Category Archives: Mental Health in America

Stop Spanking Children

Hopefully, the latest release about parenting from The American Academy of Pediatrics will finally convince people to stop spanking children.

This is not meant as a chastisement to parents who spank, because in most cases, parents are simply disciplining their children in the same manner that their parents disciplined them.

No one is saying that previous generations of parents who spanked their children were evil; we’re simply stating that now we know better and we should act accordingly.

Research has proven that spanking children is not healthy.

It’s time to change the way we discipline.

Why is the change so difficult?

Too often I see memes on Facebook from adults who grew up with spankings, advocating spankings as a good thing. After all, they turned out all right, or did they?

We seem to be surrounded by a mentality that supposes what happened to them should happen to you, their children, etc.

Likewise, when speaking of helping others, or finding a better way, I often hear a similar excuse for things to remain the same. No one helped me, so why should anyone get help now?

The results of non-violent parenting are worth it.

As a parent with two grown children, I can proudly say that they were not spanked. They turned out great. They’re both hard-working women with generous hearts and I’m proud to call them mine.

What does spanking teach the child?

Does it teach them that it is okay to hit someone who has made you mad, or hurt you, or caused you some kind of discomfort?

I’ve always said that spanking children simply teaches them that violence is an acceptable means to an end. In reality, spanking children is little more than bullying.

Think about it… The bigger person (the parent) forces the smaller person (the child) to do as the parent wishes by overpowering them and causing them physical pain.

child spanking doll

 

There are many more acceptable, peaceful ways to discipline children.

Redirecting their attention works for smaller children.

Time outs are not good for small children at home. It makes them feel alienated and rejected by the people they love most in the world – their parents.

For older children:

  • Talk about it! Ask how they feel; feel what they feel, and then help them deal with it.
  • Discussion with appropriate understanding. Ask them what they would do if they were the parent of a child who did what they did, said what they said, etc. Then explain what you are going to do and why you chose to handle it this way.
  • Expectations are important and not always obvious to children and teens. Let them know what you expect from them. Talk about love and respect.
  • Additional chores – with consequences if not completed.
  • Additional homework – such as research and a short essay related to the offense, or additional work on a subject they are struggling with such as math or social studies.
  • Be a deal maker. Compromise. Make it a learning experience.

Make time

Remember, dealing with behavioral problems take some time. Quick fixes rarely change the behavior long-term. Make the time to deal with the situation and hopefully save time and frazzled nerves in the future.

Identify Underlying Issues

If none of these work, then perhaps the child / teenager needs counseling to determine the underlying reason that authority and rules are ignored, assuming that they have previously been examined by a pediatrician for any potential conditions that could cause their behavior.

 

From CNN:

In a new policy statement, published in the journal Pediatrics on Monday, the pediatricians’ group recommends that adults caring for children use “healthy forms of discipline” — such as positive reinforcement of appropriate behaviors, setting limits and setting expectations — and not use spanking, hitting, slapping, threatening, insulting, humiliating or shaming.

 

From NPR:

“We know that the brain does not grow and develop as well once there has been physical punishment to the point where it can cause learning problems, problems with vocabulary and memory, as well as aggressive behavior,” Shu said.

 

From We Have Kids:

The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child issued a statement in which they called it “legalized violence against children.” Yet, many moms and dads here stubbornly insist it’s a parent’s right to punish their youngster any way they see fit.

 

 

mental health awareness

May – Mental Health Awareness Month

May is mental health awareness month in America. It was designated as such in 1949, by the Mental Health America organization. Here are some examples of how different areas in the US are making an impact.

 

mental-health-awareness-2017

When we talk about health, we can’t just focus on heart health, or liver health, or brain health, and not whole health. You have to see the whole person, and make use of the tools and resources that benefit minds and bodies together. That’s why this year, our May is Mental Health Month theme is Fitness #4Mind4Body

 

Each year in mid-March Mental Health America releases a toolkit of materials to guide preparation for outreach activities during Mental Health Awareness Month. During the month of May, Mental Health America, its affiliates, and other organizations interested in mental health conduct a number of activities which are based on a different theme each year.”  View past themes here. 

 

 

 

Take a look at Arlington, Virgina, for an inspiring glimpse into a community that’s doing it right.

