Stress is a pretty awful thing to deal with. Agreed? What would you think if I told you that even though stress may cause negative effects on the body that in small doses it can actually work as a positive in your life? Yes, I said stress can work as a positive. Although too much stress can cause a number of negative effects not only in your life but on your body as well, stress in small does can actually help you out if you know how to take a step back and look at things a from a different perspective. This may seem hard to do especially when under a lot of stress but once you get the hang of it, you can start to use your stress to your advantage.
For instance, if you are taking classes and find out you have test that doesn’t reflect too much on your grade etc. you may not feel much pressure or “stress” to do very well on it causing you to maybe sluff off your study time or not take the test as seriously as you would if it were a mid term or final exam, lets say. However come mid term/final exam time, you will more than likely feel the effects of stress starting to play and feeling this way may cause you to want to spend extra time studying or focusing more intently on the seriousness of the exam.
Another great example of how stress can be of assistance is that its a good indicator that you are not where you need to be in life or that something needs to change. If you are constantly feeling stressed at work or in life, maybe you need to take a step back and refocus on what you want and what makes you happy. At times it may be that nothing around you really needs to change but your actions might need to be redirected or maybe you need to add something back into your life. Either way that stress has made you uncomfortable enough in life to make you DO something about it and we all know that action is what makes us move forward in life.
Stress is one of our bodies reactions and with it comes energy and stength, so what we do with that excess energy is pretty important. You can help manage your stress with excersise, sports or even dance. Physical activities are really great tools to help reduce and manage your stress levels along with more soothing activies such as reading, writing, painting, singing, listening to calming music and of course meditation. Next time you’re feeling stressed try taking a couple deep breaths, practice one of your anti stress methods that works best for you and listen to what your body is telling you.
Sexual Abuse – the Worst thing Your Child Can Go Through
OrProtect your Child against Sexual Abuse
When an offender or perpetrator harms a child or minor physically, sexually or
psychologically, it is known as sexual abuse. Though the child is not in a
position to consent to any such sexual activity, it is thus considered a crime that
has a lasting impact on the victim.
If a child is sexually abused all bonds of trust seem to break. This is a violation
against a person’s own physical intimacy. Such acts of physical exploitation
will be seen as spiritual violence that has disastrous effects not only on the body
but the mind as well. To recover from such an incident it might takeyears or
even a lifetime as sexually abused victims can never emotionally get over it.
It is difficult to get precise statistics on the number of sexually abused survivors
in the world as many survivors never reveal the truth. The whole tragedy is that
since the survivors never tell anyone, they are not in a position to seek
professional help to deal with the situation. Moreover the nature, duration and
circumstances of the abuse and the child’s relation with the abuser all have a
very adverse effect which does not enable his or her ability to move ahead in
life. Furthermore it is seen that more than half of the victims are below 12 years
of age mostly in the age group of four to six years. It is often seen that the
offender is usually an adult member in the family or a teacher or coach or
someone generally known to the child whom the child trusts. Childhood sexual
abuse mostly occurs at home where the child can be easily accessed by the
offender where he will not be suspected or caught. Abusers manipulate the
victim to never reveal about the abuse by using various tactics, threat being the
Considering the gravity of the problem of sexual abuse we can understand the
need to converse with children explaining to them about body safety and at the
same time keeping them safe ensuring a safe environment where they can
without hesitation express themselves. The two main issues here are firstly to
protect the child from sexual abuse and secondly to talk to your child if you
suspect sexual abuse.
Assisting Victims of PTSD – Love, Affection, Care and Attention Can Save Lives
Most people suffering from PTSD often experience extreme anxiety, insomnia and
have vivid nightmares. This can often lead to short term memory loss which in turn
could cause serious damage to a person’s psychological health. Getting the victim
treatment as soon as possible is very important so as to avoid complications.
Immediately a victim of PTSD starts to exhibit harmful tendencies, only the right
treatment will ensure that the victim eventually learns how to cope with their condition
and eventually become cured. Getting an appointment with a specialist or medical
practitioner that can accurately diagnose the victim and prescribe the best method of
treatment is the first and most important thing to do when you notice someone
exhibiting symptoms of PTSD.Helping Someone with PTSD
If you have a friend or relative that has been diagnosed with PTSD, there are ways you
can be of assistance to them. First of all, always remember to show them love and
affection as much as possible, also try to show them the brighter side of life so they
won’t be depressed. Discussing the issue or event that caused the trauma can also help.
