into something more helpful and productive. Handling anger productively is a skill that can be learned.
There are some conditions under which anger is made worse—such as drinking or using drugs. Some kinds of depression lead to more irritability, and long-standing patterns of explosive anger exchanges between people tend to more easily break out and escalate. People who feel trapped, misunderstood or defensive sometimes use anger to manage the underlying feelings. Anger can also be used as a form of power or coercion—something often seen in domestic abuse situations.
Most anger, though, is the garden variety—everyday frustrations and obstacles. If we’re using anger wisely, it can guide us through conflicts and situations that seem to block our way to things.
Anyone who experiences chronic anger, helpless/futile anger, or explosive and sometimes violent forms of anger, needs to have help in learning better ways to handle situations. Anger used well helps situations improve. But when it’s ineffectual or even hurtful to one’s self or others, it’s putting people at risk physically, emotionally, and in relationships.
Psychotherapy is a place to work on anger issues. You can explore anger trigger factors, and learn better methods of expression for a more helpful way of dealing with life stresses. Sometimes individual therapy is the most appropriate way to learn improved anger skills, but at other times, couple or family therapy is more effective. If you feel you (or someone you’re close to) have an anger problem, an evaluation for treatment would be recommended.
The fact is that we need sleep and many of us simply do not get enough.
Almost everyone has occasional sleepless nights. Stress, anxiety, alcohol, and caffeine are some of the things that can contribute to problems with sleep. Research shows that people who don’t snooze enough are at a higher risk of losing their health than those who regularly get a good night’s sleep. Losing sleep has some immediate consequences that are obvious and unpleasant, such as irritability and difficulty in focusing and cognitive performance.
A lack of sleep can also have injurious or fatal consequences. According to one survey conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than one-third of U.S. drivers have fallen asleep behind the wheel. Most of those surveyed were startled awake but not all – some crashed. The NHTSA estimates that drowsy-driving crashes result in about 40,000 nonfatal injuries and 1,550 deaths each year.
There are recent studies that link chronic sleep loss to obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and shorter lives. The fact is that we need sleep and many of us simply do not get enough. According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), sleeping about seven to nine hours each night carries the least risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other illnesses.
Some people think they are too busy to bother with sleep. Humans are the only animals that willingly deprive themselves of sleep. Other people find that they have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep long enough to feel rested. This is insomnia, a common sleep disorder.
Common Symptoms Of Insomnia
• Difficulty falling asleep at night
• Waking up during the night and having trouble going back to sleep
• Waking up too early
• Feeling tired upon waking
• Daytime irritability
The NSF estimates that one third of adults suffer from insomnia every night and half experience this problem at least a few nights per week. Persistent insomnia is a particularly disruptive condition that can significantly reduce the quality of one’s life and one’s sense of well-being. It can also adversely affect mood and cause problems with concentration, attention, or memory problems.
A qualified health care provider can assess whether medical problems, medications, underlying sleep disorders (such as sleep apnea), depression or anxiety may be contributing to insomnia.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has consistently been proven to be the most effective first-line treatment for chronic insomnia. It improves sleep in 75-80% of insomnia patients and eliminates sleeping pill use in almost half of patients.
In three major studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and the Archives of Internal Medicine that directly compared CBT to sleeping pills, CBT was more effective than sleeping pills. CBT also has no side effects and maintains improvements in sleep long-term.
We all know that change is inevitable. It is happening all the time and sometimes we just don’t notice. Are you someone who embraces change or do you avoid it? Some change is easy to accept, like getting new clothes, losing weight, or getting a raise. On the other hand there are changes that we would rather avoid or that we don’t feel ready for. Avoiding change can get us in trouble. Have you ever been stuck in an unsatisfying relationship or job? People might avoid change by not paying attention until it’s too late. Fear can keep us stuck, like fear of conflict or fear of risk.
Resisting change takes a lot of energy. Sometimes people stay in a situation that they hate because they don’t know what to do or fear what might happen. I have seen people who are desperately unhappy in their jobs, struggling just to get up each morning to go to work. Sometimes they wait long enough that they are laid off or even fired. That’s having change imposed, rather than taking action.
Being proactive during unavoidable changes helps you to maintain some options and choices. Knowing your values can help in making choices that fit with who you are. Also, taking control can help to feel better about self.
You can take charge by managing change. Don’t ignore clues to needing change in your life. Clues might be boredom, frustration, anxiety, or feeling down.
Change can be a lot of work; it is often easier to just keep doing the same thing. It is usually easier to sit on the couch and watch television, than it is to go to the gym and work out. But the more we do nothing, the more we box ourselves in.
Even though there so many things in life that aren’t under our control, we need to manage what is. It all comes back to knowing what you want and keeping that in mind as you make decisions and choices.
