5 Myths About Mental Illness

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5 Myths About Mental Illness

By PRAKASH MASAND M.D.

It is common to hear about a loved one, friend, family member or coworker being treated by a mental health professional, yet many still feel shame about having a mental illness and blame themselves. There are still a lot of misconceptions and myths around mental illness, even though they have been disproved.

Here are some common myths about mental illness and the real truths behind them:

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1. Myth: Psychiatric treatment is for weak people, and talk therapy is whining. You just have to get over it!

Truth: This is still one of the most popular myths, by far. Many people continue to feel that psychiatric treatment is not required for many problems. Treatment for psychiatric disorders is just as necessary as it is for other medical disorders, such as diabetes or heart disease. There are a wide range of therapy options that can be best determined by a mental health professional. In some cases, medication is required, while in others, therapy, such as cognitive behavior therapy, has been shown to be very effective. It is not a sign of weakness to seek help. It is a sign of courage to recognize a problem and try to find a solution. Just as you would not feel bad about going to the doctor if you had an infection, you should never feel bad about seeking help for mental health issues.

2. Myth: You will not achieve your full potential when you have a mental illness such as bipolar disorder or depression.

Truth: From historical times to the present many of the most successful people have had bipolar disorder or depression. Names like Isaac Newton, Winston Churchill, Beethoven, Brad Pitt and Oprah Winfrey would hardly be seen as underachievers, yet they have all dealt with mental illness at some point in their lives. The reality is that reaching your full potential and being successful is very possible even if you are diagnosed with a mental health issue — provided you seek help.

3. Myth: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is just a poor substitute for discipline and an excuse for bad behavior.

Truth: ADHD is a psychiatric illness with a well-described constellation of symptoms and proven treatments. ADHD is commonly thought of as a childhood disorder and often attributed to a lack of discipline. ADHD can affect people of all ages and can bring about a lack of focus and impulsivity that can cause the afflicted person to suffer. They or their families should recognize the signs of ADHD and seek treatment. This is especially true with children. Treatment helps a child excel in school and adjust in social settings.

4. Myth: All patients with schizophrenia are dangerous.

Truth: Only a very small percentage of schizophrenics are dangerous when left untreated. Schizophrenia is a very serious psychotic disorder, but patients who have it should not necessarily be feared or institutionalized. There are treatment options for schizophrenia, and many with the disorder can lead productive lives with the right treatment.

5. Myth: Suicide is not a problem in the U.S.

Truth: Suicide was the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2007. Suicide is the most regrettable outcome for far too many people who have found their mental health issues to be too much to bear. It is often preceded for a long time with warning signs. It is so important to seek treatment if you feel like you have too much to cope with. Immediately seek professional help if you or a loved one has suicidal thoughts.

As more people learn about how the brain works, and how it affects our overall health, there will be much less stigma around seeking professional help for mental health issues. It is important to recognize psychological and psychiatric disorders as being just as necessary to treat as any other medical condition. If you, your friends or loved ones are experiencing any mental health issues, seek treatment. There is help available and treatment can help you lead a higher quality and happier life. It’s time for us to move away from the myths and move closer to the solutions.

Help Your Kids Say “No” to Porn

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Help Your Kids Say ‘No’ to Porn

By Jen Wilkin

The first time porn was served at the cafeteria lunch table, my son was 11 years old. Does that seem young to you? Research suggests that one in three children ages 11 to 14 have viewed pornography on a mobile device. Add to that the very real possibility that a child will stumble across explicit content on YouTube or in a pop-up ad during innocent computer usage, and one thing becomes clear: parents must be proactive in talking about porn with their kids.

I’m not a fearmonger when it comes to parenting. In fact, I think fear is a terrible motivator for making parenting decisions. But if children are being exposed to porn at young ages, the loving thing to do as a parent is to equip them to know how to respond. The most frequent parenting question I’m asked is, “When should I talk to my child about sex?” My adamant answer is, “Much earlier than you might think.” If you’re concerned about your child being exposed to porn, you have to talk about sex, and you must do so early.