If the PTSD isn’t too severe, a simple conversation with the person will do the loads of
good. Giving them a semblance of a normal conversation will keep them grounded.
Monica, for example, when she found out her husband Phil was diagnosed with PTSD
took him every evening to the park they met as lovers just to talk and reminisce. Within
a few weeks, the doctors discovered that Phil had made astonishing progress in his
struggle against PTSD. Keep in mind that an aura of positivity is needed for people
recovering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It is important however, not to go
overboard as this might lead to some negative effects. Meditation, yoga and other
relaxing techniques have also proven to be a huge help to PTSD patients.
Organizing reunions, small parties to show love to the victim will help them reintegrate
easily. PTSD is a very difficult condition to handle but showing these victims love,
affection, care and attention can actually save lives.
No matter how much effort you put into making PTSD patients feel better, some times
it just isn’t enough – which is why there are professionals who can properly handle the
patients. Consider taking your relative or friend to a Mental Health Counselor who can
guide and help them handle PTSD well.
The days are longer in the summer, and for me that means a bit more freedom. One of my triggers is night time. It really sucks too, because I swear to God, I used to be a night child. I loved everything about walking out at night, and feeling like a dark cozy blanket with starts, gets laid over the earth. I felt more charged and alive at night, than any day in the sun. Its sad, but now all the night brings me is anxiety. I have other triggers too, like, certain areas of the city, or even alcohol and substance abuse; mostly though when someone is drunk and loud. I just feel like the intoxicated person could do anything at any moment, and things can turn sour fast. These things have hindered me quite a bit if I’m completely honest, but I try to do things out of my comfort zone still, because I need to try and live MY life.
So not long ago, my friend asked me if I wanted to come over swimming at her place, and use the sauna. I really needed the heat therapy for my neck, as I have a permanent neck injury, due to being beaten up so bad. The very first thing that came into my head was, what time is it now? and how much time till its dark? followed by the feeling of severe anxiousness in my chest, and then slowly mixing up my lunch in my gut. Brain to Alice! BREATH! I take a breath, figure out the time, and since the sun doesn’t go down till much later in the evening, I agreed to go.
I try to turn things around in my head and well, not trick, but almost re-wire my brain and say to myself, that I’m not anxious, I’m excited to go out with my friend! Yeah that’s right, excited! We both used public transportation to get to her place and you know I had such a good time and I was so glad that I had gotten out. Its almost a feeling of accomplishment for me, when I stay out past a certain time too, even if the sun is still out. I had about an hour until it started getting dark out, so I started wrapping things up with my friend. I hadn’t had the best experiences in that area as well, so she gladly walked me to my bus stop (decreasing my anxiety by 50%).
I saw my bus coming and hugged my friend goodbye, and as I took in a deep breath, I again felt pretty good now. I got on the bus smiled at the bus driver, walked over to a spot by the window, and pulled out my book to read for the trip home. I remember thinking to myself, ‘See Alice, you went out, you had a great time, you are on the bus safe and sound, and on your way back home’. I was totally relaxed as i started into my book.
It was only two stops later, that I heard a loud and inebriated voice come up from the front of the bus. Two drunk women pleading with the bus driver to let them on the bus, even though they had no fair to pay. I could hear my voice in my head yelling, ‘NOOOO NOOO PLEASE NOOO’, while simultaneously assuring myself, its okay mind your business, and read your book you’ll be fine.
A flash of me walking down a back lane, going home from work, music blaring in my headphones, and then THUD! something crashed down hard on my left shoulder blade area. I immediately looked to see if a something was thrown at me, and pulled out my earbud and heard screaming. Looking up, all I could see was some girl yelling, and hanging from the passenger side window, and getting back into the vehicle. My heart was racing so fast, the sound of blood rushing in my ears, made it hard to hear what she was yelling. Then they turned at the end of the back lane, and I ran the short bit home, in case they came back around.
I’m back on the bus, and immediately pull out one of my earpieces, so I can hear in case anyone tries to attack me. I can tell my senses have been heightened, because I’m feeling extremely aware. Even though I’m looking down at my book, I can see through my peripheral vision, they are walking toward me now, looking for a spot to sit. Of course with my luck, the two sit across from me and slightly behind me. Honestly at this point, I’m just trying to breath and not panic.
Just as I’m trying to assure myself, that they are probably just trying to get home safe, like me, one of the women starts yelling. She literally is trying to pick a fight out of no where, and starts yelling racist things to the bus driver, who just let her on the bus for free. I couldn’t believe the nerve of this woman, but then remembered the alcohol, and intoxication. My chest was so tight, and at this point my stomach was being held by a fist of anxiety. She starts yelling at other people on the bus, at everyone now even taking racial shots at me. My fingers were white gripping my book. My legs felt non existent. Honestly it felt as though my legs where made of jelly, and from the waist up it was all concrete, and coursing through my entire body was a bolt of electricity. I tried switching up my thoughts from fearful to something else, but then it just turned to rage. Complete anger, and I found myself picturing me kicking her ass! That thought right there freaked me out, because I hate fighting, its another HUGE trigger for me.
Should I get off the bus, and risk being stuck out here in the dark ,around possibly more intoxicated people? should I just sit here? What if they target me, and get off where I get off, and then try to fight with me? So needless to say I was a mess at this point. I don’t know what I would have done, if the bus driver hadn’t stopped the bus, and had security remove them. For the next twenty minutes, I would keep trying to read the same sentence over and over, all the while reminding myself to breath and that I’m okay.
That event isn’t, and hasn’t stopped me from going and doing things since, but it was really hard to sleep for a while ,and made my anxiety worse for a bit. Its such a slap in the face, when things like that happen to me, at least that’s how it feels for me. Like I’m already trying really hard, and then people have to go and make it harder for me. I can only focus on me though. I can only continue to move forward from what had happened to me, and try to learn from it and be as patient and positive with myself along the way.
Abuse is never okay. That being said its also unfortunately usually a cycle of things. The man that hits his wife and kids was once beaten often by his father growing up and watched his own mother feel the harsh contact of his fathers hands. This same man I speak of is my biological father. I want to talk about the cycle of abuse not just in terms of how the abuser abuses and then puts blame on the abused and then feels shame and remorse and promises never to do it again before doing it again. No, I’m talking about begin a victim of abuse and then projecting those same painful infliction onto other people through various forms of abuse.
You see like I had said, my father was hit by his father and even though I think he truly didn’t want to be the same kind of dad he turned out to be a lot like him. When his stress levels would get high from work or not having enough money to provide for his family his temper would flair up and he’d yell at us for everything, till his face was beat red. Then he’d get into a fight with my mom in the other room and things would get physical, you could hear things crashing around and my mothers screams back at him. It didn’t take long for us kids to realize that one of us was going to get it next. If not by our dad then for sure by our mom. She was being abused, in turn she hit us to let out her anger and hurts.
I grew up like this and vowed I’d never be in a relationship like that. So toxic towards one another to the point of such violence. I was wrong thinking it would be so simple for me. Later on in my late teens/early twenties I was living with my boyfriend at the time. It was my first serious relationship. Even though we were good at being friends, best friends even, we were not so fortunate in our relationship. Young love though! Love! These things can hinder us from seeing the signs that warn us we are going down the wrong path unfortunately. We had gotten into a huge fight because I had found him cheating on me with more than one other girl and after what seemed like a forever and never ending screaming match, I hit him. I was enraged and couldn’t control him and so, I hit him.
We stayed together for over 7 years. Needless to say there were more fights like that and both parties were physical toward each other. It was wrong. Wrong of me, wrong of him all of it was wrong. I had tried to recall tips from therapy from previous years, that helped me control my temper and violent acts. Remember, I grew up in a household filled with abuse so naturally I grew up being violent in my anger at times. Thankfully, I had gotten help and straightened myself out or so I had thought. People change, and other people bring the worst out in us sometimes. As I tried to fix myself though, my partner was hurting too and so when we would get into fights, sometimes he’d shove me around.
I’m not trying to make excuses or justify the abuse by any means, however, understanding my violent actions and behavior based off of being the abused at one point helped me realize my errors. Sometimes in all the rage or even just being used to this behavior makes it harder to see the wrong in our ways. Understanding that my parents were both abused also helped me in my healing process as well. Knowing I didn’t deserve to be treated that way took away the guilt I felt as a child for making my mom and dad so mad at me. The key to all of this is to understand and to break free from the cycle. If you can’t do it on your own, then get help. Be it from a family member, a friend, a support group etc. I suggest anger management programs and therapy because it really is so much bigger than you’d think. All the support and help is going to be needed. Even if you feel silly, like there is nothing wrong with you, people just piss you off….I hate to break it to you but you probably need to work on how you react towards other people and how to manage your emotions better. If not, you will only perpetuate the vicious cycle.
My name is Ashton, and I’ve got my life together.
