Tag Archives | Mental Health

Mindful Dishwashing Can Increase Mental Stimulation and Decrease Anxiety

According to a new study, mindful dishwashing can decrease nervousness by 27% and increase mental inspiration by 25%.

via Psyblog:

Mindful dishwashing can decrease stress and calm the mind, a new study finds.

People in the study focused on the smell of the soap, the feel and shape of the dishes to help them enter a mindful state.

Doing the dishes in a mindful way also increased the pleasurable feeling of time slowing down, the researchers found.

Mr Adam Hanley, the study’s first author, said:

“I’ve had an interest in mindfulness for many years, both as a contemplative practitioner and a researcher.

I was particularly interested in how the mundane activities in life could be used to promote a mindful state and, thus, increase overall sense of well-being.”

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Children in Some Communities Have Higher Rates of PTSD than Veterans

india sad
Emily Watson writes at Alternet:

In his 22 years of teaching high school English to East Oakland’s teenagers, Jeff Duncan-Andrade has witnessed kids and their families struggle through all kinds of trauma. He has seen how the constant, unrelenting stress – what researchers are now calling toxic stress – that comes from housing, employment and food insecurity, as well as continued violence in the neighborhood, visits a punishing impact on students and how they learn.

These experiences led Duncan-Andrade, some years ago, to begin looking for ways to better support students and their families — to show students they were valuable members of a community and worthy beyond their test scores. Buoyed by the belief that it is essential to provide kids with the most basic supports (food, shelter, safety) before they can learn, in early August Duncan-Andrade opened the doors of the Roses in Concrete Community School, incorporating his philosophy of involving parents and families to lift up the whole community.

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How the legacy of slavery affects the mental health of black Americans today

The trauma of slavery.  National Archives and Records

The trauma of slavery. National Archives and Records

On July 22, in announcing the federal indictment of Charleston killer Dylann Roof, Attorney General Loretta Lynch commented that the expression of forgiveness offered by the victims’ families is “an incredible lesson and message for us all.”

Forgiveness and grace are, indeed, hallmarks of the Black Church.

Since slavery, the church has been a formidable force for the survival of blacks in an America still grappling with the residual effects of white supremacy.

This was eloquently illustrated in the aftermath of the Charleston church massacre. Americans rightly stood in awe of the bereaved families’ laudable demonstration of God’s grace in action.

But what about the psychic toll that these acts of forgiveness exact?

Events like Charleston put a spotlight on the growing body of literature that looks not only at the United States’ failure to have authentic conversations about slavery and its legacy but also at the mental health impact of forgiving acts of white racism and repressing justifiable feelings of anger and outrage – whether these are horrific acts of terrorism or nuanced microaggressions.Read the rest

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My disabilities do not define me. I am Jim

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) allowed access to special education for people with disabilities. Tim Kwee, CC BY-NC

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) allowed access to special education for people with disabilities. Tim Kwee, CC BY-NC

I am an educator of educators. I teach others how to be the best teachers. But, I’m also different.

I have learning challenges.

I found my way and my life’s calling thanks to dedicated educators.

As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), I am reminded of my personal journey.

My disabilities could have defined me. But they did not. I do not consider myself dyslexic or learning-disabled.

I am Jim. And here’s the story of how I overcame my challenges and the educators who helped me along the way.

My disability

Born in 1970, I suffered a head injury as a young boy while roughhousing with friends. Perhaps that led to my learning problems. Perhaps it didn’t. Doctors aren’t really sure.

What I do know for sure is that in kindergarten, I could not spell my name – James.… Read the rest

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Why Anti-Authoritarians are Diagnosed as Mentally Ill

KamiSilenceAction (CC BY-NC 2.0)

KamiSilenceAction (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Anti-authoritarian or mentally ill? Psychologist Bruce Levin explores how it’s not uncommon for doctors and psychologists to diagnose anti-authoritarian types with mental illness.

via Mad in America:

Why Mental Health Professionals Diagnose Anti-Authoritarians with Mental Illness

Gaining acceptance into graduate school or medical school and achieving a PhD or MD and becoming a psychologist or psychiatrist means jumping through many hoops, all of which require much behavioral and attentional compliance to authorities, even to those authorities that one lacks respect for. The selection and socialization of mental health professionals tends to breed out many anti-authoritarians. Having steered the higher-education terrain for a decade of my life, I know that degrees and credentials are primarily badges of compliance. Those with extended schooling have lived for many years in a world where one routinely conforms to the demands of authorities. Thus for many MDs and PhDs, people different from them who reject this attentional and behavioral compliance appear to be from another world—a diagnosable one.

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How a Sense of Purpose Can Help You Live Longer

Seth Sawyers (CC BY 2.0)

Seth Sawyers (CC BY 2.0)

“Having goals in life and a sense of directedness; feeling there is meaning to present and past life; holding beliefs that give life purpose; having aims and objectives for living” can help you live longer.

Romeo Vitelli via Psychology Today:

a new research study published in the journal Development Psychology(link is external) demonstrates that having a purpose in life is especially important in successful aging.

Conducted by a team of researchers at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, the study examined older adults who were part of the Australian Longitudinal Study of Aging(link is external)(ALSA). Started in 1992, ALSA has followed over two thousand older Australians for decades to examine how health, emotional well-being, and living conditions have changed over time and to identify factors involved in successful aging.

As part of the broader ALSA study, 1,475 adults were questioned about their sense of purpose in life and whether they had objectives they wanted to achieve.

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Poverty and Mental Health: A Chart

There appears to be a connection between poverty and mental health problems. According to Dylan Matthews at Vox:

But the reality is that poor Americans are much more likely to face mental health problems than rich ones. This chart, put together by the Huffington Post’s Jonathan Cohn and Cameron Love using data from a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study, shows that 8.7 percent of people living in poverty exhibited signs of “serious psychological distress” when polled from 2009 to 2013. But only 1.2 percent of people with incomes of four times the federal poverty level or higher did:


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Two in five new dads concerned about mental health problems, survey says

Sharon Mollerus (CC BY 2.0)

Sharon Mollerus (CC BY 2.0)

We often hear about how postpartum depression affects new mothers, but what about fathers? According to The Guardian, two in five dads are concerned about their mental health.

Haroon Siddique via The Guardian:

Around two in five of new fathers are concerned about their mental health, according to a survey, which highlights that it is not just mothers whose wellbeing is at risk after having a child.

Parenting charity NCT, which carried out the research, said extra responsibilities, changes in relationships and lifestyle, and the inevitable sleep deprivation are among the factors that can impact on men’s mental health.

It said the results, published on Thursday ahead of Father’s Day, illustrate the importance of men being encouraged to speak up about their experiences.

NCT psychologist Dr Abigail Easter said: “Awareness of perinatal depression among fathers unfortunately remains low. Postnatal depression is typically associated with mothers and often fathers are forgotten during this important time, with almost no specific support available to men.

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Family violence victims need support, not mandatory reporting

Andreas Levers (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Andreas Levers (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Kelsey Hegarty, University of Melbourne and Kirsty Forsdike, University of Melbourne

At first glance, Victoria Police’s suggestion this week that health professionals report domestic violence to authorities, as they do for child abuse, sounds like a great idea.

The suggestion was made in its submission to the state’s Royal Commission into Family Violence. Such a move might connect women with support services quicker. Police could take out intervention orders on women’s behalf, and men who use violence could be prosecuted if an assault occurs.

With mandatory reporting, health professionals may then see domestic violence as a serious health issue in which they play an intrinsically important role, rather than a private social matter on the periphery of their clinical work. Doctors, in particular, may become increasingly familiar with the existing Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) guidelines and World Health Organization advice on how to identify and respond to domestic and family violence – a potential positive outcome in itself.… Read the rest

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