Let me tell you what played out at the sixth-grade lunch table that day. When the phone with the images was offered, my son responded, “I don’t look at porn.” The owner of the phone, perplexed, asked, “Then how will you know how to have sex?” My son responded that his parents had told him all about it. Jaws dropped. Not one other sixth-grade boy at the table had yet talked with his parents about sex, or, it would seem, about porn. But they were by no means lacking in instruction.

We may stall on the sex talk, but the world will not. If we delay introducing the topic because of personal discomfort, shame, or uncertainty about how to begin, our children will form their first ideas about human sexuality based on the reports of their peers, the images on their devices, or the pop-ups that introduce them to porn. They will also assume their parents are not willing or equipped to handle discussions about sex.

Ask the Right Question

Too many parents are still asking the wrong question with regard to children and explicit content. We can no longer ask, “How should I prepare my child for if they see porn?” Instead we must ask, “How should I prepare my child for when they see porn?” External controls are important, but they only shield your child from a handful of instances when porn can make an appearance. Mobile devices are everywhere, and your neighbor’s unsecured Wi-Fi is easy to find.

We must begin giving our children internal controls as early as possible. We must give them a way to flee danger as soon as it presents itself. Just as parents of my generation taught their kids a script for when they were offered drugs, we must teach our kids a script for when they are offered porn. And we must be ready to have frank, fearless conversations about what they may have already seen, conversations free of any hint of condemnation. We must maintain a safe environment for openness and ongoing dialogue about this and other difficult topics.

Your children may very well be exposed to porn before they are developmentally able to understand what they are looking at. They need your help to know how to respond. Give them red flags, a script, and a plan.

Red Flags, a Script, and a Plan

Though not developmentally ready for a full-blown explanation of the nature and dangers of porn, young children can learn two red flags to help them avoid contact with it, two red flags that also guard against predators. Teach your child at a young age that “naked is private,” and that “don’t tell your mom and dad” means danger. Both of these red flags will help them recognize when they are being shown something you wouldn’t want them to see.

Train your children how to respond to an offer of porn by giving them scripted words to use, and a plan of action:

Parent: “If someone shows you a picture of something and asks you not to tell anyone, what should you do?”

Child: “Tell them ‘no thanks,’ and then come tell you.”

Parent: “If a picture of something strange comes up on the computer, what should you do?”

Child: “Ex it out, and then come tell you.”

Rehearse this language, just as you would rehearse what words to use in other situations, like if a stranger offered a ride home from school.

Culture of Confession

Children need to know they can come tell a parent without fear of getting in trouble or setting off high drama, even if (especially if) they looked at what was offered. When we give them permission to come to us, we reinforce a culture of confession in our homes. We may not be able to shield our kids from pornographic images, but we can give them the internal tools they need to protect them from becoming entangled in secrecy, shame, and a warped view of sexuality.

Whether they are 8 or 28, we want our children to choose confession over concealment every time. Reward their courage in coming to you by reacting calmly, affirming that they have done the right thing, and then helping them process what has happened and what to do moving forward.

We must communicate clearly to our children that porn is telling a lie and that we will tell them the truth. As your child gets older, talk frankly about what porn is, about how it teaches a perverted view of sexuality, and about how it exploits both the viewer and also those revealed in the images. Talk about the consequences of having a wrong view of sex and sexuality, the dangers of lust, and the sin of objectifying another person made in the image of God.

Start Early

If you have preschool-aged children, begin gathering resources now to help you naturally introduce the topic of sex in age-appropriate ways as opportunities present. (In other words, if you take your kids to the zoo in the spring, be ready to broach the subject if the animal kingdom introduces it.) Rather than think, How long can I put off the sex talk? ask, How soon can I begin to equip my child to filter messages about sex and sexuality in age-appropriate ways?

