The Rising Stress of Youth Sports on Kids

Sports are a great way for children to learn many important life skills. However, youth sports have changed a lot in recent years in where more stress has been put on young athletes from many directions. It’s important for parents to know how their kids are doing mentally. Pressure from parents, coaches, friends, and life can really make youth sports into something other than a fun learning time.

Knowing when kids are being pushed too hard in youth sports is important because if not done, they can start experiencing depression, anger, and other mental disorders. They might think they are not good enough for something and start to lose interest in activities they once loved. Recently, parents have been placing their children up for a single sport, instead of encouraging them to try many different types of teams. 

There are many ways for parents to help children going through depression or other mental disorders due to youth sports. First, is being supportive, always telling them they are doing a great job and being positive so they know they always have a support system. Second, do not push them too hard because then this becomes more of a duty than a fun activity for many kids. In order to help this issue, allow your children to participate in different sport’s teams and remind them that the purpose of playing the game is too have fun.

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Back to School Health and Wellness: Keeping your child mentally healthy this school year!

This back to school season keep your children healthy both physically and mentally. Parents understand how to keep their children healthy physically, but it is important to remember your student’s mental health as well. Parents can start by:

Encourage your child to spend a little bit of time each day journaling. Journaling allows children and adolescents to express their emotions, without having to worry about the judgement of adults. Journaling can also be a safe place for children to vent and unload their problems while also giving them a place to write about situations that brought them joy.

Ensure your child is getting enough sleep. To help your child fall asleep with ease, consider creating a nighttime routine. Have your child get into bed at the same time each night. If your child has a hard time falling asleep, suggest they read a chapter of a book they enjoy. Reading before bed has been shown to stimulate sleep in both children and adults.

Let your children know that you are approachable and that you are always available to communicate with them. This communication can be as simple as texting them fun messages throughout the day, or the proverbial “how was your day at school”. Help your child understand that communicating with you is simple and that if their mental health is ever in jeopardy, you will be able to help.

If you have noticed that your child is having an exceptionally difficult time at school, consider bringing them in for individual counseling with one our child therapist.

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Men and Anxiety

What we believe to be considered a stigma is an actual problem in our society. That is the idea of men having to express and deal with anxiety. A lot of times when men try to reach for help it isseen as a form of weakness. Because of this, a lot of men deal with their anxiety through other activities like alcohol abuse or anger issues.

Studies have shown that one in five men will go through an anxiety disorder; however, psychologists worry that many cases are going unreported. This is due to fact that many are just not coming in to report their issues. This needsto change because reaching out for treatment should not be considered a stigma, it should be a healthy way to get the problems resolved. Getting help should be the first option for dealing with anxiety or depression, because alcohol use and anger issues are never good options.

Andrea Peterson in her article In Men, Anxiety Can Often Look Different writes about how some doctors like Dr. McKay from Fordham University do not use the word “anxiety” during the first couple of therapy sessions with men because it helps them feel more comfortable calling it coaching or helping with performance. There are ways for men to feel more comfortable with therapy and society should not scare them away from reaching out for help.

Written By – Akash Patel

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Podcast Therapy

Now with so much technology in the world, there are numerous ways of getting therapy. One innovative way of getting therapy is podcasting. This might sound novel to some people, who have regarded therapy as more in person event; however, many people are tuning in to listen to healing sessions concerning different varieties of topics. This is a great way for someone to listen to stories at a time of their choosing. This can help them reach out for therapy because they know other people are going through similar situations and it is okay to ask for help.

The podcasting companies like Gimlet Media along with psychiatrist Dr. Alexandra Sacks started a podcast regarding topics like motherhood and pregnancy. Dr. Sacks podcast “Motherhood Sessions” had many mothers reach out to talk about their experiences. For Season 1, they had about 22 women come and record their stories; however, only 10 made it to Season 1. This is good because many people want to talk about mental health, and because of this there will be more of a push for digital therapy. This is a great start for a new wave of therapy, because it makes people feel comfortable regarding their health because they know other people who went through the same situation, and can see how they handled it. One great thing about podcasts is that you can listen to them anywhere from home or even in the store while grocery shopping.

