Posted in community, Public Service Announcements

Gone Too Soon

 

This week I’d like to dedicate this post to Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. It makes me sad to think these bright, creative people had such scary demons they felt the only recourse they had was to end their lives.

 

Photo credit: annainaustin on Visualhunt / CC BY

Photo credit: AIGA New York Chapter on Visual Hunt / CC BY

Depression is such a scary thing to deal with because your brain tells you lies. It tells you you’re not good enough. Your family will be better off without you. You’re a burden. And it never stops telling you these horrible things. I imagine Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain were dealing with these demons for a very long time and the battle wore them out.

I wish we could pull together and fight this disease. Please, if you’re feeling down talk to a professional before it’s too late. Someone who can help you with these intense feelings and help you back to a healthier way of thinking.

If someone isn’t available please call the suicide hotline 1-800-273-8255 and let them help you.

And if you don’t suffer from this disease but you see someone struggling with it, please reach out and lend them a hand. Sometimes all they need a little guidance back to the light.

RIP Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. You will be missed.

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Posted in Parenting, Teen

What is the Underlying Cause of Addiction?

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you and that you’re having an awesome summer. We’ve had a couple of weeks of hot, sticky weather and it’s the type of summer I used to love. However, I’m old now and the heat isn’t quite as much fun. Thank God for Air Conditioning! 🙂

It saddened me this week when I learned of Chester Bennington’s death. For any of you who haven’t heard, he was the lead singer of Linkin Park and he committed suicide this week.

 

It just breaks my heart that someone who gave so much to the world struggled with drugs and alcohol. I was further saddened when I found out that Chester was abused when he was a child by an older male.

I’ve done a little research on alcohol and drug abuse and it’s my opinion that the majority of addictions stem from abuse. Either emotional, physical, or sexual. I believe an addiction is a form of self-medication that has run amuck.

Photo via VisualHunt

Addiction is a symptom of a much bigger problem. So we as a society need to stop treating addiction like it’s something to be ashamed of. We need to support our addicts and help them get better. How do we do that?

 

Photo via VisualHunt

Good question and I’m glad you asked. 🙂

We need to treat the underlying cause of the addiction. We need to get our loved one into therapy so he can deal with the abuse he has received. Once we give him coping mechanisms for that abuse, the need to self-medicate will disappear.

I know it sounds so easy, but we all know it’s not. Dealing with the shame, fear, and anxiety this abuse causes is extremely hard. Abusers are smart. They know how to manipulate and control their victims so they can come back and abuse them over and over again.

That’s why it’s more important than ever to speak up and stop them. A fine example of this is the documentary, “The Keepers.” I know I’ve mentioned this one a number of times, but I’ve got to say I’m amazed by the outpouring of support the victims of Father Maskell have received. There are over one hundred thousand members in their Facebook group and the majority of members offer support to the victims who are willing to speak out about the abuse they’ve experienced.

Their goal is to get the Archdiocese to release their files on Father Maskell. They’ve got a petition going where they are asking the Bishop to release the files. If you’d like to sign the petition, click here:

Petition for The Archdiocese to Release Files on Father Maskell

They’ve got about forty thousand signatures and they’re hoping to reach fifty thousand.  This is a step in the right direction. The church needs to be held accountable for hiding the abuse and not turning the pedophiles into the authorities.

There are other forms of abuse that priests and other members of our society are involved in as well. I’m talking about human trafficking. Recently, I watched the documentary, “I am Jane Doe.”  Here’s the link to the trailer.

I am Jane Doe

Teens are being taken right off the streets and sold online. They are forced to have sex up to twenty times a day. It’s happening in every state in the US. It’s not just a problem overseas. How do we stop this?

By arresting the people who pay for this kind of thing. Once you eliminate the demand there’s no one to buy the product. I know easier said than done. (I think I’ll save this one for another blog post. It deserves its own.)

Photo credit: dualdflipflop via VisualHunt.com / CC BY

This is another form of abuse that will lead to addiction if these victims don’t get help. These victims did nothing to deserve this kind of treatment, but our society engages in victim-blaming quite often. So not only are they dealing with trying to come to terms with what happened to them, they’ve got society pointing an accusing finger as well. So you see how easy it is to slip into self-medicating behavior?

