Four Minute Meditation for Children:
You Are Special Just Because You’re You
Click to Download: Child Meditation You Are Special
If you’ve ever considered your options for treatment of depression or anxiety using pharmaceuticals and/or integrative approaches, we wanted to offer an educational essay on some of the comparisons of consideration from the perspective of what happens chemically and biologically in the body.
“Depression’s treatments have morphed over time, as has the disease itself, reminding us that suffering is never stagnant, that even discrete illnesses take the shape of the culture’s currents.” Lauren Slater
Mental healthcare in our society has become a touchpoint of awareness through not only self-awareness of individual mental health, but also through family influences, friends, colleagues, peers, and even through the increase in social influence through media and social platforms. Mental health effects a sense of self, relationships with others, physical health, and also an individual’s ability to maintain and balance stability, resilience and coping throughout one’s life. According to the World Health Organization, “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. It is a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” (WHO)
Mental health, as an attribute of the state of health, can branch into many conditions, disorders, and disturbances with a very broad number of diagnoses. The clinical definition of a mental health disorder according to the Diagnostic & Statistic Manual (DSM) is, “a syndrome characterized by clinically significant disturbance in an individual’s cognition, emotion regulation, or behavior that reflects a dysfunction in the psychological, biological, or developmental processes underlying mental functioning.” (DSM) An individual’s diagnosis of a mental health disorder can evolve throughout an individual’s life, but overall, the most common diagnoses for mental health conditions fall into the categories of depression and anxiety. The World Health Organization has announced that Depression is now the #1 Illness, with 300 million people worldwide suffering from this condition. (Depression) Clinical symptoms of depression include a depressed mood on a daily basis, a diminished sense of pleasure in activity, weight loss or gain, lack of sleep, agitation, feelings of restlessness, fatigue, feeling unworthy, and recurrent thoughts of death.Read More
A Blog Post by Judy Thompson, Director Mind-Body Services:
In any given week, but especially as school begins in the Fall, our practice receives calls from parents about their child’s behavior, attitude, and anxiety. The academic pressures combined with peer pressure are categorically diverse, but these pressures, combined with fears and worries about school violence, add a new level of pressure.
The developing brains of children and teens are unaccustomed to recognizing these pressures, symptomatically, the child may begin to outwardly notice the physical symptoms and pressure they feel in their body, but the worry and the fear that may be funneling through their mind as daily thoughts can begin to take on a familiarity and disconnect them from recognizing and asking for help.
On a basic brain-science level, our brain has a thinking side and a feeling/emotional side. The thinking side is the cortex, and it operates logically, is able to reason, and recalls conscious memories. The feeling/emotional side has many components, but the structure that is in control of our anxiety response is the amygdala. This is the evolutionary part of our brain that is meant to keep us alive. Many of the physical symptoms that the body exhibits in a state of anxiety are the same as when a person is in a state of fight/flight. The amygdala can hijack systems in the body: the sympathetic nervous system, endocrine, and the actual cortex. The body can begin to respond in a cyclic fashion of anxiety whenever there is a feeling of discomfort, fear or worry.Read More
A Blog Post by Judy Thompson, Director Mind Body Services:
Sometimes when I feel alone or sad or misunderstood I want to run. Run away from my life, people who don’t understand me, people who I’ve decided look at me funny, and the pressures and pain of my failures and non-accomplished goals. The thoughts come, I pay attention to them, and I spin myself up in a fury of anger, fear, sadness, worry and despair. Emotions are very good at controlling our attention, after all, they are energy in motion. But all of these emotions, especially the anger, fear, sadness and worry, don’t really present well, feel good, nor bring us closer to our authentic self.Read More