Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Observations about Children

Today I was volunteering with kids, it was interesting.  It is very interesting because you can see the personalities of the kids showing up even in really young ones.  There are some who are showing signs of being perfectionist, get upset if stuff isn't just right.  Their are also the kids  a lot of them  want stuff just right who will get upset when they lose a game or they get it when we are playing tag.  Kids are very aware of if something is not fair, the other day some kids got a a freeze because he got hurts and got another one when the rest of the kids got freezes a bunch of people said it wasn't fair.  Today I noticed that it seemed more kids were "getting hurt" I wonder if they were after freezes or if they were legitimately hurt. It's hard to tell.  I love working with children but it can be stressful at times. They don't listen very well, I'm been used to working with ESL students and they actually want to be their.  Also with children you see that some of them are more sensitive then others. It starts very young, and of course you never know the background that the kids have come from totally. The way kids grow up can effect them as adults. It is an important time in there lives and I hope that I can help them somehow and make an impact on there lives for the better.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

TV protrayal of mental illness.

I was watching  NCIS : Los Angeles , and I noticed that it was the second show I've seen today, the first being criminals minds that gave a negative impression towards Mental Illness. In both cases it happened to be PTSD but I've seen it talked about many other disorders.  Unlike the TV portrays  most  people with Mental Illnesses are not violent, and the majority of people who are violent don't suffer from Mental Illness.  On the CMHA website it talks about violence and mental illness.  Just a thought as I was watching tv.

Social Anxiety

One thing that I struggle with is Social Anxiety. I find it really anxious when I am around big groups of people and also meeting new people. I'm am super terrified about crossing the boarder into the USA on Friday just don't like interacting with people.  However I am much better then I was before, I talk a lot more and I have less anxiety then before.  A really information site that has been recommended to me by a professional is Anxiety BC. This link links specifically to the social anxiety section but there is section for all sorts of types of anxiety. Anxiety Disorders are one of the most common mental illnesses in the world. Some information on this can be found at this site along with information about other disorders and mental illnesses.  I think I will write more on social anxiety and anxiety disorders later but I need to get off the computer for a bit... I may update this entry more later.

Eating Disorders link

I found this really interesting. This is 8 short stories about people affected by eating disorders.  It is really interesting. I found this link on a facebook site related to Danielle's Place This is an outpatient treatment place for people with eating disorders. It has different groups. It is situated in Burlington, Ontario. There are many other outpatient  resources in different parts of the country. There is different types of treatment, including outpatient treatment where one stays overnight, and they also have day patient treatment  where you go in for the day and come home and sleep at night.  Anyways I will write more on this later  but I'm going out for a walk right now.

... Ok back from the walk, by the way walking is a really good exercise , and I think it is also good for people with eating disorders if not done to intense because it doesn't have the intensity that other exercises do and you can do it for enjoyment and your not staring at a machine watching how many calories you are burning. If you have an eating disorder and you are allowed to exercise by your doctor then walking is a really good one to do.

Ok back to treatment .... Inpatient treatment can be  most intensive, just a suggestion for anyone who has an eating disorder or other mental health issue that may need more intensive treatment , get on the list when you can  you can always back out later if you don't need it at the time but many places have waiting lists and may take months or even years to get into treatment.  For example the eating disorder Inpatient program  around where I live  is  at Homewood has been known to have at least a 3-4 month wait if you have insurance and a 3-4 year wait if you don't have insurance as they have an OHIP paid bed. There are inpatient places all over the world one of the well known places is  Remuda Ranch. In addition Mercy Ministries  is a free  Christian treatment place for people with eating disorders and other issues. However having said this I don't know that much about  it and I have heard some negative things about Mercy but I also know it has helped many people, so it's always an option to look into.   If you are waiting for inpatient treatment, can't afford inpatient treatment  there is always less intensive places.  Many communities have a community mental health program that can service all sorts of issues.  An example of this is Trellis, which has outpatient services such as groups , therapist, psychiatrists, dietitians, etc. 

ED referral is a site that you can go to if your looking for treatment  in the United States.  For Canadians there doesn't seem to be as an extensive listing for Eating Disorder treatment. However I site with  drug and alcohol  resources also has resources for eating disorders in Canada.  This site has also link to many other resources with issues across Canada.

Recovery videos and groups...

 This shows how barbie can effect people and can effect people developing eating disorders.  This video and other videos show how Jesus has changed people's lives and helped them  to recover from the struggles of life. The second movie talks about how a girl recovered from eating disorder, self harm and drug addiction.  The third video talks about a model and how body image changed when she discovered Jesus and the fourth about being saved from suicide.  There are more movies on CBN channel on youtube. This is a Christian Radio broadcasting station.I'm not saying that psychiatry or medication  or therapy is not helpful, but Christianity  can also be an important part of  recovery.  These stories show how Christianity can make an impact in people's lives.  Though people need to reach out to people. One recovery group that helps is called Celebrate Recovery, it has meetings around the US and Canada, it is a 12 step program with a Christian based , it helps people recover from there hurts habits and hangups.  Another 12 step programs can be useful to for recovery including Narcotics Anonymous , Alcoholics Anonymous, Nar-Anon,  Al-anon , Eating Disorders Anonymous, and Gambling Anonymous. In these groups you don't have to believe in God or even have a higher power to go , though it does talk about  submitting your will to God in Step three, but even if your not religious they are very good to check out and can be really helpful. Also you don't have to be Christian to go to Celebrate Recovery, just check it out and see what you think, though it does use biblical verses in relation to the steps.  These groups are all separate and not associated with each other. They are anonymous meaning what is said in the group stays in the group.

