Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Humor for anyone who ever had to do a Genogram

If you know what a Genogram is, and have had the "joy" of doing them... you will probably chuckle at this pic.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Stigma of Mental Illness

Just as diabetes is a disorder affecting the pancreas, a mental illness is a disorder which affects the brain. This disability affects a person’s mood, feelings, emotions and has the ability to interfere with a person’s employment, friendships and relationships.
Common Myths about Mental Illness
  • Mental Illness is caused by a weakness of personality.
    A mental illness is not a character flaw. It is an illness; just as diabetes, cancer and glandular fever are illnesses. A person suffering from a mental illness is not lazy for simply not “snapping out of it” or “cheering up”, just as with any illness help and support is required to overcome mental illness.
  • People with a mental illness are violent and dangerous.
    People suffering from a mental illness are no more likely to be violent than any other person or group. It is often the case that people suffering from a mental illness are more likely to be the victim of a violent act rather than the perpetrator of one.
  • Mental Illness is a single, rare disorder.
    A mental illness is not a singular disease, but a broad classification of a whole range of mental disorders.
  • People with a mental illness are poor and/or less intelligent.
    Mental illness can affect any person of any age, class, religion, gender, income level or intelligence.
Types of Mental Illness
The following is a list of disorders which can be classified as a “mental illness”. If you would like more information on a specific condition, please click the link for further information. Please note this is not a comprehensive list as there are many forms and subdivisions of mental illness.
Affects of Mental Illness
A mental illness can affect every facet of everyday life. It interferes with a person’s ability to work, relate to others, forge friendships and relationships. If left untreated a mental illness can lead to: homelessness, unemployment, substance abuse, inappropriate incarceration, suicide and wasted lives.
The Stigma of Mental Illness
The stigma against mental health is stopping those suffering from seeking support and combating their illnesses. The misconceptions and judgement of those affected by mental illness are preventing people from admitting their problems and seeking help. The fear they will be “shunned” by society is a powerful reason to not seek help. It is time for these misunderstandings to be removed from society, it is time for the stigma surrounding mental health to be destroyed.
How can we raise awareness of Mental Illness?
We need to talk about it. Pure and simple. Brushing something aside, pretending it is not there or refusing to discuss this issue is preventing people from understanding the pain and devastation a mental illness can bring to someones life. It affects not only them, but their family and friends also. If we had not started talking about the seriousness of diabetes, cancer or HIV then the advances made in the treatments of these illnesses would never have occurred.
It is time the misconceptions of mental illness were demolished - talk and discussion is the only way this will occur.
(Psych Central)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Help! I'm stressed and don't have time to fix it!

Most of us experience stress, but at what point does stress become a problem? And, if stress levels do become problematic, how does one best go about reducing stress? Some of this information can help you understand the whole process of reducing stress and living the more balanced life you were meant to live.

Step 1: Understand Stress and Its Role In Your Life
The first step to conquering stress in your life is understanding it. There are different types and levels of stress, and it affects you in many ways. Here are some resources to help you better understand the stress you experience—and stress in general—so you’ll be in a better position to handle it.

* Good Stress vs. Bad Stress
We all experience stress in our lives, and it’s actually been found that some stress in your lifestyle is good for you. The problem with stress is when it becomes excessive, and when you don’t allow yourself the opportunity to recover from stressful episodes. This article explains the different types of stress, what kind of stress is most detrimental to your health, and what you can do to stay healthier.
* How Stress Affects Your Health
Stress can affect your health in many ways, some obvious and some less obvious. Here is a listing of the various ways stress can affect your body, with explanations of each. Also, this article gives you some additional information on how stress can even make you get sick more often, and help you stay healthier, even during flu season.
* Can Stress Affect Your Weight?
This is actually a question I hear a lot, so I thought it was important to include here. There are various ways that stress can affect your weight, from affecting your eating patterns to altering the way your body processes food! This article explains more about it, and gives resources for keeping your body fit even when you’re under stress.
* Lifestyle Factors and Personality Factors. Some of us experience more stress than others.

Feel Better Now

If you want to lower your stress level in a matter of minutes, these techniques are all relatively fast-acting. Use them as needed to feel better quickly; practice them regularly over time and gain even greater benefits.

* Breathing Exercises
* Meditation
* Reframing With a Sense of Humor
* Music

* Exercise
* Guided Imagery / Visualizations
* Journaling

Take Care of Yourself

When we're stressed, we don't always take care of our bodies, which can lead to even more stress. Here are some important ways to take care of yourself and keep stress levels lower.

* Healthy Eating
* Better Sleep
* Exercise

* Hobbies
* Good Nutrition
* Healthy Sex Life

Maintaining The Right Attitude

Much of your experience of stress has to do with your attitude and the way you perceive your life's events. Here are some resources to help you maintain a stress-relieving attitude.

How The Law of Attraction Works
Basically, the Law of Attraction works like this: you create your own reality. What you focus on, what you emote about, is what you draw into your life. What you believe will happen in your life is what does happen. This isn’t as simple as it seems, however, or everyone would have the lives that they want naturally. For example, people who are in debt and continually tell themselves, “I need more money,” don’t find more money, they continue to “need more money” because that is the reality that they create. (Read this article for more on the secret of attraction.)

Why It Works
Many people wonder why this works, and there are more than one explanation. The two main schools of thoughts go along these lines:

* The Spiritual Explanation:
Many people believe that the Law of Attraction works by aligning God or the Universe with our wishes. We are all made of energy, and our energy operates at different frequencies. We can change our frequency of energy with positive thoughts, especially gratitude for what we already have. By using grateful, positive thoughts and feelings and by focusing on our dreams (rather than our frustrations), we can change the frequency of our energy, and the law of attraction brings positive things (things of that frequency) into our lives. What we attract depends on where and how we focus our attention, but we must believe that it’s already ours, or soon will be.
* The Traditionally Scientific Explanation: If you’re one who needs things to be a little more easy to prove, there is also a different explanation for how the law of attraction works. By focusing on attaining a new reality, and by believing it is possible, we tend to take more risks, notice more opportunities, and open ourselves up to new possibilities. Conversely, when we don’t believe that something is in the realm of possibilities for us, we tend to let opportunities pass by unnoticed. When we believe we don’t deserve good things, we behave in ways that sabotage our chances at happiness. By changing our self talk and feelings about life, we reverse the negative patterns in our lives and create more positive, productive and healthy ones. One good thing leads to another, and the direction of a life can shift from a downward spiral to an upward ascent.

Proof That The Law of Attraction Works
Whatever the underlying reason, reams of anecdotal evidence confirm that the law of attraction works. And, for those science-minded folks out there, research does seem to support the positive effects of the Law of Attraction as well. For example, research on optimism shows that optimists enjoy better health, greater happiness, and more success in life. (The advantage that optimists share is that they focus their thoughts on their successes and mentally minimize their failures. This article has more information on the traits of optimists.) One of the foundations of therapy is that changing your self-talk can change your life in a positive direction. And millions of people have found success with positive affirmations.

Wisdom on stress found at