Be the first voice your child hears about sex and sexuality, and about fleeing porn exposure. Don’t let fear cause you to delay beginning this conversation. And don’t let fear cause you to have the conversation in a way that scares your child or casts sexuality in a negative light. Get educated about what resources are available to help you confidently and calmly discuss sex as a beautiful gift from God, to be enjoyed within the good boundaries he has set. Lovingly teach your kids red flags, a script, and a plan. And trust your heavenly Father that even this parenting hurdle is one he can help you surmount.

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Check out these additional resources. (By listing these resources I am not giving them an unqualified endorsement. As with all parenting resources, the responsibility lies with you to read discerningly, take what you can use, and leave the rest. Happy digging!)

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Check out these additional resources. (By listing these resources I am not giving them an unqualified endorsement. As with all parenting resources, the responsibility lies with you to read discerningly, take what you can use, and leave the rest. Happy digging!)

CornerStone Family Services Counselor Snapshot: Carol McClure, CT

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CarolCarol McClure is a Counselor Trainee at CornerStone Family Services, and approved by the Counselor, Social Worker and marriage and Family Therapist Board in the State of Ohio.

In addition to her ongoing education, Carol has extensive training with Dr. Philip Ney of Victoria, British Columbia, researcher and professor, regarding work with adults who have experienced childhood abuse, including sexual, emotional, verbal, neglect and physical abuse, and the subsequent issues.  Training with Dr. Ney also includes working with individuals who have experienced abortion(s), and pregnancy losses.   In addition, Carol has a wide-ranging background working with relationships, including that of  pre-marital, marital, and parenting.

Carol’s passion is to walk along side of those whom are experiencing struggles in life through love and acceptance that engenders spiritual growth and healing.   Carol’s clinical focus includes:

Abortion-Related Trauma, Abuse, Adoption (Bonding and Transition), Adults, Adolescents (age 16 up), Grief & Loss, Life Transitions, Mood Disorders, Parenting, Pre-Marital, Relationship Issues, Self-Esteem, Sexual Addictions (Women), Sexual Assault, Women’s Issues

Carol is happily married to her husband of thirty-five years.  They have four children, two grandchildren, and a dog.  She and her husband enjoy backpacking, kayaking, and golf.

Notable Resource: MHAFC

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Looking for support?  Check out Mental Health America Franklin County (MHAFC)for some great resources.

For more resources, check out the CornerStone Family Services support page or call us at 614-459-3003.

MHAFC

Anxiety is Like a Baby

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Anxiety can start out small but can quickly grow if we feed the thoughts and emotions.

Anxiety Baby
Anxiety is like a little baby. The more you nurse it, the bigger it gets.

CornerStone Counselor Snapshot: Kimberly Bozeman, LPC

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Kimberly Bozeman, LPC is Kima dedicated hard-working counselor with experience in helping people from a variety of backgrounds and struggles.

As a professional counselor, Kimberly works especially with people struggling with: Adjustment Issues, Anxiety, Death/Dying Issues, Depression, Divorce/Separation Issues, Domestic Violence, Elder Care, Grief & Loss, Life Transitions, Parenting, Relationship Issues, Self-Esteem-Self Worth, Single Parenting, Stress, Trauma, Women’s Issues, Pastor’s and Pastor’s Wives.

The Power of Introverts

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Quiet - The Power of IntrovertsWe live in a society where an extroverted personality is often considered to be the ideal.  In such a world, those who are more introverted by nature can feel self-conscious, demeaned, or even as though they are a second-class citizen.

The truth is that introversion is not a defect; it can actually be a powerful strength in someone’s personality.

Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, describes the power of introverts in a 2012 TED Talk:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVPeuvFn_lY

For more information on how to build self-confidence or utilize the strengths of your personality (whether introverted or extroverted), please contact CornerStone at 614-459-3003.

Boundaries Problem Chart

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Unhealthy boundaries cause interpersonal and intrapersonal problems.  Take a look at the chart below for a simple representation of some boundary problems.

Boundary Problems Chart

For more information on unhealthy boundaries and help establishing healthy boundaries, please contact CornerStone at 614-459-3003.