If you are struggling with any sort of issue that you think you need extra help with or other people think you need help with ( usually people can see the truth before we do because of denial), reach out and get help  see your doctor or a therapist , it can really help to talk about your feelings. Hiding your feelings inside can cause problems. I heard somewhere that "Anger turned inward is Depression." If one doesn't deal with the anger it can lead to depression.  If you are struggling get help and reach out. 

Sunday, 12 June 2011

PTSD- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

The other day I was watching the TV series called Pacific.  It talks about WWII, it is interesting but one of the most interesting parts about it is it gets into how the war effected people.   Many of the men in the war developed symptoms of PTSD, though they did not totally understand what was happening.  There was a sad moment in the show when one of the men was having nightmares and in order to shut him up so the Japanese wouldn't hear them , they ended up knocking him out with a rock which in turn killed him. I found that a really sad part, because they didn't understand what was going on. Now a days they have medications that can help people with their PTSD nightmares and they have a better understanding what is going on. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can happen to other people not just people in war, and not everyone who has experienced a trauma develops PTSD.

Symptoms of PTSD include:

"PTSD can cause many symptoms. These symptoms can be grouped into three categories:
1. Re-experiencing symptoms:
  • Flashbacks—reliving the trauma over and over, including physical symptoms like a racing heart or sweating
  • Bad dreams
  • Frightening thoughts.
Re-experiencing symptoms may cause problems in a person’s everyday routine. They can start from the person’s own thoughts and feelings. Words, objects, or situations that are reminders of the event can also trigger re-experiencing.
2. Avoidance symptoms:
  • Staying away from places, events, or objects that are reminders of the experience
  • Feeling emotionally numb
  • Feeling strong guilt, depression, or worry
  • Losing interest in activities that were enjoyable in the past
  • Having trouble remembering the dangerous event.
Things that remind a person of the traumatic event can trigger avoidance symptoms. These symptoms may cause a person to change his or her personal routine. For example, after a bad car accident, a person who usually drives may avoid driving or riding in a car.
3. Hyperarousal symptoms:
  • Being easily startled
  • Feeling tense or “on edge”
  • Having difficulty sleeping, and/or having angry outbursts.
Hyperarousal symptoms are usually constant, instead of being triggered by things that remind one of the traumatic event. They can make the person feel stressed and angry. These symptoms may make it hard to do daily tasks, such as sleeping, eating, or concentrating.
It’s natural to have some of these symptoms after a dangerous event. Sometimes people have very serious symptoms that go away after a few weeks. This is called acute stress disorder, or ASD. When the symptoms last more than a few weeks and become an ongoing problem, they might be PTSD. Some people with PTSD don’t show any symptoms for weeks or months."

Taken from :

" To be diagnosed with PTSD, a person must have all of the following for at least 1 month:
  • At least one re-experiencing symptom
  • At least three avoidance symptoms
  • At least two hyperarousal symptoms
  • Symptoms that make it hard to go about daily life, go to school or work, be with friends, and take care of important tasks."
Taken from:

Being aware of this can be helpful as if one knows information it is easier to understand  what the person is going through.  There is data now that helps people with this to cope with the symptoms including grounding oneself so that the person can stay in the present and not be caught in the past. Medication can help to with flashbacks and nightmares.  Psychology has come a long way since  WWII and has made it easier for people to get the help that they need.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011


I have read a lot of books on different subjects. One of my favourite books  that  I recommend to anyone who has an eating disorder or knows someone with an eating disorder is  "Life without Ed" by Jenni Schaefer.  I really enjoyed this book because  it was easy to read, and was written in short chapters, which makes it much easier to read.  The main point of the book is separating oneself from  ED  ( or whatever one calls there eating disorder). This really spoke to me because I found ED was this other voice in my head , that goes against rational judgement.  Separating myself from that helped me find my own voice and know who I really am. There are many books that helped me in recovery from an eating disorder but this book has been my favourite. I have read it many times and have marked it up and highlighted it, I even  put numbers by the marks  and on the side of the book put the date I started  reading the book again.  This way I can look back  and see little comments I wrote and stuff that was important to me in that part of my recovery journey. I may post  more stuff on this book or other books in the future as I read through self help books and different books and reflect on them.

Another author which I find really good is Francine Rivers This author has many books. My favourite so far  is called "Redeeming Love", it is based on the book of Hosea in the Bible.  The main character Angel was sold into prostitution as a child and shows a story of how this man came to love her for who she was. She ran away  many times but through love changed her life.  I like this book because it gives people hope that no matter what background you come from God still loves you, and someone can change.  The other book I just started reading  is   "a lineage  of Grace," it talks about five women in the Bible, Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary. In there society they did questionable things , yet they were also all in the lineage of Jesus.  This just shows to me that despite our struggles and mistakes , God loves us and can use us.  God can turn the Caterpillar into a butterfly through a transformation of a life. I don't know what the beliefs are of the people reading this blog but I know that belief in a God and Christianity  has really helped me in my life and in recovery. I respect the fact that people have different beliefs then I do.

Well I've recently thought about writing a book myself and then I thought maybe I will do that someday but for now I will get writing on topics that are interesting to me and once I start school  again probably relate to topics I learn about in school.  One way to write is to just start writing so that is what I am doing.