The Impact of Mass Shootings

Mass Shootings Often Leave Lasting Mental Health Effects In under a month, the state of Texas was the place of two deadly mass shootings. The first occurred on August 3rd, 2019 at an El Paso Walmart, leaving 22 killed and another 24 injured. The more recent one happened on August 31st in Odessa, Texas. Seven people were killed with 22 others wounded. These incidents often have lasting effects on those involved. Their survivors are those from nearly every race, religion, gender, socioeconomic status, and any other identifier. Even more jarring is the fact that most of these shootings take place in peaceful places, including schools, churches, theaters, and office buildings. Most survivors show resilience. However, there are still many who experience long-term mental health struggles after these mass shootings. Mental Health Impact  Many survivors don’t always experience physical wounds. For those who survive mass shootings, especially those who believed that their lives were in danger, they tend to experience a host of continuous mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). According to the National Center for PTSD, nearly 28% of people who have witnessed a mass shooting become the victim of PTSD. Another third…

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Understanding Postpartum Depression

Many Women Experience Postpartum Depression After Birth Many people have the assumption that once a mother gives birth to their child, life is all sunshine and rainbows. However, new moms face many challenges in getting used to life with a newborn. Lack of sleep, new responsibilities, and breast pain from nursing can be just a few of the challenges new mothers face. Many don’t understand the emotional pain that follows childbirth. We are not talking about the “baby blues” but rather postpartum depression. Nearly 15% of all new mothers experience postpartum depression (PPD). While this condition can be successfully treated, many still do not understand PPD. What is Postpartum Depression? Postpartum depression is a deeply painful depression that a mother can have once they have a baby. Mothers can experience this any time during the baby’s first year, but more often than not, its effects are felt in the first 3 weeks. Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, guilt, and even anger can plague many mothers. They may not feel like they want to bond with their child or even care for them. PPD does not just affect first-time mothers. Many mothers have experienced this condition even after they had a child…

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Importance of Children’s Mental Health

When raising a child, it is easy to identify their physical needs: food with nutritional value, proper fitting clothing for all types of weather, proper sleeping arrangements, and physical exercise. While a child’s physical health is incredibly important, their mental health is just as crucial. However, identifying and addressing their emotional and mental needs is not quite as obvious or well known as their physical needs. Proper care of a child’s mental health and their physical health often play hand in hand, but unfortunately, children’s mental health struggles are often trivialized or not treated with the proper care to prevent long-standing consequences. Childhood Mental Health by the Numbers The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) found that 20% of youth ages 13-18 live with a mental health condition. While this number isn’t extraordinarily high all things considered, it is still alarming. Even worse is that about 70% of these children do not receive the appropriate interventions with the gap between a child’s onset symptoms and intervention being 8-10 years. Failure to recognize these issues can lead to future problems in a child’s life, entrenching their mental health problems deep in their mind. Sadly, suicide is the 3rd leading cause of…

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7 Things You Should Never Say To A Person With A Mental Illness

Anxiety and depression are some of the most common mental disorders; not just in the United States, but all over the world. It is likely that you or someone that you are close to suffers from a mental health issue. Luckily, we live in a day in age where people are doing their best to raise awareness for mental health. However, regardless of the awareness, the issue remains that if you don’t experience the mental disorder yourself it can be very difficult for you to know the right things to say to that person much less understand what they are going through. Unless you are a professional therapist in Carrolton, the best thing you can do is remember that their pain is real, simply listen and tell the person that you will try to understand.   “It’s all in your head” When you tell someone that it is all in their head, there is not a productive outcome. This only implies that you find their circumstances made up or easily resolved, when this is actually not the case for a person suffering from the mental health disorder. Instead of telling someone that it is all in their head, know that…

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How to Help Your Loved One Suffering From Mental Illness

Living with a mental illness is difficult and challenging in itself, let alone when you bring your loved ones into the mix. When someone you love has been diagnosed with a mental illness, it is important you have the tools to support them. Being supported and having a family that is willing to come together for their loved one who is suffering from a mental illness is incredibly important. This willingness to come together, accept the diagnosis, and move forward as a unit will make a world of difference. This is not to say doing so is easy or comes naturally, but it is important for the health and well-being of everyone affected. Denying that someone has a mental illness or disapproving of this individual will only make the situation worse and could create even more obstacles for your loved ones. Having the support of those who are closest to you – whether it be your biological family or chosen people – is critical to an individual’s recovery and well-being. Having the unwavering support of loved ones has been proven to help minimize the damage mental illness can inflict on a person. While this is undoubtedly a difficult situation, it…

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What it is like to live with OCD

OCD is obsessive-compulsive disorder, a mental illness under the umbrella of anxiety disorders. However, OCD is not just needing your hair to look perfect on the day of a presentation or ironing your underwear, for those who suffer from this disorder, their day to day life is functionally impaired. The individuals affected by OCD have intense feelings of obsessive thinking and compulsion that are persistent, repetitive, and require an urgent need for action. Living with OCD directly interferes with a person’s quality of life. For a person who suffers from OCD, a typical day consists of a vicious cycle filled with doubts, anxieties, and inconsolable feelings. Some common afflictions are: Fear of contamination: This can be food, water, or even the clothing you wear. Poor hygiene, Hand washing, face washing, doing laundry, doing the dishes. Ideas of personal harm: Suicide, cutting, stabbing. Ideas of harming others: This is not limited to homicide, but even harming family members, i.e. stabbing a loved one in their sleep. Ideas of physical damage: Property or personal belongings Resisting the urge to carry out a compulsion can be difficult short term, but extremely useful long-term. OCD gives a person these consistent intrusive thoughts that are…

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