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Trauma

Trauma

In recent news, there have been multiple reports of tragic school shootings or other violent incidents; not only the children in the affected school had the horrific experience, but children all around the country.

Naturally, children may exhibit different behaviors during the time of grief, but how can you tell when your child is suffering from trauma and is in need of service from a mental health specialist?

WHEN TRAUMATIC EVENTS OCCURRED

According to American Psychological Association (APA), after the exposure to a traumatic event, children will exhibit some behavior changes reacting to the short-term distress; These changes, however, are universal in which mental health professionals see on a daily basis with disregard to the school shooting. Changes may include:

  • the development of new fears

  • separation anxiety (particularly in young children)

  • sleep disturbance, nightmares

  • sadness

  • loss of interest in normal activities

  • reduced concentration

  • decline in schoolwork

  • anger

  • somatic complaints

  • irritability

SIGNS OF TRAUMA

The reactions listed above should last for a short period of time. If the behaviors reoccurred over time and begin to effect your child's level of functioning, see mental health professionals for trauma screening. Here are some signs of trauma in children:

  • Increased thinking about death and safety

  • Problems with sleeping, eating, anger and attention

  • Triggers- Express dramatic reactions toward events or things that may seem normal to others because it reminds the child of that particular traumatic memory

GRIEF VS TRAUMA

Credit: Starr (https://www.starr.org/research/grief-vs-trauma)

Credit: Starr (https://www.starr.org/research/grief-vs-trauma)

HOW CAN WE HELP?

Listed below are some ways we, as adults, can assist our children in the process of recovery:

  • ensuring the child feels safe

  • assisting the child to regain trust in people and outside world

  • re-establish and maintain the child's familiar environments, activities, and routines

  • helping the child understand what happened and why; by giving facts suited to their age

  • allowing the child to play and talk about their experience

  • reassuring the child their reactions are normal in these circumstances and will get better

 

Conditioning Your Brain

Conditioning Your Brain

More and more people have joined their local gym to improve their body physique. We’ve constantly been told how exercise can be beneficial physically, but it also has a huge impact mentally!

According to the American Psychological Association, exercising can be served as a mood enhancement; it can also enhance our reflex especially in a fight-or-flight situation. Overall, exercise provides a great buffer to our brain. Moreover, studies have shown that exercise can further improve the condition of mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, stress, ADHD, PTSD and more.

WHAT EXERCISE SHOULD I DO

You may wonder what kind of exercise is most effective when improving our mental wellness; according to Geisinger Careworks, they have listed a few specific exercises like aerobic exercises, yoga, and jogging.

This may be a surprise, but you can also improve your cognition simply by walking! Walking has not only been proven to have positive effect physically, but it can be a lot effortless and enjoyable. Try going for a walk after dinner next time, and you may find yourself feeling happier and healthier.

A Hot Cup of Blessing

A Hot Cup of Blessing

For many people, a nice cup of coffee in the morning is the best start of their daily routine. We've all heard the benefits of drinking coffee, or better yet, caffeine. Although, there is more to caffeine that we often overlook. For instance, caffeine is a classified drug that can lead to addiction.

WHAT IS CAFFEINE

Caffeine is a chemical substance naturally produced in the leaves and seeds in many plants. A NPR article stated, due to the nature of caffeine as a stimulant to the central nervous system, scientists have classified caffeine as drug. 

Since the discovery of caffeine and its effect, caffeine has been added to many food and drinks in our daily life including coffee, tea, energy drinks, chocolate, candies, and some chewing gums. A large market in caffeine has made FDA conduct further investigation, hoping to raise awareness toward caffeine consumption. During an announcement by FDA, it was said that adults safety level of caffeine consumption be about 400 milligrams each day.

The equivalent of 400mg caffeine Credit by: Food Insight

The equivalent of 400mg caffeine
Credit by: Food Insight

CAFFEINE PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECT

According to Dr. Hartney, PhD, there are several positive effects that caffeine has on human mind, including:

  1. Increases alertness

  2. Boosts our mood

  3. Improves performance (response times, information processing, and more)

At the same time there are side effects of caffeine consumption:

  1. Increases anxiety

  2. Insomnia

  3. Dizziness

  4. Restlessness

Overall, caffeine is not the best way to improve mental performance. As it was mentioned earlier caffeine functions as a drug to the human body. Excessive caffeine consumption will build up tolerance and dependency. Eventually, people will experience withdrawal even with proper amount of rest. Ultimately, the best way to increase our mental performance is a healthy diet, actively excising, and quality sleep.