The Arlington Partnership for Children, Youth and Families Foundation is an outgrowth of the Partnership. A number of present and former APCYF board members determined that a nonprofit, charitable corporation is needed to raise and expend funds for Partnership projects that the county and school budgets cannot accommodate.

Our Vision

Arlington, a community where all young people and families are valued, supported and empowered.

Care for a change – also in Arlington.

Care for a Change, or CFAC, is a community-led initiative to increase and encourage empathy among Arlington youth.

 

 

 

From the National Institute of Mental Health…

Any Mental Illness

  • Any mental illness (AMI) is defined as a mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder. AMI can vary in impact, ranging from no impairment to mild, moderate, and even severe impairment (e.g., individuals with serious mental illness as defined below).

mental health awareness

 

Serious Mental Illness

  • Serious mental illness (SMI) is defined as a mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder resulting in serious functional impairment, which substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities. The burden of mental illnesses is particularly concentrated among those who experience disability due to SMI.

 

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), defines a serious mental illness as a mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder that limits one or more major life activities.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, just over 20-percent or about 1 in 5 children, have had a seriously debilitating mental disorder.

 

 

 

See a list of national events at  the American Psychological Association’s website.

APA Commemorates Mental Health Awareness Month With Series of Special Activities

Events will focus on children, older Americans, women of color, the LGBTQ community and people with chronic illnesses

WASHINGTON — The American Psychological Association is honoring Mental Health Awareness Month in May with a range of activities aimed at providing important insights into the status of mental health for minority and vulnerable communities and finding solutions and sharing resources to address critical gaps in comprehensive care and policy.

 

 

 

Clinical Trials

Find a study near you.

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/trials/

 

 

 

Vitamin B6 Supplementation

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) is a supplement that very few people ever think about adding to their regimen.  In the past, most  people obtained enough B6 from their diet, but that is not always the case today.

Those who consume little or no meat, may be deficient in B6. Also, people over 50 have less B6, so supplementation might be a good thing to consider.

Certain medical, emotional, and hormonal specific issues have been improved with specific amounts of vitamin B6.

Some physical conditions that might be helped with B6 supplementation:

  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Alcoholism
  • Impaired renal function
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cancer
  • Cognitive function
  • PMS
  • Morning sickness
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Boosts Immune System
  • Hormone control
  • Other: skin, eczema, dandruff, acne, hair loss, dry skin, melanoma and psoriasis.

 

Visit the National Institute of Health for more information, keeping in mind that the recommended daily allowance (RDA) is extremely low. Most people supplement with 50 or 100mg tablets.

 

Some testimonials supporting the addition of Vitamin B6:

 

…the added benefit that I felt after a few days was that a large amount of the anxiety I felt during the day was either diluted or non existent. don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that I’m cured of anxiety or anything like that but its a lot more manageable. I doubt it was a placebo as I didn’t even know about how it can allegedly help anxiety until I looked it up a few days after taking it, and what prompted me to make the post was that I neglected to think about taking it this morning and felt my old fear return and didn’t put it together that I forgot to take it until I got home this evening.

 

“I was prescribed Pyridoxine (VItamin B6) 25 mg for nausea during pregnancy and I am absolutely amazed. I honestly didn’t think it was going to work and not only does it work, but it doesn’t cause drowsiness so I am a happy camper! I give the medicine a 9 rating.”

 

I always keep B6 on hand because it is helpful when under any kind of stress (and I have plenty of that). I take a B complex, but add extra B5 and B6 when under extra stress.

 

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Disclaimer: The above information and references are not intended to be used as a substitute for doctor prescribed medications or treatments. Always consult with your medical practitioner before making any changes in your daily regimen.

 

How to End Procrastination

Procrastination plagues most people at some point in their lives. It is definitely a problem for those suffering through depression and anxiety. However, there are sometimes some little steps one can take, even while living with depression, that can make you feel better about yourself.

Conquering procrastination for just one thing or for just one day, can lighten one’s mood and help you feel as though you are proactively doing something to improve your situation.

Honestly, procrastination has always remained with me, even though I often take steps to end it. It seems as though I can only end it for a set span of time, or for a particular project, but every step forward counts – it’s better than standing still.