Once we step forward and stop the victim-blaming, we’ll be able to provide these people with the counseling and help they need. This is a huge step, I know. There are so many abused people in the world today. I’m not sure how to do it, but I’m open to ideas.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. How about you? Do you have any ideas on what more we can do to stop this horrific abuse? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

 

Posted in Parenting, raising kids, Teen

Teens: Beware the Blue Whale

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you and that you all had a Happy Mother’s Day. I’m back today and I’m talking about something called the Blue Whale Suicide Game. Have you heard of it?

Photo credit: Benjamin Lehman via Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-ND

No?

Well let me fill you in. It is a game that encourages teens to commit suicide. It’s name is derived from the fact Blue Whales sometimes beach themselves to die.

According to this article, http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/blue-whale-challenge

at least one hundred and thirty Russian teen suicides have been linked to this game. This is how it works. An administrator assigns tasks to the teens who sign up to play. The tasks range from waking up at an odd time, watching a horror movie, to self-harm. The teen has fifty days to complete the tasks and they have to post proof for the administrator to validate. At the end of the fifty days, they’re encouraged to commit suicide.

The game is now spreading across the UK via social media. http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/science-technology/806384/Blue-Whale-Game-Suicide-Challenge-UK

 

Photo via VisualHunt.com

Now, it hasn’t been proven beyond a reasonable doubt the Blue Whale game is responsible for those one hundred and thirty suicides, but those teens were all part of the same group. Besides, do we need to prove it? Isn’t the fact that the game exists at all a major red flag for anyone?

I hate to say this because I’m not one for a great deal of regulation, but apparently we need some sort of guidelines for the internet. First of all, this game shouldn’t even exist. It needs to be removed from the web. We need some sort of committee to regulate apps so kids can’t access these games.

Of course, creating a regulating body takes time. So what do we do in the meantime? We must warn our kids against this game. Tell them in no uncertain terms not to play. Even if all their friends are doing it. Give them the tools they need to deal with peer pressure because that is how the Blue Whale hooks these kids. Here’s a great article on dealing with peer pressure. http://www.yourlifecounts.org/blog/20-ways-avoid-peer-pressure

 

The man behind this game claims he’s cleansing society. Isn’t this kind of thinking considered a mental illness? If it’s not, it should be. This guy reminds me of Hitler and we all know where his thinking got us, don’t we?

Photo credit: ksablan via VisualHunt.com / CC BY-SA

 

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post! Do you have any ideas on how to stop this insidious game? Please leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Family, Health, Teen

Teen Depression: What it looks like and What You Can Do

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you. Because we’re on vacation and I’m dealing with some health issues, I’m reblogging this post from a year ago. I hope you don’t mind and I hope it helps you with your teen! Happy Reading!

Hello Everyone! I hope all is well with you!

I’m back on track today discussing issues that affect young adults. Today I wanted to touch on a topic that affects many people, but it’s especially tricky to spot in teenagers. That issue is depression.

According to Familyfirstaid.org, suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among young adults between the ages of fifteen and twenty-four. I don’t know about you, but I found this statistic staggering!

The most common cause of suicide is depression. That being said, I’m deducing that since suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among teenagers that many teens are depressed, but only 1 in 5 teenagers receive help for this ailment. So, my theory is that if we start treating the depression in our young people the suicide rate will drop.

According to Helpguide.org, occasional bad moods and acting out is normal…

View original post 366 more words

Posted in reviews, Teen

Book Review of “Looking for Alaska”

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’ve been up to the cottage this week enjoying the hot weather before school starts. I can’t believe summer is almost over and neither can my boys.

A few weeks ago, I read the book “Looking for Alaska” by John Green. I enjoyed the story and the cover and blurb are below:

Winner of the Michael L. Printz Award An ALA Best Book for Young Adults An ALA Quick Pick A Los Angeles Times 2005 Book Prize Finalist A New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age A 2005 Booklist Editor’s Choice A 2005 School Library Journal Best Book of the Year Before. Miles “Pudge” Halter is done with his safe life at home. His whole life has been one big non-event, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave “the Great Perhaps” even more (Francois Rabelais, poet). He heads off to the sometimes crazy and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young. She is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart. Then. . . . After. Nothing is ever the same.