Let me share a little bit of my story with you. I’m a middle class woman with a beautiful 7 month old baby girl, a nice apartment, two cars, and no money problems. My fiance loves me and we spend time together often. I go to work on time, and I’m one of their best employees. I smile at everyone and I’m there for everyone. My friends love me. People trust me and share their problems with me. I’m respected by my peers and I pay my taxes and my bills two weeks early. My family is proud of me. I’ve got a four year degree and a 4.0 GPA with
Now I want to share with you the story of a different woman, someone I don’t really like that much, to be honest. She has a panic attack every time the alarm clock goes off at 7:46 a.m. She worries daily that she’s going to be suddenly evicted, or lose her job. She is afraid of the dark so she sleeps with the light on. She hears voices in her head, sees twisted peripheral images as she walks down the hallways at work, the voices of her superiors a gargled blur. She has to sit down for a few minutes every hour to remind herself she’s still alive, and not unconscious, or dreaming. She thinks about quitting her job every day, just so she doesn’t have to work. To live. To function.
Her name is Ashton, and her life is falling apart.
Yep, that’s right. It’s me. It’s all me. And If you’re like me, you probably know what I’m getting at.
It’s called being a highly functional, mentally ill person, and it’s horrible. But I’m ok…no really!
I’m talking to all my dear friends out there in the world that know how to succeed , and do. Who cope, who function, who do everything right. I’m talking to the people who say “I’m fine,” when they want to say they didn’t want to wake up that morning. The people who smile at other people when they’re dead inside, and solve everyone else’s problems but their own.
Here’s something maybe no on ever told you: Just because you’ve got your life together, doesn’t mean you’ve got your life together, unless going through the motions is what you call “living.”
Here’s something I’ve noticed in my [way too many] years of therapy: too many therapists gauge the severity of someone’s mental illness on how well they function in society and in their relationships. I mean, if you’re able to do what you need to do, it must not be that bad, right? Wrong. And trust me, I’ve lived that scene. I’ve seen so many doctors and shrinks, I should already be in one of their tv ads by now. But it’s not, ultimately, making sure we function in society and relationships, is it? Not really. It’s about how we feel about ourselves. So I’m going to ask you today, and be really honest:
How do you feel about yourself?
Some of us are so used to being ok, or having to be okay, we may not even have an immediate response to that. You may have to think about it for a little bit. What things have bothered you today? How do you feel about the way your life is going? How’s your emotional state when you wake up in the morning? I don’t care if you have the perfect husband, beautiful kids and a lap dog with bows on its ears. If you are not happy with yourself or your life, you aren’t doing well at all. Outward success is not, and never has been, an indicator of personal peace or happiness. Of course, it can be, but too many people equate the two.
For all us high functioning persons, thinking about this is going to be hard. Why? Because sometimes, the only thing in our lives that hasn’t fallen apart yet is that societal projection, that mask, that persona we project onto people that makes them like us. That makes us not fall apart. That perfect behavior that makes people think we’re wonderful. It’s all we’ve got, so we deny we need help. We push on. We push through. So thinking about our emotions or what makes us upset or how we really feel, well, it kind of throws us out of our groove.
I’m here to encourage you to derail a little bit. Just for a little bit.
I’ve got my life together. And also, I’m one French fry short of a happy meal. And you know what? I’m okay with that. The one thing I’ve learned over the last 20 years of suffering, is that in order to function well, and truly well, [not in the plastic Botox smile kind of way,] is to have those moments, those days, those hours, or even seconds, where we LOSE IT. I’m talking screaming into a pillow, writing in a journal, crying, doing something. Anything. Whatever activity redirects you to what’s really going on inside, to your inner dialogue. Anybody that knows me well, knows I’m all about self-awareness. I’m one of those weird people who will sit in a room by themselves for a half hour just getting their emotions and thoughts together, so that they can face the world with a little more confidence and function better. I’ll do yoga in my living room after a chaotic event, just to make sure I don’t have a panic attack later; I’ll meditate several times a day, just to redirect my thoughts to what’s going on inside. Does everyone need to do that? Pshh no. But the point isn’t what you do, it’s that you are conscious of that inner dialogue, which is constantly running, taking notes on what’s going on in our lives, even if we’re not aware of it, and most importantly, being honest with yourself about how you feel, so you can take charge and really progress towards healing.
This is what I’m all about. I want to help people get in touch with themselves, so they can go out and live the life they truly WANT to live. I have about 20 years of life experience with some scary diagnoses and years of therapy, and I know what works and doesn’t work for me; and hopefully some of these things will work for others too.