The article linked below provided a good tip on how to end procrastination.

Simply place yourself in the future and imagine how you feel if you conquered procrastination and experienced the rewards of that.

future_create

Now…

Place yourself into a future where you have continuously procrastinated and therefore NOT received any benefits, only regrets.

You may be thinking that this is not relevant to you because you are depressed, or because your anxiety level is just too high.

I would ask you to consider it a bit further.

For instance, have you been wanting something that you can honestly get for yourself, but you simply cannot muster up the strength and will to actually get it?

It could be something as simple (or as complex) as having a milkshake or a smoothie.

You may not feel up to making one yourself, and that’s okay.

Here’s the thing.

If you have access to a car, drive yourself to McDonald’s and get a milkshake or a smoothie (their’s are gluten free). You can pick it up using the drive-through window, so it does NOT matter what you wear, or how you look. Put on some sun-glasses and go.

If you are worried about the menu choice, then check it out online before you go.

Google it. chocolate-mccafe

If you don’t have access to a car, then the next best thing is to ask someone to pick one up for you. Again, check the menu online, so you can be specific when you ask,

The art of asking for something you want is often lost when one is depressed. So force yourself to ask for something you want – something within reason, of course.

Maybe it’s not such a big deal if you don’t get the milkshake. But maybe it is a big deal if you would like a milkshake and do nothing about it. That’s the real issue.

Maybe you can’t go today, but how about plan to go tomorrow or even next Sunday?

Set a goal. Make arrangements to get something you want – either on your own, or by asking someone for a small favor.

Every change you make can change your future for the better.

I know which future I prefer – no regrets.

What say you?

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Do you have dreams and ambitions but never seem to take action? Do you have work to do and deadlines but just can’t seem to get motivated until the very last minute? If you answered yes to any of those questions then you probably have procrastinated.Now we all do procrastinated to a certain extent, no one is […]

via Start Today & Stop Procrastinating — Jay Colby

carpe-diem

angry rant

Angry Rants

Angry rants. We have all experienced them. Most of the time we are victims of the rant, and some of us have been the perpetrators of the rant, spewing venomous words at random and letting the poison land where it will.

Some of us find ourselves targets of rants while expressing our opinions through social media. Often, people will respond to a rant with a similar attitude, using similar words, and end up adding fuel to the fire of the original ranter.

This serves no purpose.

 

How well do you handle angry rants that are directed at you? angry-rant

Reflecting on our own angry rants can help us muddle through rants when we are the target.

  • For instance, have you ever noticed a time when you blew up at someone or about something that had nothing to do with the reasons or situations that made you angry?
  • Often, we can be upset about something at home and yet take it out on someone at work, or vice versa.
  • One person may make us angry, while another person suffers the effects of that anger because we feel uncomfortable speaking up to the one(s) who caused the anger. We hurt the ones we love with this type of angry rant because we trust them to NOT leave us.

 

The important thing is to…

recognize what is really happening.

It is important to understand the mental process behind people’s rants. They are often afraid of change and are fearful of people who are “different” from them. This fear causes them to lash out verbally against whatever they perceive to be threatening their way of life.

 

“It’s Not About You” is an excellent article that explains how to deal with these ranters.

“Understanding that you aren’t responsible for other people’s behavior is liberating. When you know that words spoken in anger aren’t really about you, the attack, while still unpleasant, doesn’t have to damage your self-esteem. It’s also easier to find a way to forgive the other person.”

 

 

Psychologist Carl Rogers

Famous and noteworthy psychotherapists…

Carl Rogers (1902 – 1987)

Favorite Carl Rogers quote:

The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.

 

Carl Rogers, an American psychologist, has the distinct honor of being known as the father of Person Centered therapy, also known as Client Centered therapy.

He believed the role of a psychotherapist was to enable a person to come to certain deductions and therefore solutions on their own, with a little help from the therapist.

Here is a video of Carl Rogers at a lecture on Empathy.

 

Rogers is also known for his philosophy regarding “arguments.” He believed one should not argue a point until they completely understood the other person’s point of view.

 

This polite and civil type of argument is known as a Rogerian Argument.

 

Here’s an easy explanation of Rogerian Arguments in a YouTube video: