Please enjoy this article about my journey so far with breast cancer. http://simplethingsathoughtbeyond.weebly.com/1/post/2014/01/breast-cancer-the-river-of-trial.html
For Those Who Ask…..
Lately I have had some strange things happen in my life. A neighbor I am not especially close to felt impelled to pray over me and with me the other morning while I was down stairs washing my clothes in the community laundry. She passed the doorway with a usual good morning as we do and moments later slipped back in and asked if she could offer a prayer for me. She took my hands and prayed the most loving prayer of hope and kindness. This was odd, but welcome. (I have had some stressful internal issues lately. Though I don’t always share them; God knows what you need and when you need it. I have been rather shell-shocked since April.) This no doubt was a little hug from our Lord thru someone in tune with his will.
The other incident was 7/3/2013 and just precious also. We have an elderly Spanish lady who lives here. She is our adopted community Mom. (She does not speak a lick of English – but gets the point across!) She fussed at me the other day about smoking – I mean fussed… I told her in my best Spanish: Thank you for Love Me ..
Ironically, I have been praying to quit smoking and trying to work towards my prayers since Father’s Day. A perfect gift.
7/8/2013 = I received my first box of Chantix. I will win. “Those who ask the door will be opened.”—-> Jesus
There is a new video on the front page of my website: http://simplethingsathoughtbeyond.weebly.com
I made it as a self-therapy project. The last couple weeks has been a struggle with different issues in my own life. I have been contemplating making a new video with animal stills in it. It is a pleasant couple of hour project that makes a fulfilling result. I use the Windows Movie Maker on my HP Laptop. The pictures I use are saved from friends or I have taken them – some were sent to me. The music has come from dozens of places. Mp3 is always best. These videos are to give an idea of what one can do if they want to make a family stills video for a therapy project. Do not allow yourself to become frustrated know when to get up and come back to it later. These are wonderful for gifts. It is easy to save them on a high quality thumb drive or sd chip and add to a card for that someone special. (The same storage can be plugged into a digital picture frame as a gift.)
Please enjoy and give thought to projects you can do to settle your mind. It need not be a huge project – just an enjoyable one. MJM
For All Those In The Service Of Our Country & All Those Injured or Lost Along The Way May Jehovah:
1. Call You To Peace In Every Conceivable Way
2. Comfort You & Your Loved Ones,
3. Bless Your Families Until There Is No More Want
4. Help Every American Remember Always That Freedom Is Never Free
Phil. 4:7 May the peace of God that excels all thought guard your hearts and minds in Jesus Christ.
Happy Memorial Day! Be Safe, Be Blessed! Most of all REMEMBER how we got here and teach your young ones.
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Sunday, May 19, 2013
The Various Habits that Steal Your Peace:
How often have intrusive worrisome thoughts kept you from sleeping at night, distracted at work, kept you from paying attention to your kids, or more important things in general? Often we worry about things we can do nothing about at the moment. We must wait to have the money to pay a bill. We have a deadline to meet for a project at work or school. The significant other is giving you grief or so you think. Of course the list of worrisome things can become infinite. A friend of mine once said they worried so much that when everything was going well they worried what in the world that was all about – everything going well couldn’t be true!
Worry is a habit with a natural base in the human thought process. It is meant to safe guard as well as motivate us. Being worried about real things performs a needed function in our lives – it can lead to action.(*1) Recognizing that worries come from things both real and imaginary is imperative to understanding why we worry.(*1) Our imagination can speckle our internal environment with every manner of fearful possibility, many of which do not exist outside of our fertile imaginations.(*1) Nonetheless, they trigger the same damaging chemical and physical changes as a genuine emergency.(*1) This often leaves one physically and emotionally drained, as well as can have physical ramifications over the long haul. Worry can also become an obsessive behavior bordering on addictive. It is often challenging, to say the least, to control for some. Today let’s look at some of the practices or other habits that enable or promote this “Peace Thief” and it’s intrusion in our lives. Human’s often feed the monkeys that are on their back.
1. Lying, Gossip, and Keeping Detrimental Secrets: It is so funny that people who are grown misrepresent any number of things in their day-to-day lives. What is the result? Is so-n-so going to find out ..whatever it is? Is “my friend” going to tell my secret? Will they find out I told?
It is often inevitable that “what is done in the dark comes to the light” Mat 10:26-27. You can be assured a secret, gossip, or a lie will inevitably come to the knowledge of everyone you don’t want to know. The most positive way of not promoting this drama is keeping your life private with self-respect and not listening to everyone else’s trifling personal reports. A polite statement for keeping your own information private: “I am so conflicted and unsure about what has happened that until I know more or understand it better I do not feel comfortable talking about the issue.” If one continues the past statement can be followed by a polite: “Please have some respect for my decision.” If someone continues where they should not, you have the right to walk away if the individual is face-to-face. Changing the subject can be helpful. Hang up the phone or do not answer it to begin with if YOU know it is drama and you may be tempted. (The same goes for the door.) There is No Shame in Keeping the Drama Tame! These are instigators for worry and a peace thief that is in your control.
2. Stealing, Cheating, Hating, and Causing Harm: Plotting harm – This should be self-explanatory. No matter how much you may want to get even – It is never worth it. The continuous ramifications will wear you down with worry and guilt.
3. Bills and Daily Needs: It is easy to live beyond our means. Keeping life simple and getting back to basics can often take time, but it can give one a new outlook as well as reality. (I have student loan debt of about 58,000. I pay for most everything with cash. I put off buying items until I can pay cash or layaway them until paid for. I sometimes worry about getting back to college to finish my last 6 to 8 classes, but I know in due time it will come, thus I dismiss the worry and pray for a better frame of mind.) There are many ways to work thru the worry over daily needs and bills. I often continue my education with free courses from HP, or other places online that have no credit general knowledge “certificate” courses. Keeping the mind busy helps. I mentioned prayer, but one should be proactive too. Find a part time job, pick up cans and bottles, sew or crochet, find a way to cater to others specific needs – cleaning for example. Boats, cars/trucks, homes, offices, windows, siding on homes, and the list of custom cleaning jobs are long and very lucrative for the hard working individual. Find something you do well and work towards your prayers. (Seek and you shall find!)
4. Be content within. I think this is the hardest for so many. We want this, that and the other thing. We measure our value by the possessions we have or acquisitions of our hand. We define our capability or self-worth by our ability to be competitive with the neighbors, coworkers, or other family members. Do we lead or barely follow? Being content is not a positive concept in today’s society. It is though a productive ability – the less you struggle with the negative emotions the more strength, mental space, and capacity you have to succeed.
*****It is my hope this provokes thought, effects change, and aids in comforting my reader. I like to keep the information short and pointed, but there is an article or three below from noted authors to finish out the theme of this article and lend brevity to the my article if you would like to enjoy them.
1. 1. Conquering Anxiety and Worry, by Dorothy McCoy; http://www.healingwell.com/library/anxiety/article.asp?author=mccoy&id=1
2. 8 Steps to Conquering Worry: By Reader s Digest Magazine | Healthy Living – http://shine.yahoo.com/healthy-living/8-steps-to-conquering-worry-2582492.html
3. 3. How to Conquer Worry, by Dale Carnegie 1948 http://www.westegg.com/unmaintained/carnegie/stop-worry.html
Rebuilding yourself better overtime.
I use portion control for loosing weight. I have been successful 2 times before at loosing massive amounts of weight. (March 2003 – March 2005 I lost 165ilbs.) As part of this, I used frozen meals such as: Lean Cuisine, Smart Ones, Hungry Man, Healthy Choice, Marie Calendar..etc (I also ate soups, stopped eating sugar, bread, condiments like Mayo, increased my vegi intake and drank unsweetened tea, water, V8, and coffee.) My snacks included small portions of fresh fruit or tuna and crackers. (tuna can be made better with diced tomatoes and herbs/chives/onions.)
I ate nothing after 5pm.
The thing is if you do this it must be a life change in order to keep the weight off.
The human body is symmetrical. Different parts of the body are the same length or size of other parts. If one considers this the true then it is not hard to imagine the human stomach is suppose to be the size of ones loosely clinched fist — which makes sense. How are we born? A porter house steak would not fit in that tummy at any time until …. well ?? Makes you wonder.
The idea is to have portion control and variety.
Between a Rock & A Hard Place
Thursday, April 11, 2013
The other day I was going along and a passed a retaining wall. On that retaining wall was a dandelion it was growing out of a single crack. It was the only vegetation growing out of that whole retaining wall. (The wall was 30-foot length and it was 5 foot high.) The little dandelion seemed just as happy as it could be sprouting in bloom from the middle of the wall all alone.
It made me think of the scripture where Jesus said “See the lily of the valley? How it does not spin or toil – yet would you see how it is dressed – how beautifully? It is here today and gone tomorrow; but you – are you not worth so much more to your father in heaven? If he pays attention to the little things that are of no concern how much more so will he take care of your needs?”
Often times in life we are between a rock and hard place. When I seen that dandelion and I thought about that scripture I considered how ironic the picture was before me. The little flower was so beautiful. Our attitude sometimes is what makes or breaks the situation that we are in. A dear friend of mine once said our attitude dictates our latitude. And that is so true. No matter what were going through, where we’ve been, or how hard life is – we must always remember that we have a heavenly father who loves us. He gave his son to teach us a better way and die for our mistakes. It is imperative that we exercise faith, perseverance, prayer, and most of all: a meek and loving attitude. Revelation 21 gives us a wonderful promise he will wipe out sorrow, pain, and death – even wipe every tear from eyes. He’s going to make all things new. And all the hardships that we’ve been through will pass away like the wind that blows across the field we will remember them no more. The sad memories certainly be carried away. So when you think you’ve had all you can handle and you’re between the rock and a hard place think of the little dandelion growing in the retaining wall and remember your attitude affects your latitude. MJM
Prazosin is a hypertension medication that is also used for the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Not every individual has the same response to medications, but if each person would take note of their experience then the overall view would be more accurate over time. I began using the medication in 2010. It had to be adjusted from 1mg to 2mg, but the flashbacks became less intense and less frequent. The dreams also were less intense and less frequent.
I noticed one of the side effects was that I became numb and rather emotionless inside. I felt dead and empty or numb. This was alarming to me but after 30 years of dealing with medications and therapy, I realized it maybe a side-effect that could be weathered out, so I continued taking the medication and monitoring the issues carefully. The benefits of a medication sometimes out way the side effects, thus waiting them out can be the best route of success if they are not serious. Side effects can last a few days to a few months until the body builds a tolerance. I had those feelings of numb, dead, empty, emotionlessness for 6 to 7 months before they finally subsided. My body had built a tolerance, yet the medication was working very well.
One who is taking lasix , diuretics, (water pills) may want to be very careful when they take the Prazoson for often they both lower the blood pressure. Knowing this one should also know their medications for heart disease and be careful how they take these. Usually keeping a careful schedule not to mix them at the same time is all that is needed. As always every doctor one sees should have a detailed list of medications and medical information upgraded monthly. Below are relevant sights to help with the most up to date information.
Contact me for more information or any form or information or support needs.
“Fear not, for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My right hand of rightness and justice.” (Isaiah 41:10, AMP)
Sometimes life can be so discouraging. Friends or family say things not knowing the real situation or understanding the hardship you face from day to day from health issues, mental health struggles, or other situations.
Neighbors and work peers endlessly tend to judge by what they see on the surface rather than understanding the greatest issues lie hidden deep within. This scripture deals with fear, but could amply be applied to coping with cruelty others dish out, wrongs imposed on us by others, hardships we face due to others spreading gossip, belittling our hard work, or even promoting their own agenda. We inevitably will suffer in every way no matter what, but being able to rise above and beyond comes from the strength or resolve to be sustained by the God we cherish. His love and care makes it easier. Remembering the rules keeps you free from the hardships others fall pray to. The hope of better and knowing we are never truly alone gives us courage. Finally the privilege of communication with the sovereign of the universe – His very name means He who causes to become – makes life more bearable.
Each day for me is a struggle and this is not a complaint – it is sharing a reality. Between the muscle disease, the mental issues,TBI effects that linger, medication side effects, it crowds in from time to time. I hear the commentary from well meaning judgmental people. It is good they do not understand for if they did they would be suffering also. Thankfully, the God I love so much promises to “harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with – My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice.” MJM
Our lives resemble journeys created as if in a theater of living reality within our minds. The journey is often our choice; made up of small decisions and major changes some good others not so, but tomorrow rolls around and then next week. The drama of the day changes and re-arranges for the next. This too shall pass becomes a mantra of survival. Life moves on whether we like it or not. One thing we all know is we cannot stop time. There are no do over. Whether we smile or cringe, we must walk on. If the choice or issue repeats itself maybe we will have the courage approach it differently.
I am a survivor of rape, domestic violence, and incest, extreme physical and emotional abuse over a long period of time. I am a survivor – not a victim. The difference is my choice of perception. The journey of my youth was invaded, but the years after have spawned hard work, self-help, and formidable understandings. The road has been a roller coaster. Many having survived the same have had similar effects in their lives. It is a struggle…every day, no matter how long ago or how you view it – it is a daily struggle with choices.
People who have no reference for the experience often misunderstand or make the mistake of equation: “well if it happened to me.” It did not thankfully, so excusing their ignorance is about all we are able to do. One never knows how that personal violation becomes so overwhelming until they experience it. One basic freedom is the right to control our own body and what happens with it. That right -when taken- becomes a monumental degradation that eats away the inner being much as a corrosive material eats away at steel over time. Positive steps to overcome and regain a healthy mentality take time, firm resolve, as well as hard work. Some already struggling with lifelong issues may fall by the wayside before (if ever) gaining their footing.
Rape is used as a weapon of war and is becoming recognized as such. Warring groups use rape as a weapon because it destroys communities totally, says Major-General Patrick Cammaert, former commander of UN peacekeeping forces in the eastern Congo. “You destroy communities. You punish the men, and you punish the women, doing it in front of the men.” Adds Cammaert: “It has probably become more dangerous to be a woman than a soldier in armed conflict.” (OHCHR, 2012)
How did Rape become such an effective tactic? “From the systematic rape of women in Bosnia, to an estimated 200,000 women raped during the battle for Bangladeshi independence in 1971, to Japanese rapes during the 1937 occupation of Nanking – the past century offers too many examples.
So what motivates armed forces, whether state-backed troops or irregular militia, to attack civilian women and children?
Gita Sahgal, of Amnesty International, told the BBC News website it was a mistake to think such assaults were primarily about the age-old “spoils of war”, or sexual gratification.
Rape is often used in ethnic conflicts as a way for attackers to perpetuate their social control and redraw ethnic boundaries, she said.
“Women are seen as the reproducers and carers of the community,” she said.
“Therefore if one group wants to control another they often do it by impregnating women of the other community because they see it as a way of destroying the opposing community.”
A report by Medecins Sans Frontieres says it first came across rape as a weapon in the 1990s. “(BBC, 2012)
One thing we can all be certain of is: if someone decided it was an accurate weapon of war, then it was/has been used centuries before it was discovered… Men are often slow to admit the obvious. This deals with the women and girls – what about the child soldiers in some of these horrid situations?? Ever wonder how they are tortured into submission or subjection? I bet it isn’t with candy and toys. When will their cries be heard? How long will it be before we – as humans – get a grip on our own trifling realities. This is twelve years into a new millennium – and there is nothing new under the sun. It makes you wonder doesn’t it?
There is an answer. It lies in our faith. Never before has there been such disgraceful or degradation of the earth and its inhabitants. Ecc 1:4 sets the promise the earth will “endure forever.” That being said what about the people who cause so much trouble – Psalms 37: deals specifically with the cleansing of the earth and the result to those “righteous or meek” ones left. (Mat 5:5 Meek to inherit the earth.) If you are sick and tired of the infinite badness and sorrows of the times – it is not a permanent issue. There is hope ahead. Revelations spoke of a 1000-year reign of Christ and we are nearly there. The horrible things being endured now are “birth pains of the kingdom.” The upcoming promise is that all things will be: “made new and all tears, sorrow, death, and pain will be wiped away.” If you are struggling or a survivor of cruelty of some form seek out comfort from a local ministry service, church, or faith-based program. There is hope as well as comfort. We will see a new day dawn.
My contact information is available on request. God’s best..
An Amazing Gift
The winter holidays are wonderful for some. They give way to fond times with family and friends. Making grand memories of food, friends, and fun seemingly endless over the November and December months maybe stressful, but it is a labor of love. When considering the good and happy parts of most anything there is almost always a flip side. Some do not fare well over the holiday season. They may not do well over most of the year. They may barely hold it together throughout the year and then the holidays come and then the bottom falls out emotionally for them. Stress, family expectations, work place drama, and memories of the past come flooding to the fore. The harsh realities of life as well as memories that are hard to cope with often overwhelm one already struggling.
Individuals are just as different as their DNA, fingerprints, thought patterns, and looks. It is not uncommon for us to tailor our views, opinions, and beliefs to fit our unique needs. Nothing is a miracle fix or cure. That is why there are so many popular self-help books, differing methods of treatments in the medical fields or psychology, and even in the complementary/alternative medical fields. This extends to forms of recovery ideologies and behavioral modification therapies available. The diversity is a wonderful development as it provides choice and alternatives for each individual.
Some feel a loyalty to one method or hold a belief that this is the only discipline that works well. Reality shows a better path. Individuals need the diversity. Just as it takes time to find the right treatment methods to progress; it takes time to find the right medications as well as dosage to work for each individual. Patience and persistence is the key. Sticking to the program, weathering out the lighter side-effects,(*1) resting better, and finding therapy of some kind that gives a positive outlet for the issues that you are struggling with can move the emotional mountains that seem insurmountable.
The holidays have passed, but the emotional toll may still be very present. A check up with the local mental health clinic can give one the needed boost for the New Year. We all set goals, make resolutions, and often ask ourselves what is the more important issues in our lives we wish to address in the upcoming year. Mental health clinics often have spin downs for low-income or no insurance patients. Some take state insurance or regular insurance. There are other options as well. Seeking help from your doctor or general practitioner can be a good beginning. Do not be ashamed to make a list of two or three items to try to help the doctor understand where you are emotionally, what you have been through, and if you have recently endured a trigger that has brought back strong feelings or negative self-talk. The doctor/practitioner can’t help you if they do not know what you are or have been going through.
If you are struggling with your emotions or know someone who is seek help or help them seek help. Be brave and try hard to understand it can become better. It can be a better year. You can make changes that are amazing. You have the power to give a gift to yourself – peace, better emotional health, a stronger resolve of self-care, an end to poor self-esteem, and a brighter future. The only things we as individuals can change is what pertains to us. We can change our clothes, our attitude, our level of knowledge, our belief system, where we live, how we live, and the way we treat ourselves or under normal situations allow others to treat us.(*2)
Only We have the ability to give An Amazing Gift of Change to ourselves.
*1. No one should feel impelled to weather serious or dangerous side effects – any such extreme side-effects should prompt and immediate call to the doctor or visit to the ER and medication discontinuance under doctor supervision.
*2. Staying in an abusive relationship or thinking someone will change because you love them or they are “good when….” is a form of delusional thinking women or men allow. It often stems from low self-esteem from being reared in an abusive atmosphere or an unstable home. It can be changed. There is help out there.
Below are educational resources to aid you in recovery.
Help for Mental Health Issues:
Help for PTSD:
Help for Bipolar:
Help for Anxiety:
- Brain and Behavior Research Foundation: http://bbrfoundation.org/anxiety?gclid=CJiJkPX34rQCFedxOgodjHUAJA
- Freedom From Fear: Anxiety and Depression http://www.freedomfromfear.org
Help for Depression:
This is a wonderful post from a favorite blogger who has experience working through issues daily with little ones. As the Sandy Hook children and our nation works past the recent issues It is good to have several ideas on how to relate to our young ones and find ways for them to relate to us. Often we forget to listen. It is more important to listen than to speak sometimes and that is forgotten in the mix. Please find comfort in this Bloggers post through my link. She is amazing!
Late 2010 a dear friend of mine’s mother (Ms. O) became very ill and nearly died. The hospital staff ran test after test screening for everything that could be imagined that followed her symptoms. She presented with renal failure and pulmonary hemorrhaging. The very best doctors were consulted over the medical web of care provided by the hospital. A (probable) diagnosis of Goodpasture Syndrome was cautiously considered and a treatment plan began. The wonderful outcome was Ms. O lived. Her lungs cleared, but she is on dialysis due to kidney failure. Her prognosis is very hopeful as there are two kidney donors close to her. The prospect of reoccurrence of the disease is slim. Though she has dialysis regularly through the week; she drives and is very active for a 64 year old woman. This is a huge change from when she became ill. We rejoice in the fact that her life is almost back to normal.
She abides by a careful diet, dialysis, and is very active. (It was delayed due to an unrelated cancer surgery this year.)
Breaking the Silence to Educate Others on Violence
Dirty little secrets, sad little lies, and trying to understand “normal” in this ever so un-normal world has become the challenge of those working with survivors of violent crimes. The children live what they see and later live what they learn. Violent homes, neighborhoods and schools condition children to live in a form of learned helplessness. This later becomes adults unwittingly allowing the same violent behavior in their environment. The feeling that this behavior is normal or that the partner can be “fixed or changed” becomes an excuse for the abuse.
This faulty reasoning can apply throughout various aspects of any relationship. No matter how many men or women I work with I always hear -“I thought he/she would change with a little love or if they just knew I really loved them. If this or if that…” The abuser is an abuser. Baring some life changing – near death – or god fearing dramatic experience in their life the abuser will remain an abuser. The most important issue is to educate the survivor.
Behaviors range in various degrees depending on the level of grooming reached and the stage of the relationship. Most abusers are often controlling. They want to control the partner’s actions. They limit family, friends, phone use, and even go so far as to control the clothes, makeup, and hairstyles of the partner. It is not uncommon to discover the abuser going through the phone log, checking the mileage on the car, or checking the ashtray for odd brand cigarette butts, checking the clothes or even partner for odd smells or evidence of sexual contact with another becomes almost a ritual to the abuser. If someone allows it once it will continue and even become worse as time passes. (I find all of these to be extremely disrespectful and have ended relationships immediately over the first sign of even one of these.) The idea that it will prove innocence and stop never happens. It is disrespectful drama. If one partner allows this form of disrespect it becomes a slippery slope to other bad behaviors.
Emotional abuse is the act of belittling, ignoring, corrupting, acting cruel, isolating, rejecting, and scaring another person, as well as being continually yelled at or humiliated, bullied, told they will be hurt or killed and is a form of brain washing. (Datehookup, 2012) Emotional abuse is more psychologically harmful than physical abuse. There are a couple of reasons for this. Even in the most violent families, the incidents tend to be cyclical. Early in the abuse cycle, a violent outburst is followed by a honeymoon period of remorse, attention, affection, and generosity, but not genuine compassion. (The honeymoon stage eventually ends, as the victim begins to say, “Never mind the damn flowers, just stop hitting me!”) Emotional abuse, on the other hand, tends to happen every day. The effects are more harmful because they’re so frequent. (Stosny, 2012) Individuals tend to believe the repeated remarks. Gender holds no sway here for both men and women can be emotionally abusive. They tend to manipulate the weakness of the others fears. Emotional abuse seems more personal than physical abuse, more about you as a person, more about your spirit. It makes love hurt. (Stosny, 2012)
Violent behaviors range from slapping, beatings, forced sexual acts, choking to torture. The nature of the abuse may not even seem realistic to the survivor who lives in an emotional state of shock. The individual listening to the stories of vast accounts of abuse that range in such a depraved scale may take note that the survivor is either emotionless or completely devastated needs to understand that the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can become as if one is emotionally numb.
No one should live in fear of the person they love. If you recognize yourself or someone you know in the following warning signs and descriptions of abuse, reach out. There is help available. Domestic violence and abuse are used for one purpose and one purpose only: to gain and maintain total control over you. An abuser doesn’t “play fair.” Abusers use fear, guilt, shame, and intimidation to wear you down and keep you under his or her thumb. Your abuser may also threaten you, hurt you, or hurt those around you. (Help-guide, 2012)Domestic violence and abuse does not discriminate. It happens among heterosexual couples and in same-sex partnerships. It occurs within all age ranges, ethnic backgrounds, and economic levels. (Help-guide, 2012) While women are more commonly victimized, men are also abused—especially verbally and emotionally, although sometimes even physically as well. This is devastating in ways most do not realize for men are often not taken seriously when they are victims of abuse and treatment for them can be hard to secure. The bottom line is that abusive behavior is never acceptable, whether it’s coming from a man, a woman, a teenager, or an older adult. You deserve to feel valued, respected, and safe. (Help-guide, 2012)
The main goal of this article is to inform and provide information for a discussion on violence of varied levels. It is the holiday season. This brings out the best and the worst in people. While some have amazing calm lives – others live in their own personal hell. Make a resolution to find peace this year if you are in an abusive relationship. Reach out – get help – get away.
If you wonder why your son or your daughter allows abuse in their lives maybe they consider it “normal” from the lives they have lived – the things they have seen or heard from the time spent in childhood. It is not a blame thing – they live what they learn. A new normal for all could be peace.
|SIGNS THAT YOU’RE IN AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP|
|Your Inner Thoughts and Feelings||Your Partner’s Belittling Behavior|
1. Feel afraid of your partner much of the time?
|Does your partner:
1. Humiliate or yell at you?
|2. Avoid certain topics out of fear of angering your partner?||2. Criticize you and put you down?|
|3. Feel that you can’t do anything right for your partner?||3. Treat you so badly that you’re embarrassed for your friends or family to see?|
|4. Believe that you deserve to be hurt or mistreated?||4. Ignore or put down your opinions or accomplishments?|
|5. Wonder if you’re the one who is crazy?||5. Blame you for their own abusive behavior?|
|6. Feel emotionally numb or helpless?||6. See you as property or a sex object, rather than as a person?|
|Your Partner’s Violent Behavior or Threats||Your Partner’s Controlling Behavior|
|Does your partner:
1. Have a bad and unpredictable temper?
|Does your partner:
1. Act excessively jealous and possessive?
|2. Hurt you, or threaten to hurt or kill you?||2. Control where you go or what you do?|
|3. Threaten to take your children away or harm them?||3. Keep you from seeing your friends or family?|
|4. Threaten to commit suicide if you leave?||4. Limit your access to money, the phone, or the car?|
|5. Force you to have sex?||5. Limit your access to money, the phone, or the car?|
|6. Destroy your belongings?||6. Constantly check up on you?|
2. Steven Stosny , (2012) Psychology Today: Anger in the age of entitlement; http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/anger-in-the-age-entitlement/200808/effects-emotional-abuse-it-hurts-when-i-love3. Melinda Smith, M.A., and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., (2012) Domestic Violence and Abuse Signs of Abuse and Abusive Relationships http://www.helpguide.org/mental/domestic_violence_abuse_types_signs_causes_effects.htm
3. Melinda Smith, M.A., and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., (2012) Domestic Violence and Abuse Signs of Abuse and Abusive Relationships http://www.helpguide.org/mental/domestic_violence_abuse_types_signs_causes_effects.htm
Handle with Care
The change of seasons can be an enjoyable time for most. It gives a lovely spray of change for a while. Colors palates change, the weather gives a nice diversity for the senses, food choices often switch to more seasonally acceptable acquisitions and we enjoy – if only for a while – the difference. Some individuals however struggle with the changes into the colder seasons. Below is information from the Mayo Clinic on Seasonal Affective Disorder. The website is wonderfully helpful as is Webmd in giving information to help individuals become proactive in managing their health. As always I am available through the messengers, phone, private Facebook messages – always put the topic up front (Example: re: question mental health topic) as I delete the ones that are not obvious questions or outreach. Wishing you better ..Jean
Definition of: Seasonal affective disorder (also called SAD) is a type of depression that occurs at the same time every year. If you’re like most people with seasonal affective disorder, your symptoms start in the fall and may continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody. Less often, seasonal affective disorder causes depression in the spring or early summer.
Treatment for seasonal affective disorder includes light therapy (phototherapy), psychotherapy and medications. Don’t brush off that yearly feeling as simply a case of the “winter blues” or a seasonal funk that you have to tough out on your own. Take steps to keep your mood and motivation steady throughout the year.
In most cases, seasonal affective disorder symptoms appear during late fall or early winter and go away during the sunnier days of spring and summer. However, some people with the opposite pattern have symptoms that begin in spring or summer. In either case, symptoms may start out mild and become more severe as the season progresses.
Fall and winter seasonal affective disorder (winter depression)
Winter-onset seasonal affective disorder symptoms include:
- Loss of energy
- Heavy, “leaden” feeling in the arms or legs
- Social withdrawal
- Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed
- Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates
- Weight gain
- Difficulty concentrating
Spring and summer seasonal affective disorder (summer depression)
Summer-onset seasonal affective disorder symptoms include:
- Trouble sleeping (insomnia)
- Weight loss
- Poor appetite
- Increased sex drive
Seasonal changes in bipolar disorder
In some people with bipolar disorder, spring and summer can bring on symptoms of mania or a less intense form of mania (hypomania). This is known as reverse seasonal affective disorder. Signs and symptoms of reverse seasonal affective disorder include:
- Persistently elevated mood
- Unbridled enthusiasm out of proportion to the situation
- Rapid thoughts and speech
When to see a doctor
It is normal to have some days when you feel down. But if you feel down for days at a time and you can’t seem to get motivated to do activities you normally enjoy, see your doctor. This is particularly important if you notice that your sleep patterns and appetite have changed or if you feel hopeless, think about suicide, or find yourself turning to alcohol for comfort or relaxation.
The specific cause of seasonal affective disorder remains unknown. It’s likely, as with many mental health conditions, that genetics, age and, perhaps most importantly, your body’s natural chemical makeup all play a role in developing the condition. A few specific factors that may come into play include:
- Your biological clock (circadian rhythm). The reduced level of sunlight in fall and winter may disrupt your body’s internal clock, which lets you know when you should sleep or be awake. This disruption of your circadian rhythm may lead to feelings of depression.
- Serotonin levels. A drop in serotonin, a brain chemical (neurotransmitter) that affects mood, might play a role in seasonal affective disorder. Reduced sunlight can cause a drop in serotonin that may trigger depression.
- Melatonin levels. The change in season can disrupt the balance of the natural hormone melatonin, which plays a role in sleep patterns and mood.
Factors that may increase your risk of seasonal affective disorder include:
- Being female. Seasonal affective disorder is diagnosed more often in women than in men, but men may have symptoms that are more severe.
- Living far from the equator. Seasonal affective disorder appears to be more common among people who live far north or south of the equator. This may be due to decreased sunlight during the winter, and longer days during the summer months.
- Family history. As with other types of depression, those with seasonal affective disorder may be more likely to have blood relatives with the condition.
- Having clinical depression or bipolar disorder. Symptoms of depression may worsen seasonally if you have one of these conditions.
Take signs and symptoms of seasonal affective disorder seriously. As with other types of depression, seasonal affective disorder can get worse and lead to problems if it’s not treated. These can include:
- Suicidal thoughts or behavior
- Social withdrawal
- School or work problems
- Substance abuse
Treatment can help prevent complications, especially if seasonal affective disorder is diagnosed and treated before symptoms get bad.
Preparing for your appointment
You’re likely to start by seeing your family doctor or primary care provider. Or, you may start by seeing a mental health provider such as a psychiatrist or psychologist.
Because appointments can be brief and there’s often a lot of ground to cover, it’s a good idea to be well prepared for your appointment. Here’s some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do:
- Record your symptoms so that you can tell your doctor or mental health provider exactly what they are (feeling down or having a lack of energy, for example).
- Write down information about your depression patterns, such as when your depression starts and what seems to make it better or worse.
- Make a note of any other mental or physical health problems you have. Both can affect mood.
- Write down any major stressors or life changes you’ve had recently.
- Make a list of all medications you’re taking, including vitamins or supplements.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
****Your time with your doctor is limited, so preparing a list of questions will help you make the most of your time together. List your questions from most important to least important in case time runs out. For seasonal affective disorder, some basic questions to ask include:
- Are my symptoms most likely caused by seasonal affective disorder, or could they be due to something else?
- What else could be causing or worsening my symptoms of depression?
- What are the best treatment options?
- Are there any restrictions that I need to follow or steps I should take to help improve my mood?
- Should I see a psychiatrist, psychologist or other mental health provider? What will that cost, and will my insurance cover seeing a specialist?
- Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you’re prescribing me?
- Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me? What websites do you recommend visiting?
In addition to the questions that you’ve prepared to ask your doctor, don’t hesitate to ask questions at any time during your appointment.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over any points you want to spend more time on. Your doctor may ask:
- What are your symptoms?
- When did you first begin having symptoms?
- Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
- How severe are your symptoms?
- What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
- What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
- Do you have any other physical or mental health conditions?
- Are you taking any medications, supplements or herbal remedies?
- Do you use alcohol or drugs?
- Do any of your blood relatives have seasonal affective disorder or another mental health condition?
Your doctor may also ask other questions depending on your individual situation.
Tests and diagnosis
To help diagnose seasonal affective disorder, your doctor or mental health provider will do a thorough evaluation, which generally includes:
- Detailed questions. Your doctor or mental health provider will ask about your mood and seasonal changes in your thoughts and behavior. He or she may also ask questions about your sleeping and eating patterns, relationships, job, or other questions about your life. You may be asked to answer questions on a psychological questionnaire.
- Physical exam. Your doctor or mental health provider may do a physical examination to check for any underlying physical issues that could be linked to your depression.
- Medical tests. There’s no medical test for seasonal affective disorder, but if your doctor suspects a physical condition may be causing or worsening your depression, you may need blood tests or other tests to rule out an underlying problem.
Seasonal affective disorder is considered a subtype of depression or bipolar disorder. Even with a thorough evaluation, it can sometimes be difficult for your doctor or mental health provider to diagnose seasonal affective disorder because other types of depression or other mental health conditions can cause similar symptoms.
To be diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder, you must meet criteria spelled out in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). This manual is published by the American Psychiatric Association and is used by mental health professionals to diagnose mental conditions and by insurance companies to reimburse for treatment.
The following criteria must be met for a diagnosis of seasonal affective disorder:
- You’ve experienced depression and other symptoms for at least two consecutive years, during the same season every year.
- The periods of depression have been followed by periods without depression.
- There are no other explanations for the changes in your mood or behavior.
Treatments and drugs
Treatment for seasonal affective disorder may include light therapy, medications and psychotherapy. If you have bipolar disorder, your doctor will be careful when prescribing light therapy or an antidepressant. Both treatments can potentially trigger a manic episode.
In light therapy, also called phototherapy, you sit a few feet from a specialized light therapy box so that you’re exposed to bright light. Light therapy mimics outdoor light and appears to cause a change in brain chemicals linked to mood.
Light therapy is one of the first line treatments for seasonal affective disorder. It generally starts working in two to four days and causes few side effects. Research on light therapy is limited, but it appears to be effective for most people in relieving seasonal affective disorder symptoms.
Before you purchase a light therapy box or consider light therapy, talk to your doctor or mental health provider to make sure it’s a good idea and to make sure you’re getting a high-quality light therapy box.
Some people with seasonal affective disorder benefit from antidepressant treatment, especially if symptoms are severe.
Antidepressants commonly used to treat seasonal affective disorder include paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem) and venlafaxine (Effexor).
An extended-release version of the antidepressant bupropion (Wellbutrin XL) may help prevent depressive episodes in people with a history of seasonal affective disorder.
Your doctor may recommend starting treatment with an antidepressant before your symptoms typically begin each year. He or she may also recommend that you continue to take antidepressant medication beyond the time your symptoms normally go away.
Keep in mind that it may take several weeks to notice full benefits from an antidepressant. In addition, you may have to try different medications before you find one that works well for you and has the fewest side effects.
Psychotherapy is another option to treat seasonal affective disorder. Although seasonal affective disorder is thought to be related to brain chemistry, your mood and behavior also can add to symptoms. Psychotherapy can help you identify and change negative thoughts and behaviors that may be making you feel worse. You can also learn healthy ways to cope with seasonal affective disorder and manage stress.
Lifestyle and home remedies Tests and diagnosis
If your seasonal depression symptoms are severe, you may need medications, light therapy or other treatments to manage seasonal affective disorder. However, there are some measures you can take on your own that may help. Try the following:
- Make your environment sunnier and brighter. Open blinds, trim tree branches that block sunlight or add skylights to your home. Sit closer to bright windows while at home or in the office.
- Get outside. Take a long walk, eat lunch at a nearby park, or simply sit on a bench and soak up the sun. Even on cold or cloudy days, outdoor light can help — especially if you spend some time outside within two hours of getting up in the morning.
- Exercise regularly. Physical exercise helps relieve stress and anxiety, both of which can increase seasonal affective disorder symptoms. Being more fit can make you feel better about yourself, too, which can lift your mood.
Several herbal remedies, supplements and mind-body techniques are commonly used to relieve depression symptoms. It’s not clear how effective these treatments are for seasonal affective disorder, but there are several that may help. Keep in mind, alternative treatments alone may not be enough to relieve your symptoms. Some alternative treatments may not be safe if you have other health conditions or take certain medications.
Supplements used to treat depression include:
- St. John’s wort. This herb has traditionally been used to treat a variety of problems, including depression. It may be helpful if you have mild or moderate depression.
- SAMe. This is a synthetic form of a chemical that occurs naturally in the body. SAMe hasn’t been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat depression in the United States. However, it’s used in Europe as a prescription drug to treat depression.
- Melatonin. This natural hormone helps regulate mood. A change in the season may change the level of melatonin in your body.
- Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acid supplements may help relieve depression symptoms and have other health benefits. Sources of omega-3s include fish such as salmon, mackerel and herring. Omega-3s are also found in certain nuts and grains and in other vegetarian sources, but it isn’t clear whether they have the same effect as fish oil.
SAMe and St. John’s wort can interact with medications for other conditions, especially antidepressants. Talk to your doctor before trying either of these remedies to make sure they’re safe for you.
Mind-body therapies that may help relieve depression symptoms include:
- Guided imagery
- Massage therapy
Coping and support Lifestyle and home remedies
Following these steps can help you manage seasonal affective disorder:
- Stick to your treatment plan.Take medications as directed and attend therapy appointments as scheduled.
- Take care of yourself. Get enough rest and take time to relax. Participate in a regular exercise program. Eat regular, healthy meals. Don’t turn to alcohol or illegal drugs for relief.
- Practice stress management. Learn techniques to manage your stress better. Unmanaged stress can lead to depression, overeating, or other unhealthy thoughts and behaviors.
- Socialize. When you’re feeling down, it can be hard to be social. Make an effort to connect with people you enjoy being around. They can offer support, a shoulder to cry on or a joke to give you a little boost.
- Take a trip. If possible, take winter vacations in sunny, warm locations if you have winter seasonal affective disorder or to cooler locations if you have summer seasonal affective disorder.
Magi Jean McBride
Mayo Clinic Staff, (Aug. 10, 2012) Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/seasonal-affective-disorder/DS00195
Of Fragility and Freedom
Life is fragile
Precious is all the days
The winds of change blow it
So master your road
From where you are
Steer your life as you seriously
as you would a car
Your choices today
Will determine where you will be
Six days, Six weeks, Six months, Six years
It is your choice you see,
Learn, progress, and be set free!
Magdelania J. McBride 3.23.2010
Jesus stated – You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.
Schizophrenia: A View Within
January 20, 2010
Maladaptive behavior comes from various biological, psychological, and environmental occurrences. The theories involved help students acquire an understanding of the deep-seated behavioral needs of prospective future clients. Mental health services, in the young deaf community, have many issues pertaining to providing adequate care. Living in profound silence, 43% of deaf youth struggle to prevail in life with mental illness. Counselors and psychiatrist are sacrificing to meet their unique needs. Prospective treatments and theory of behavioral modification can only help if one understands the causes and issues related to the illnesses. This is a look at the deaf culture, their mental health dilemma, and the sacrifice developing to accommodate the silent world.
Schizophrenia: A View Within
The human organism is susceptible from conception to death for varied alterations, which effect behavior and thought. Mal-adaptation is often a replacement behavior that occurs as a result of the alteration in thought pattern. Schizophrenia is considered to be a maladaptive behavior brought on by various causes still undergoing investigation. (NIMH, 2009)
Biological factors would include such issues as genetics, disease, alcohol use of parents or self, other substance abuse, and chemical poisoning, as well as structural brain abnormalities or injuries that effect behavioral outcomes. (Sarason, 2005) Genetic defects can include a predisposition to varied brain disturbances. (Comer, 2004) These can be passed from generation to generation and may become determinable at conception or even before. (Comer, 2004) Genetic testing for various probabilities has a long way to go. (NIMH, 2009) Present information states there is a “genome scan” for determining some of the variations of genetic predispositions for schizophrenia, but it is not completely accurate. (NIMH, 2009) The concept that it can be found is one issue and the determination of the best way to fix the occurrence is far in the future, if even in our lifetime. Genetic engineering is full of alternate ramifications and ethical considerations that will no doubt be the manifestation of a super acquisition of legal and scientific laws such as is beyond our present imagination.
Disease in infancy, childhood, or adulthood, can cause damage to the brain in various ways. Encephalitis causes inflammation to the brain usually after a viral infection or preceding a vaccination for proposed serious illness. (NINDS, 2007) Ischemic Stroke causes brain damage when the blood vessels in the brain become clotted, blocked, or plugged. The perpetual stress on blocked veins builds as the blood continuously pumps. The vessel gives way becoming a hemorrhagic stroke, which bleeds into the brain causing damage. Transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) happen, when blood supply is interrupted in brief increments. The ramifications of stroke can cause somatic conditions, yet the unseen and often less noticed effects are alterations of mood, thought, behavior, and even change in personality, thus causing mental conditions or disorders. (Satcher, 2007)
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) happens when forceful impact to the head causes damage to the brain. TBI can leave many lasting mental effects, including such behavioral/mental health challenges as depression, anxiety, personality changes, aggression, acting out, and social inappropriateness. TBI’s are on the rise with the war as are maladaptive abnormal behavioral issues, whether from the tragedy of war and survival or the injuries incurred. A soldier’s symptoms may also overlap with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, making it more difficult for doctors to treat. (NAMI, 2009)
One considering the alcohol and substance abuse or use must consider the affect on infants and children first as the mold is made or broken in childhood, even infancy. Guided more so internally by the genetic grid, an embryo is formed. If the parent drinks while pregnant, there is an effect. The genetic makeup carries what has been the past as well as the future is embolden in every cell. Was the Grandfather predisposed to a mental illness such as schizophrenia or maybe depression? Thinking about this aspect of the human experience when considering brain function as well as the varied genetic issues of other possible configurations that make an individual what they inevitably are is amazing to say the very least.
Psychological theories include Freud’s theory of psychodynamic motivators for maladaptive abnormal behavior. This is the mental law that random thought is guided and connected by underlying motives, conscious, or unconscious that causes the behavior to be validated or rewarded. (Westen, 1998) The theory of instinctual drives such as: sex, physical urges, and aggression, manifest to mold maladaptive behavior that forms into anxiety or personality abnormalities. (Westen, 1998) The conflict between the id, the ego, and the superego, continually cause emotional friction in an already at risk individual, thus wearing down the normal ability to adjust in some circumstances and causing abnormal adjusting in some situations. (Westen, 1998)
Another factor, which should be considered, is environmental. The environment that one is constantly in affects the mental state of the individual. Chronic violence, poverty, excessive worry can cause anxiety or personality abnormalities. (NIMH, 2009) Posttraumatic Stress Disorder is a stress related illness from extreme trauma such as war, rape, or extreme violence. It is interesting that those reared and continuing life in normal, quiet, peaceful, situations have lower instances of mental illnesses. (NIMH, 2010) Racial and cultural divisions that are stressful can bring about personality and other possible sensitive counseling needs. The environmental impact of variables on mental health can be many with divided impact. The goal should be to aid the client in overcoming and integrating, thus becoming empowered in their own positive traits building the self-confidence they need to continue. (NIMH, 2010)
Struggling with Schizophrenia (295.30), PTSD (309.81), Manic Depression (296.33), as well as other numerous mental and physical challenges that at times are very crushing have taught this author about survival and the creative nature of the human spirit. The desire to do better despite the issues, to create a life from the ashes at 42, to reach out and find a way to overcome maladaptive behaviors that alienate and cause division between clients, their families and society is ever present. The blessing of therapist and psychiatrist, who have walked the roads of mental illness and social stigma, is priceless. This author has taken a 28-year span of successes and failures in a life with mental/physical illness and taken charge with the use of self-help books, research, medication, therapy, good doctors, and constant awareness of new and better medical management to find a better life. The days are scheduled like everyone’s. They are often exhausting, sometimes overwhelming. Unusual family issues and extreme stress with the muscle disease that is prevalent often overwhelms this author. Medication for pain and anxiety is limited to non-narcotic by choice, being able to think clearly is most important. The support structure present that is the best and most supportive is the doctors and therapist rather than family. This course has been very helpful in the journey to become a psychologist and better understand the behaviors of those so affected by the same issues that molded the views this author has carried for years. There are others though who struggle silently, in a world of quiet repose, where therapist and doctors have a language barrier. The deaf face amazing challenges in the mental health system.
Voices in the Silence: the Interview
“The voices tell me to cut myself. It makes me feel… feel as if I have control over just one thing in my life.” Suzan replied in sign language, when I signed to her about her schizophrenia and cutting ritual. She is 17 years young. A prominent student in high school, she also was in several extra-curricular activities. The schedule in front of me was staggering. “When I take my medication I have better days. I like to stay busy; it helps me to deal with the inner problems,” Suzan continued. “I am lucky; we have a counselor at school, which referred me for services, so many people receive no help at all.” She is not alone fighting a severe mental illness. Her plight echoes throughout the young deaf community.
Mental illness issues affect 43% of the deaf youth in America. (Eldik, 2004) The illnesses range the full gamut, from depression to schizophrenia; all of which are very hard to treat in the hearing community, under the best of circumstances. Medications and therapy treatment assigned for the group must be changed and altered to get the right balance. Communication is imperative to this process. (Carlson, 2008) Chemical consistency in the individual is remarkably different from one person to another; balance in the brain enzymes and medication application can incur many trial and error efforts to discover what works best, with the least side effects. This author’s treatment and observations through the last 28 years of mental illness still takes time and proper communication with the professionals to achieve and maintain a feasible balance. Trying and accommodating the various medications in different dosages over time to find a combination that stabilizes the illness takes patience, trust, and communication. Continuing close relationships with psychiatrist and therapist help as medications build a tolerance in the brain and must be changed to have continuing good results. This is an intricate dance between the patient and the professionals.
Communication is Vital
The young deaf community are susceptible to challenges the hearing world seem to be unable to conceive. This is manifest in the communication situation. Communication interferences in the postlingually deaf subjects determine a predisposition to mental distress. The subject observes the loss as more of a disability than prelingually deaf individuals do. De Graff (2002) found correlations in the prelingually deaf population as having a better self-image and quality of life than their postlingual counterparts. (DeGraff, 2002) Accordingly, DeGraff surmised the postlingual group felt socially isolated, less accepted by there hearing peers and more likely to have additional medical and social problems. Sign Language and speech reading in addition to written language are used to assess the deaf for mental difficulties. Various mental issues, in the hearing-impaired community, have no relative association with the level of imparity in the hearing. (Wallis, 2004) Internal and external manifestations studied in the subjects to determine the viability of treatment may gain the psychiatric personnel insight into the depth of illness. Truly, communication is imperative to the well being of the patient.
Progress serving this dynamic group of deaf marches forward as psychiatrist, counselors, therapist, and social workers are reaching out to gather and treat this vast array of people. The loving dedication of counselors and therapist learning to use American Sign Language with their deaf patients is cause for great pride. Providing translators for deaf clients is a hard job. Fifty-six percent of the deaf in one important study were unable to find accessible mental health care for lack of translators. (Steinberg, 1998) Casework and management plans effectively in place help benefit the deaf so they are able to make a fulfilling life. Positive reinforcement and patience is a virtue. Linguistic barriers often disadvantage the deaf who are able to read and write. The use of the English language for the deaf is very different from what a hearing person uses. The lack of use of conjunctions, prepositions, time continuums, and phrases cause many problems also in diagnosing adequately the specific symptoms of some forms of mental illness. Deaf think in pictorials and sign language, how does one ask, “Do you hear voices?” (a sign of schizophrenia) (Shapira, 1999) A few moments of fast signing by a patient can be seen as a manic state rather than a change in emotion. Expressions of emotions by the deaf are also a conveyance of their language; they rely on the facial expressions and body actions to understand or express the situation. This also is at times miss-read by a well-meaning clinician. The language of sign does not have adequate words for a variety of emotions; this can pose so many issues. This is why emotional behavior and facial expressions are imperative to the deaf so they gain insight. The deeper study of kinesics in the culture would help professionals diagnose illness more effectively. The ability to test by using genome will render an amazing aid for more accurate diagnosis in cases where communication is stifled. (NIMH, 2009)
The Hope for Development
Schools and mental health agencies are encouraging the deaf to become professionals in the mental health fields. The hope for the future of the deaf culture is healthy productive individuals that direct the members of their society to prosper and strive to build a well-educated peer base. The development project in place is to increase the number of signing members in the mental health and counseling community. Adapting test for mental evaluations will also help. Time and patience are encouraged by all involved. The protocol now is to have a double evaluation before commitment, this second opinion procedure is in place to secure the diagnoses and stop miss-understandings that cause wrongful commitment.
It is a personal hope that someday the mental health services for the deaf will be as easy to acquire as it is for the hearing world. I have 28 years of experience with the mental health system and 30 years working with the deaf. I intend on having many more years ahead to continue my work. Anthropology is the study of humanity and the contemporary human diversity. I am so profoundly touched by the deaf culture as a whole. The voices in the silence are many. Deaf old and young have issues. There are answers. The best of care takes time. Time takes the voices away.
Abnormal Psychology, Fifth Edition, Ronald J. Comer, (2004) Worth Publishers and W.H. Freeman and Company, New York, NY
American Annals of the Deaf 148:5, Eldik, V. (2004). . In Volume 148, (Spring Ed.), (pp.390-395 ). : .
DeGraff, (2002). . Mental Health Functioning In Deaf Children and Adolescents (Ed.), (pp. ). .
Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General, Satcher M.D., P.h.D., (2007) http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/mentalhealth/chapter1/sec1.html
NINDS Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, (2007) http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/acute_encephalomyelitis/acute_encephalomyelitis.htm
National Institute of Mental Health: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/index.shtml
National Institute of Mental Illness: Schizophrenia http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/schizophrenia/complete-index.shtml – pub6
Foundations of Physiological Psychology, Neil R. Carlson (2008) New York, NY: Pearson Education INC
Sarason, I.G., Sarason, B.R. (2005) Abnormal Psychology – The Problem of Maladaptive Behavior. Upper-Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, INC
Shapira, N. A. MD, PhD (1999) Evaluation of bipolar in inpatients with prelingual deafness. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 156(8), 1267-1269
Steinberg, A.G. MD, Eckhart, E.A.CSW (1998, July) Cultural and Linguistic Barriers to Mental Health Services From the Deaf Consumers Prospective. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 155(7), 982-984
Traumatic Brain Injury: Veterans Resource Center NAMI: http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=Traumatic_Brain_Injury&Template=/TaggedPage/TaggedPageDisplay.cfm&TPLID=85&ContentID=52915
The Scientific Legacy of Sigmund Freud: Toward a Psychodynamically Informed Psychological Science, Drew Weston, (1998) Harvard Medical School and Cambridge Hospital/Cambridge Health Alliance. The American Psychological Association, Copyright, 1998
Wallis, (2004) Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education 2004. . In (Ed.), (9: pp2-14 ). : . http://jdsde.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/9/1/2
Running head: ETHICAL TREATMENT OF THE DISABLED IN THE WORKPLACE
Ethical Treatment of the Disabled in the Workplace
August 05, 2008
Ethical treatment of disabled individuals is still an issue even as we are in the new millennium. Sad to say, disabled individuals are employed under their skill levels and incur discrimination daily from employers and fellow employees. The trend is often under reported for fear of reprisals. The incidents continue, thus making the work place one of the most challenging experiences of a disabled individual’s life. Ethical treatment of disabled employees by all involved could bring about sweeping change for disabled individuals in the work arena.
Ethical Treatment of the Disabled in the Work Place
Disabled individuals want a secular life. A job with the hopes of being a productive member of society is the goal of so many disabled individuals. The job market in most states is very hard to get into if one is whole, but for the disabled it is often a huge hurdle. I worked as a disability advocate for many years in the south before coming to the northeast, yet I still remain in contact with vast numbers of disabled people and I hear their struggles daily.
Erin, age 33, has mental disabilities that range in the relatively sever range. When properly medicated he is functional and loves to work. He finds it very hard to find work though due to the issue he has.
Erin: “I often am told we are not hiring even though they just put the sign up. When I get a job important information is kept back from me that I need to know to do my job well. I miss staff meetings as they are not posted and generally, I am not told. Various issues arise and then I find I must leave, it is a relentless cycle. I try to work closely with management so I remedy these issues, only to find I am misunderstood by the other staff, which causes issues. I long to be productive it is virtually impossible.”
Howard, age 26, is profoundly deaf and mute. He is frustrated that he is only hired for janitorial jobs.
Howard signs: “I can work stock as I am strong. I can work machinery; the noise does not affect me. I have endless energy and could teach sign (American Sign Language and Spanish Sign Language) for I am great with children. I am able to work with deaf adults and teach them to sign. I can do graphic design. I could drive a delivery truck. The only jobs I can find is janitorial and walking dogs. I am sick of it; let the hearing clean their own feces.”
Kristen, age 27, is a nursery worker and floral design artist. She is deaf and uses sign and speech.
Kristen: “I have worked with florals and the nursery many years. A few years back I had to make a decision as I was under paid for the work I was doing seven dollars an hour was what I was getting, while others where I worked were gradually making more and hiring in at more money than I was making steady. I had worked there many years. The employer said I was deaf and therefore not as capable with the customers as others were even though I read lips, had my hearing aids in, and seldom made a mistake when working with customers. I made three mistakes in ten years. I promptly quit and found work where the money was more suited. They use me more in the nursery and in the order department than with walk in customers. I often help the walk-ins on my own just to show them I am capable. I still have the discrimination, but at a lower level.”
The deafness site on BellaOnline has Felicity Bleckly as an editor. She echoes the above remarks and adds credibility to their dilemma. “People are left out due to their limitations even if they have completed the major work on a client’s project. They are left uninvited to client meetings or luncheons, sometimes even office briefings or staff meetings are closed to them. The deaf (or otherwise disabled) feel left out, unappreciated and this is a form of bullying – a subtle form of discrimination. It is hurtful.” (Bleckly, 2008)
Returning to work after a severe illness often is the beginning of discrimination sometimes for an employee. The individual, who has battled illness, is now disabled, and needs an accommodation. The company remedy is to lay off or downsize, as the company does not desire to continue the realm of care for the employee. The healthcare package and various other benefits are more costly since the employee has become ill/disabled. All cost effective for the company, they must think of the healthy workers and stay in business, yet it is discriminatory towards the disabled individual as they have often lost a lifetime of work and benefits. Steve Cahn, a disability discrimination lawyer in New Jersey says this practice is all too familiar. “Often employers will let a disabled employee go due to their production level not being the same as before the illness, or perhaps sick time is taken more frequently as is the case with cancer survivors who has medication that often makes them ill.” (Networks, 2008)
Issues even more serious remain; this is the status quo, as stereotyping of mental and physical disabilities cause divisions in the workplace. A few employees feel it is beneath them to work with the handicapped as if it downgrades their own work experience and profile. We have entered a new millennium; old ideas still rein true, sadly.
Ethics for All
Ethical fairness in the workplace is no new issue. Everyone wants to be treated well in their day today life, be it at home, errand hopping, or at the workplace. Mentally and physically disabled individuals desire the same treatment – to be treated well, commended and compensated for the work they accomplish. The disabled also desire job stability, just the same as anyone else. It begins with each person, as well as the company, to set out policy and common courtesy, thus setting the example for all involved.
Business ethics is far beyond everyone being kind with each other. Basic business ethics has improved our society. The laws have changed so that child labor is no longer tolerated here in the states. Discrimination on certain grounds is frowned upon and in most cases illegal. Pay for overtime and some benefits are expectable for hazardous jobs. The benefits mention could be attributed to union movements, but they also are ethical issues. The ethical issues were established then the unions and laws were passed to aid the equality of usage across the commercial divide. People at one time could be terminated for personality issues, racial color, political and religious preferences. (This still occurs in some states here in America that are commonwealth states, to this day. I have personally seen it and there is no recourse. Georgia and Kentucky are examples of commonwealth states with commonwealth laws.) Society is much better for the federal laws that have been enacted to protect the workers whether they are disabled or not. Federal courts supersede the state courts if one has the money or can find an attorney to fight the case.
Adhering to ethical standards in the business world helps to build creativity, continuity, community, and high production. Ethical behavior among the employees builds when no one feels left out as the routine of the day follows into the week. Staff is notified weekly of changes, meetings, postings, new employees and job duties. The dialog is open and continuous helping bonding patterns form among the workers as they see their own values present in the companies they serve. A sense of family or unity occurs and productivity increases.
Reality of both the positive and negative is hard to face from time to time. Employees expand their knowledge as they spend time in a field. The confidence one needs to succeed often comes as experience accrues through the years. Behaving in an ethical manor over a long period of time has been linked to good emotional health and less stress, thus more self confidence and a better power to succeed in good or bad times. (Bennet, 1991, p. B1) The idea I am trying to convey is that bad behavior makes one rather miserable inside. One may feel they take their aggressions out on someone, yet generally they are not the only miserable person.
Ethical management tools such as diversity programs that help individuals resolve their issues with each other that occur in the workplace. Disabled individuals may find these programs infinitely useful as they work through their employment to help everyone’s understanding levels increase. Values become more aligned as understanding progresses. The continuity it takes to maintain a consistently accurate product with employees from diverse backgrounds as well as a variety of abilities or inabilities takes strategic planning which also is an ethical management tool. Human resources and mediators in the workplace aid in gaining resolution of issues so the ethical integrity of the workplace is kept intact.
Strength forward in the business world helps convey a positive image to the workers and community. Ethical coherence and balance in the workplace supports the community and the sets the example for the future. Disabled individuals working in companies that should have standards in place, yet continue to be discriminated against need to step forward and advocate. Advocacy takes time and awareness.
Promoting Ethical Education
Ethical behavior does not come readily. People must become educated. Reading through the textbook provided for this course, several authors with various ethical theories were presented for our enrichment. The Kantian way of reasoning ethical issues is as simple as the universal laws of space, time, and gravity. He was then compared to men such as Hume’ who felt that our affections or emotions should weigh some balance of our ethical decisions.(Waller, 2008, p. 10-44) Our feelings can be objective, subjective or intuitive in nature and can often cause dilemmas in our views as to what is appropriate at what time. (Waller, p. 39-41)
The various forms of ethics discussed Utilitarian, Pragmatist, Care, Social Contract, and the list goes on all point to one main idea – how to have respect and treat each other in a respectful manner. The human race has issues. Like the flowers that grow we are all different. It is the variety of life and it would be a horridly boring world without the variety. Ethical issues will come and go as long as we walk the ground and breathe the air. Treating people with dignity and respect is a must wherever we are whatever we do. I focused on disabled workers in this paper for it seems easiest to take the dignity from one unable to fight back. When one is targeted due to a disability, especially in a workplace, where one is just trying to survive and create a dignity for his own, it is such a cowardly thing. Good ethical behavior is not hard to manifest, it promotes so much character, and helps heal so many wounds. It is a valuable way to use our freewill.
Bennet, (1991, 4/11,1991). Unethical Behavior, Stress Appear Linked. Wall Street Journal, p. B1.
Bleckly, F. (2008, August 2008). Deaf Discrimination at Work. Message posted to http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art36697.asp, archived at
Networks, V. (2008, July 2008). Disability Discrimination in the Workplace is Explained. VeohTV. Retrieved from http://www.veoh.com/videos/v14236663fc
Waller, B. N. (2008). Consider Ethics (Second Edition ed.). : Pearson Longman Education.
Immigration and Integration: American History
March 18, 2010
People are the masters of destiny. Individuals change history for a moment or for an eternity. They make a mark at times easily forgotten or embedded inevitably forever in society, industry, politics, or culture. It is people who guide every conceivable project, movement, law and the list is extensive. The people who shaped the past also molded the present as is and shall continue. One of the various aspects of the American experience is immigration of strong and resourceful individuals from all over the world who integrated, or migrated as needed into society to create what America is today.
The history course just accomplished has focused on five periods of time from 1865 through 2008.
Immigration and Integration: American History
Reconstruction and Industrialization
The abolition of slavery and the reconstruction of the nation covered in the first unit saw an influx of brave, proud, hard working people. Most had seen centuries of slavery, exploitation, gross civil rights violations that were inexcusable. Unsure of how becoming free would affect the black race in America, African Americans in the early years made many choices that ensured a diversified future. Despite the “black codes” and laws to keep the people impoverished they found ways to successfully manage and own land. (Davidson, 2008) The secret ownership of Brierfield and Hurricane plantations by the Montgomery family which gave a wonderful example of hard work, desire, and dignity is an example of massive success. (Davidson, 2008) Some migrated north to find work in industries and stores or pursue education. (Davidson, 2008) The idea of working for the master for pay suited some as they felt for whatever reason home is where one needs to begin the journey. Truly there was a journey to be made.
During the time African Americans were deciding how to pursue their freedom the politics of this was in a vast upheaval. Lincoln had begun the controversial journey. History defines President Lincoln with many aspects of trying to free the slaves. (White House, 2008) Compensated emancipation was one effort, while the Confiscation Act, passed by Congress, freed slaves of those rebelling against the Union became another avenue. (White House, 2008) The most well known effort was the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. (White House, 2008) Lincoln was a well thought heartfelt man. He ended his journey for the equality of all men in April of 1865. (White House, 2008)
Andrew Johnson was a self-made man of humble means and as President of the United States during the reconstruction period he faced an impending journey of helping the African American population gain the freedoms they so rightly deserved. (Davidson, 2008) Johnson allowed governments to adopt the “black codes” that oppressed. His innate distain for the rich clouded his judgment and gave way to a lack of willingness to work with other politicians who were striving to pass bills that were for the greater good. (White House, 2009) The Fourteenth Amendment thankfully came about despite his opposition. (White House, 2009) Thus, civil rights were not born, but the journey for the moment continued; the torch passed to people hungry for change.
The beauty of individuals is often the strength of the person within. While politics were dealing out freedoms, the business and industrial explosion of America was just beginning. Migrants from Ireland, Europe, China, and other faraway places were coming to build dreams in a land of promise. The railroads were being built. The steel industry was becoming revolutionized. People were needed to work, teach, preach, sew, sell and the list goes on.
The southern states and the West had vast natural resources as well as shared agricultural abilities that were imperative to supplying the northeastern states and central states. Poor whites, blacks, and other races were exploited by crop-lien systems, the Jim Crow segregation, share cropping, and the railroad industry. (Pilgrim, 2000) The West was also a conquest of whites slaughtering, capturing, and relocating the American Indians. Exploiting the Mexicans and Chinese for easy and cheap labor also became a mark on the land of the free.
The vast influx of immigrants coming into the insatiable whirl of industrial and agricultural jobs barely had time to settle, but settle they did. Tenements in urban areas changed to suburban areas as transportation became more available. Automobiles moved the city and suburban workers out farther into the countryside where just a few years before the farmers had migrated from to find better steadier work. People, who were on the move; with a nation that was truly in the beginnings of changes that set the stage for the building blocks of a future that became prosperous and sure.
Politics and Change 1877-1920
Political change is a fundamental right of a democracy. It is the right of the people to offer choices. A young nation on the move had far to go with human rights and civil rights. Women’s suffrage, the temperance league, and other movements had their roots in this tender age. (McCammon, 2001)(Gusfield, 1986) Decisions had to be made on foreign trade and territorial occupation or colonial expansion in the Caribbean and the Pacific to boost access to the rich Asian markets. (Davidson, 2008) The decisions had to be firm to keep Europe from encroaching in American affairs. (Davidson, 2008) Considering how America began, this was a prudent choice at the time.
Individuals in a democracy represent the people who vote or are politically active, thus there are a variety of thoughts and agendas throughout the political realm, even to this day. Progressivism began just as most but has had an enduring affect. The urban middle class attempted to foresee a better America from the local level up through the ranks of government. (Davidson, 2008) It was the hope that establishing a platform of social justice and social welfare would eventually balance the powers of industry and the politics that was corrupt. (Davidson, 2008) Progressivism led to the more activist government to come. (Davidson, 2008)
Man despite the very best efforts has never found a solution to war. The pivotal year of 1914 saw a world in turmoil and by 1917 the United States joined the massive world engulfing conflict. Joining the war was necessary to preserve the interests of the country as well as the national security of the people therein. (Ibis, 2010)
The war had effects in America that were long standing. Women and many migrating minorities entered the workforce in place of the men at war. African Americans and Mexican Americans found greater freedoms in the work arena. (Davidson, 2008) The ability to serve in the military as valiant members of the forces became the lot for some. It took many years after the war for some to receive the credit they deserved. This sad trial in their lives and the lives of the families who lost loved ones through their sacrifices in the war shows the extreme beauty in the resilience of people on the move. The motion forward can take decades for a nation and the fragility of human life is but a moment in time, yet justice and integrity as it is carried through by those left behind can make one see the remarkableness in the life that was, is, and is to come. It is the prodigy of faith in the human spirit.
Depression and War 1921-1945
Business, industry, and realty, like all entities in life are prone to cycles. Boom, recession, and depression are the natural flow of most any manmade entity. The American nation being relatively new to mass issues and thus mass management of social structure found a new trial after the First World War. (Davidson, 2008) The “boys” came home to a booming transition in American history. Amazing growth in technology, construction, manufacturing, as well as the need to succeed and move forward from the war fueled the fire of the boom. Media now catering to a mass market of newspapers, magazines, movies, and the radio improved advertising, social knowledge and awareness on an unprecedented scale. Individuals once only aware of the local issues now began a connection to the world in a more adept and profound way. Those who had immigrated and migrated throughout the free and new lands while the mass changes where being made after Lincoln had found a way to express and connect a world, truly using the freedom.