It is Healthier to Forgive Than to Hold a Grudge

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 forgive

Forgiveness: Letting go of grudges and bitterness

When someone you care about hurts you, you can hold on to anger, resentment and thoughts of revenge — or embrace forgiveness and move forward.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Nearly everyone has been hurt by the actions or words of another. Perhaps your mother criticized your parenting skills, your colleague sabotaged a project or your partner had an affair. These wounds can leave you with lasting feelings of anger, bitterness or even vengeance — but if you don’t practice forgiveness, you might be the one who pays most dearly. By embracing forgiveness, you can also embrace peace, hope, gratitude and joy. Consider how forgiveness can lead you down the path of physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.

 What is forgiveness?

Generally, forgiveness is a decision to let go of resentment and thoughts of revenge. The act that hurt or offended you might always remain a part of your life, but forgiveness can lessen its grip on you and help you focus on other, positive parts of your life. Forgiveness can even lead to feelings of understanding, empathy and compassion for the one who hurt you.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you deny the other person’s responsibility for hurting you, and it doesn’t minimize or justify the wrong. You can forgive the person without excusing the act. Forgiveness brings a kind of peace that helps you go on with life.

What are the benefits of forgiving someone?

Letting go of grudges and bitterness can make way for compassion, kindness and peace. Forgiveness can lead to:

  • Healthier relationships
  • Greater spiritual and psychological well-being
  • Less anxiety, stress and hostility
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Fewer symptoms of depression
  • Lower risk of alcohol and substance abuse

Why is it so easy to hold a grudge?

When you’re hurt by someone you love and trust, you might become angry, sad or confused. If you dwell on hurtful events or situations, grudges filled with resentment, vengeance and hostility can take root. If you allow negative feelings to crowd out positive feelings, you might find yourself swallowed up by your own bitterness or sense of injustice.

 What are the effects of holding a grudge?

If you’re unforgiving, you might pay the price repeatedly by bringing anger and bitterness into every relationship and new experience. Your life might become so wrapped up in the wrong that you can’t enjoy the present. You might become depressed or anxious. You might feel that your life lacks meaning or purpose, or that you’re at odds with your spiritual beliefs. You might lose valuable and enriching connectedness with others.

For more information on what forgiveness is, what forgiveness is not, the process of forgiveness, seeking forgiveness, and/or healing for a wound, please contact CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003.

CornerStone Counselor Snapshot: Chad Kays, LPC-CR

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Chad K

Professional

Having received his Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Ashland Theological Seminary in December of 2014, Chad Kays, LPC-CR strives to create a safe and nurturing environment in which individuals can be supported in their efforts to grow and transform their lives for the better.

He holds extensive experience working with individuals, couples, and families from diverse backgrounds in the areas of counseling, postsecondary education, and health & wellness. Chad believes you are not alone in your challenges and that you do not have to carry the burden by yourself. It is healthy to recognize the need for help and it shows strength when seeking that help. Chad is a caring professional who is committed to come alongside you and others to help reconnect to their life purpose and aspirations.

Psych today ChadAs a counselor, Chad provides counseling services for: Adults and adolescents ages 10 and up, Addictions Counseling & Intervention, Substance Abuse Assessments and Recovery Needs Support, Alcohol & Drug Education/Awareness, Career Training and Lifestyle, Mood and Anxiety Disorders, Grief/Loss, Couples and Relationship issues, Life Transitions and Adjustment Issues, Stress Management and Coping Skills, Trauma and Recovery, Spiritual Issues and Growth.

Chad delivers counseling and training in a variety of settings that include one-on-one, groups, classroom, and organizational environments.

Personal

Chad enjoys spending time with his wife and dog in his free time. He loves to team up with his wife doing activities such as gardening, home-improvement or other crafty projects, watching inspirational movies and football, or just sitting out on our deck. Chad also loves nature and the outdoors, writing, playing basketball, listening to music, and reading nutrition information about various whole foods.

If you would like to reach Chad, please contact him at 614-459-3003 Ext. 717.

 “Have patience with all that is unsolved within your heart, and try to embrace the questions.”
-Rainer Rilke (Poet and Novelist)