“Willpower can produce short-term change, but it creates constant internal stress because you haven’t dealt with the root cause.” - Rick Warren
There is a dramatic difference between knowing and doing. We all have places we may be stuck. There may be something in our lives that we know we want to change, yet we don’t. A major reason we often fail is that we succumb to the willpower trap. Lasting change often fails because we rely on willpower, yet what we really need is skill. We all have unseen, powerful behavioral bullies that influence us, and we are blind to these saboteurs. Behavioral bullies do not have one root cause; they can come from many sources, such as pervasive marketing practices, toxic communities, or life-limiting habits that include avoiding difficult conversations, boredom, stress, and lack of purpose, all of which impact mood and don’t support the life we want.
One way to overcome these bullies is to identify our critical moments. For some people, it may be sugar, others staying in a toxic relationship. In a moment of weakness, we are pulled to the destructive behavior that we don’t want to be doing. Rather than rely on willpower, the key is to first identify our unique critical moments, to root out and quarantine the behavioral bullies, and then to develop a combat plan (skills) to entirely prevent or overcome those moments.
A client with whom I am working was stuck in an emotional nighttime eating pattern; she realized she was not eating enough calories in the daytime, AND she was eating junk food to alleviate (unsuccessfully) negative feelings from her highly critical boss. She kept her gaze firmly on what was driving the destructive behavior. Once she identified this critical moment and the invisible bullies that were sabotaging her, she had a courageous conversation with her boss and ate more quality calories during the day. Putting the behavioral bullies under a spotlight helped her move very quickly toward her goals. If you are making a change in your life, beware of the willpower trap.
Thinking about our problems is, without doubt, part of an effective way of solving them. If we need to deal with one of our life issues, we think it through, review our options, and then choose a course of action to handle the problem. We can then take action to resolve the issue and this might include redefining it so that we don’t experience it as a problem any longer.
However, sometimes we get stuck at the thinking stage of the problem and go no farther. We get caught up in thought itself and never move into the problem-solving strategy of taking action. That is rumination, or over thinking. Ruminating, letting thoughts swirl in our heads over and over again is driven by anxiety.
Rumination is more likely to occur when our thoughts are largely negative. Positive thinking encourages us to take effective action. Negative thoughts, on the other hand, discourage us from taking action. Usually, when we engage in negative thinking, we feel overwhelmed. We feel stuck. We can’t see our way out of our problems. And so, we think – and think. We ruminate.
Researchers have found that women are much more likely to ruminate than men. This reflects the two-to-one ratio of women who suffer from depression in comparison to men. Socialization practices in our society may be one of a number of possible reasons why women ruminate more often than men. In addition to depression, rumination is associated with anxiety, anger, and substance abuse.
Rumination is not the same as worry, although ruminators do worry. Worry involves “what ifs” – wondering about things that might happen. “What if I say the wrong thing at work?” “What if this date goes wrong?” Rumination, on the other hand, focuses more on things that have happened in the past; things you said or things that went wrong.
Rumination is an elusive experience. We get caught in the ruminative pattern without realizing it and then assume that this is the way things are supposed to be – thinking and thinking endlessly. We slip into the pattern automatically and feel that we have no control over it. The experience can feel agonizing, but may also seem familiar and comfortable. It does not solve the problems that we are anxious about, and in fact it ultimately increases our anxiety and may lead to depression.
Rumination may be most prominent during times of stress or when a crisis comes into your life. Here are a few ways to replace the ruminative pattern with a more positive approach:
• Learn to avoid the triggers
• Let go of unrealistic goals
• Indulge yourself in a different way
• Expand your range of activities
• Rewrite your narrative
• Define your life in positives, not negatives
Adopting these strategies, which will take time, can free you from rumination and help you move to higher ground over time. Working on these strategies with a professional therapist can be highly effective.
People are more than just the sum of their parts, and it often takes a “whole” body/mind approach to create a life of wellness, especially when severe illness strikes. Healing takes place on all levels because every illness has a mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical aspect to heal. Since we exist on many levels, a multi-level approach to healing and wellness works best.
This approach is a totally individual, holistic approach - creating each individual remedy based on each client’s own unique personal needs, specializing in hormonal balance and weight control. Clients learn as they balance their bodies and heal their issues.
Nutritional coaching utilizes: functional blood chemistry, 24-hour Loomis urinalysis, ZYTO biotechnology, kinesiology, blood-typing dieting, and personalized diet and exercise. A master herbalist may recommend herbs for most people; however, they may also include recommendations for supplements, including vitamins, minerals, enzymes, essential oils, homeopathics, Bach flowers, and more.
Regressions and past life hypnosis is a very specialized area of expertise. This is truly a client-centered, transpersonal approach and can help to uncover some of the roots of illnesses and behaviors. Reviewing and healing unresolved past life traumas can help to clear up blocks in this lifetime, even though some people don’t believe in reincarnation or past lives. Past life and current issues, health-related issues, and relationships can all be researched quite easily using dowsing or spiritual response therapy or by using integrated imagery/hypnosis. “Find the Reason, Heal the Reason!”
Total healing often requires some level of healing energies. The ancient practice of energy clearing, both of property and people, is done for this and other reasons. Electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs) are common hazards, especially in this area and also need to be remedied.