My thoughts:

“Looking for Alaska” is the story that’s told from Miles point of view. Miles is sent away to boarding school where he meets vivacious Alaska, and his life is never the same.

Miles not only meets Alaska, but a number of new friends as well. The story documents their adventures and Miles’ reactions to them.  It’s a great novel and I like reading the story from a young boy’s point of view. There aren’t many stories that are told from that view point.

The story revolves around Miles’ fascination with Alaska and his reaction when she abruptly dies. All of her friends experience the guilt of letting her drive while she was under the influence. It was sad and maybe that’s why I didn’t like it as much as “Paper Towns.”  It deals with death and the possibility that Alaska committed suicide.

It delves into this dark issue and brings back some of the painful memories we all have of high school and our own dark days. I must say that I will probably pick up another John Green book even though this one was on the sad side for me.

Posted in Uncategorized

Teen Depression: What it looks like and What You Can Do

Hello Everyone! I hope all is well with you!

I’m back on track today discussing issues that affect young adults. Today I wanted to touch on a topic that affects many people, but it’s especially tricky to spot in teenagers. That issue is depression.

According to Familyfirstaid.org, suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among young adults between the ages of fifteen and twenty-four. I don’t know about you, but I found this statistic staggering!

The most common cause of suicide is depression. That being said, I’m deducing that since suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among teenagers that many teens are depressed, but only 1 in 5 teenagers receive help for this ailment. So, my theory is that if we start treating the depression in our young people the suicide rate will drop.

According to Helpguide.org, occasional bad moods and acting out is normal for teens as they go through puberty and try to find their place in the world. This behavior can look like depression, but it’s not. Depression is different. It causes an overwhelming sense of sadness, despair, or anger.

So how can you tell if your teen is going through the regular teenage angst that all teens go through or if what he/she is experiencing is depression? This is a very good question.

Again, according to Helpguide.org, the answer is the length of time the symptoms have been present and the severity of the symptoms. Long lasting changes in mood, personality, and behavior are all red flags to a deeper problem.

Here are some of the signs and symptoms of depression. You can find them all at Helpguide.org.

  • Sadness or Hopelessness
  • Irritability, anger, or hostility
  • Tearfulness or Frequent crying
  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Restlessness and agitation
  • Loss of Interest in Activities
  • Changes in eating or sleeping habits
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Fatigue or lack of energy
  • Lack of Enthusiasm or motivation
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

What can you do if you suspect your teen is depressed?

  • Offer support- Let your teenager know you’re there for them.
  • Be gentle but persistent- Don’t give up if your teen shuts you out at first.
  • Listen without lecturing- Resist any urge to criticize or judge once your teen decides to talk
  • Validate Feelings- Acknowledge the pain and sadness they are feeling

Getting treatment for Teen Depression

Take your child to your family physician and get a complete physical. Make sure you explain your teenager’s symptoms of depression.

Seek out a Depression Specialist

If your family physician does not find any health issues causing your teen’s depression then speak with a psychologist or psychiatrist who specializes in adolescence, and then listen to the advice of your counselor.

Teen depression is a serious situation, but there is help out there. You can visit Helpguide.org for more information, and I want to thank them for the valuable information used in this post.

If you have any insight into this issue please leave a comment. It may help someone who is suffering from depression. Thanks so much for stopping by today.

Posted in Uncategorized

Another thought on the movie “Bully”

Hello again! I was thinking about the movie this morning as my two kids were trying to drag me out of bed, and my thoughts turned to the bullies themselves. No where in the movie did it show any consequences for the bullies. It left me wondering, are there consquences, and if not how come?

I believe there should be. Kids should be kicked out of school for harrassment. Victims should be able to take legal action against these bullies. They should be able to get restraining orders. I’m really surprised that the lawyers haven’t jumped on this bandwagon and sued the parents of bullies.

How about the schools that turn a blind eye to this stuff? I think they should be prosecuted too. I bet a lawsuit would get everyone’s attention, and then it would be taken seriously. Isn’t that sad? That it takes the fear of a  lawsuit to get any action out of adminstrators. Just some thoughts! Let me know what you think! 🙂