The market crash in 1929 was inevitable. The natural flow progresses as it does and it was time. President Hoover was replaced with President Roosevelt in 1933. (SearchBeat, 2007) The New Deal of programs to fix the 25% unemployment rate came to a nation of people struggling. (SearchBeat, 2007) Government intervention to support public infrastructure, roads, and bridges gave employment. There were projects to improve power such as the Tennessee Valley Authority. (Davidson, 2008) The Hoover Dam also became a New Deal project though plans had been made for it as the depression began. The work it provided caused migration of men to find work and relocate families where they could be sustained much easier through regular pay.
War was brewing again over the seas, the magnitude of which came to be another world-engulfing event. America became involved when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941, much to the dismay of the people. Germany had progressed through Europe and was bombing Great Britain. The fall of Britain would have left America open in many ways. Thus using the Pearl Harbor tragedy to gain public support, America entered the war with immense charisma. The destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Japan in 1945, just after the fatal nuclear bombings, brought the end to WWII.
Cold War and Vietnam
The document that laid out the cold war and the psychological profile of the nations as well as their goals for the future was the NSC-68. (Good, 2008) President Truman requested this report. (Whitehouse, 2009) He took a strong stand in several initiatives NATO and the Berlin Crisis being the most memorable. (Davidson, 2008)
Soviet communism was warily watched by those in the American government. The cold war that had began between the Soviet Union and the United States caused policy makers to fear the aggressive nature in which the Soviets behaved towards the Persian Gulf and Eastern Europe. (Davidson, 2008) President Truman implemented policies of communist containment that included: The Truman Doctrine, The Marshal Plan, and another policy called the NSC-68. (Davidson, 2008) Interestingly, the fear of communism’s spread even led to the persecution of American citizens with Senator Joseph McCarthy’s famous speech on February 9th, 1950. He brought forth a list of 57 known communist working in the state department. (Schultz, 1999) This caused an anti-American witch-hunt for communist of a magnitude unseen before. He endured persecution up until the end of his life seven years later, by varied sectors he had vilified. (Schultz, 1999)
While the government was keeping the American people safe and watching the world, culture, multiple civil rights issues, and the mass of the population was moving in new ways. Automobiles had given freedom and easy personal transportation to the masses. Suburban life was maturing. Women began to find fulfillment out of the house; working and redefining the family. (Davidson, 2008) Black leaders held the public stage with the hopes for a better future. The need for change in areas of civil and human rights became an embattled issue, which changed the scope of history infinitely.
The Vietnam War also found controversial grounds throughout the American soil. The need to understand why it was fought and the overwhelming documentary of it on the mass media brought about a torn nation. The desire to find a better way in conflict with those who in their unreasonableness will always foster war rather than peace is even to the present seen.
America since 1975: The Conclusion
The progression of various movements, government policies, and amendments to the constitution has given America the wonder it is today. There has been various trials and issues through the years and whether dealt with competently or not, it is what it is now and is forever changing as the face of the people and politics reflect the immigration and migration of those long ago on their journey as well as now just beginning the path to live what was once known as the American Dream. The progression of Presidents from Nixon through Clinton moved the population in thought and economic issues both good and bad. Democracy has its good as well as bad. It can be seen through the course of time, yet the winds of change are with the people as they vote and become active politically. Thus is the beauty of the people who immigrated, migrated and integrated to make America the strong, beautiful place it is today.
- The White House, http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents
- About NSC-68, K. Good 2008) http://wise.fau.edu/~kosgood/coldwar/nsc68
- Davidson, J. W., Gienapp, W. E., et al. (2008). Nation of nations: a narrative history of the American Republic (6th ed., Vol. 2). Boston: McGraw Hill.
- How Movements Win: Gender Opportunity Structures and U.S. Women’s Suffrage Movements, 1866 to 1919 Holly J. McCammon, Karen E. Campbell, Ellen M. Granberg and Christine Mowery American Sociological Review, Vol. 66, No. 1 (Feb., 2001), pp. 49-70
(article consists of 22 pages) Published by: American Sociological Association Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2657393
- Jim Crow Caste System, Dr. David Pilgrim, 2000 Professor of Sociology Ferris State University http://www.ferris.edu/JIMCROW/what.htm
- Race Relations in the American West, Richard White American Quarterly, Vol. 38, No. 3 (1986), pp. 396-416 (article consists of 21 pages) Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2712674
- Symbolic Crusade: Status Politics and the American Temperance Movement 2nd Edition, Joseph R. Gusfield (1986) Illini Books, Chicago IL
- The Great Depression, SearchBeat (1997-2010) http://history.searchbeat.com/greatdepression.htm
- The Hoover Dam Construction History, WGBH PBS (2008) http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/hoover/
- Watching Communism: J. McCarthy, Stanley K. Schultz (1999) http://us.history.wisc.edu/hist102/bios/31.html
- WWI Eye Witness to History, Ibis Communications Inc. (2010) http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/index.html
August 23, 2012
Cooking for one can be a challenge. The nice result is shopping & planning meals for one allows portion control to be much easier while quality of the meals becomes much better. It saves money to plan, shop, and cook in a portion control life change mode. Diets work for some individuals. Others have more going on (like me) and losing weight becomes a life change of decision and choices daily. March of 2003, I weighed 350+ pounds. May of 2005 I weighed 230 pounds. (Sadly, I gained this all back.) I weighed 360+ in August 2007. I weighted 232 in Oct. of 2011. I have gained 40 pounds back. I am now 272. We struggle and win. We fall, but get back in the game. It is a journey. Life changes only work if they are “Life Changes.”
Most important in this is attitude – don’t give up.
One of the best portion control gauges is the stomach is suppose to be the size of your loosely clinched fist. (Organ size not belt size!) Is that not a visual? Compare that to the plate we often sit down to. Makes you think doesn’t it?
WordPress.com: Battle of the Unseen. Blog Post
Battle of the Unseen
Invisible disabilities that are chronic illnesses such as renal failure, diabetes, sleep disorders, brain trauma, chronic severe degenerative disc disease, mental illnesses, chronic fatigue, other psychiatric disabilities, and Chronic Myofacial Pain Syndrome to just name a few of the more relevant ones are unseen to others, thus the title “invisible disabilities.” Invisible disabilities are often the ones that are most misunderstood due to the fact the burdens or effects of the illness are unseen or un-believed by others. Three to twenty-six million Americans suffer from a condition known as Fibromyalgia. This hidden condition is known as the most common cause of muscular skeletal pain in America. This is a devastating disease and patients are often labeled, mistreated, judged, and discriminated against throughout the entire gamut of what should be a supportive network. They are not alone. Ninety-six percent of people suffering chronic medical conditions live with an illness that is invisible. (Disabled World, 2012)
It is interesting whether the hardships faced are actually truly meant to cause intentional hardship or not. Humans have such a propensity to judge everyone and everything. It is our very primitive nature of sorting that creates this behavior. Red, yellow, black, blue, or left, up, down, right, we sort constantly. This is bitter; this is sweet. Individuals see only what is in their own reality to be able too. Some do not understand the battle for accommodation has already been made and won in the Supreme Court. The simplest issue should not have to become a battle due to an invalid perspective.
An example recently was a trip to a mental health mini-conference to be attended by mental health patients/clients and professionals alike at a theme park in CT. This attendance was sponsored by the local “social & multipurpose” rehabs in that they were providing transportation for their clients who were disabled, substance abuse, or mental, and dual-diagnoses clients. The word about wheelchairs not being allowed went out the end of May. When asked about this the club management stated it did not pertain to individuals who had no issues last year and there was no problem this year an accommodation would be made. Less than a week before the trip calls were made to tell individuals using wheelchairs they “could not bring them on the trip” and it was suggested that the wheelchair users “use walkers.”
The kids these days say “Really?” The adults also from time to time say the same. It is infinitely our own responsibility to provide for ourselves what is to be our own. This is a federally funded agency though. It gives room for pause does it not? The only job for this agency is to aid the disabled and help the ones that can heal on that path; while making those who cannot heal have enriched experiences. This is one example of many encountered every moment of everyday by individuals worldwide. It is not only disabled with unseen disabilities, but also manifest to those with clear and evident injury. Consider another group that is struggling.
Disabled American Veterans and injured soldiers what kind of issues will or do they face? Many of these soldiers face unseen as well as seen disabilities. It is often hard to find work and work is therapeutic (staying busy sometimes helps.) Re-connecting with family after returning from deployment is not easy even for those who are not disabled. The joy can be mixed with many other emotions as well as short-lived. Humans are not robots programmed to shelve the negative and continue on indefinitely. This is important as the past war has been a ten-plus year war with multiple deployments of the same soldiers over and over. There must come some priority care to help release the pressure within. The use of a Chaplin, Therapist, Doctor/Psychiatrist, or Alternative Therapy Program can become a helpful tool in managing the various issues. Self-help books, therapies, and mental relaxation techniques are almost imperative to survival. Service animals with open access can also be a lifeline to coping in social or personal realms.
The “teachable moment” of this article is to create a reality for those who would judge what is often unseen, extremely debilitating, and isolating. Those who would rather take a chance on promoting discrimination to cut costs- extra time or trouble an accommodation would lawfully entail should realize that by doing the amicable thing it: sets a positive example, creates jobs, and opens the door for more individuals to use the resource. The infrastructure of day-to-day life is what one makes it – indeed this is true. Accessibility starts with understanding where we need to be: this is the first step to a life of self-sustainability.
1. Disabled World (2012) Invisible Disabilities Information: What are Invisible Disabilities?
http://www.disabled-world.com/disability/types/invisible/”>Invisible Disabilities Information</a> – Information on invisible disabilities including a list of hidden disabilities with physical and mental impairments.
2. Disabled World (2011) U.S. Veteran Facts and Statistics: Veteran’s Day 2011
http://www.disabled-world.com/disability/statistics/vet-stats.php”>Veteran Statistics for Veterans Day 2011</a> – Latest U.S. Veteran facts and statistics from the Census Bureau for Veterans Day 2011.