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Overcoming Issues of Self-Image

How we are perceived formulates from the day we are born.  Due to constantly being evaluated by others, our psyche is influenced by how others perceive us.  One of the most common concepts of beauty in modern society is someone’s weight and physical appearance.  This concept has a critical effect on our self-worth, to the point where it can become detrimental.

While obesity is an actual medical condition that can lead to many health complications, the social stigma behind it can become psychologically devastating to the person suffering from weight-management issues.  An article by Healthy states “studies show that children as young as 6 years may associate negative stereotypes with excess weight and believe that a heavy child is simply less likable.” These stereotypes, unfortunately, reinforce behavior such as bullying during adolescence, and creation of multiple risk factors for mental illness among those dealing with obesity. There are, however, many ways people with weight-management issues can deal with and eventually overcome the psychological obstacles that they face.

It is hard to find acceptance in a society that constantly observes and judges one another. Negative feedback and self-awareness go hand in hand when dealing with one’s daily interactions.  As Dr. Sean G. Connolly writes, “we cannot control the comments of others, often uninvited, but we can control how we deal with them.” It is important he says to, “give yourself the right to feel good about yourself and feel more secure.” 

Self-affirmation, whether repeating words to yourself or conditioning positive thoughts in your head, can have a reinforcing effect in your psyche over time.  This can be accomplished by selecting some affirmation statements to condition a positive sense of self.  Dr. Connolly also elaborates how “counseling and life coaching can help you along in promoting self-perceptions that have an impact on our self-esteem.” With this said, lifestyle changes go hand in hand with self-acceptance and awareness. 

By implementing self-awareness into your situation, and implementing mental health exercises such as self-affirmation statements, one’s self-image can positively develop over time.  This, combined with proper dieting and moderate exercise 2-3 times a week, can help establish a better sense of self and overall bill of physical health.  While it is important to understand that obesity and weight-management issues are a medical dilemma in modern society, it is equally important to understand how psychologically damaging negative stereotypes and behaviors are when directed at those dealing with weight issues.

Written By – Taylor Goyen 

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Bridging the Gap Between Physical and Mental Illness

Mental illness is widely misunderstood in society and it is still being researched for its causes.  There are still stigmas and taboos surrounding the topic of mental disorders, and unfortunately, these stigmas undermine efforts to understand the functions of such disorders. Recently, however, research has been geared at correlating physical illnesses and autoimmune diseases with developing mental disorders. Many risk factors can lead to developing mental illnesses, but this new research sheds light on possible connections between physical ailments and mental disorders.

According to the JAMA Psychiatry Network, a study was conducted using a Danish database of people born between 1945 and 1995 who had a mood disorder.  Of the 95,000 with a mental disorder, “36,000 had suffered a severe infection or developed an autoimmune disease (such as type 1 diabetes, celiac disease, lupus, and the like) at some point before being diagnosed with the mood disorder.”  Such research could possibly indicate a direct link of infections and diseases being a risk factor for developing mental illnesses.

More specifically, a link between Strep Throat and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) was explored in a Harvard Health Publishing article written by Jeff Symanski.  According to Dr. Symanski, “antibodies to the infectious agent cross the barrier that protects the brain from what’s circulating in the bloodstream.” Once this occurs, the antibodies inflame a structure known as the basal ganglia, which accounts for motor movements, thinking, and emotions. The research potentially links the two illnesses together.

By understanding a possible direct link between physical illnesses and mental health, society can progress towards de-stigmatizing mental illnesses and disorders. Research is constantly being conducted to find the causes of mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and OCD.  Hopefully, /this will yield new results connecting physical illnesses being a risk factor in developing mental disorders.

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Millennials and Therapy

It was once a stigma in our society but now has become somewhat a norm among the so-called millennials in our society. What we are talking about is mental-health therapy. Peggy Drexler in her article Millennials are the Therapy Generation talks about how more “20- and 30- somethings turn to therapy sooner and with fewer reservations than young people did in previous eras.”

There is a lot of pressure put on the younger generation by society to be perfect which can lead to depression and mental illnesses. The main reasons for this are the rise of social media and technology, which leads to desire to reach out for therapy. Social media is a great place for millennials because it lets them to see people they see as role models talk about their struggles with depression, and how it is okay to reach out for help.

Because of this, more teens are getting therapy much earlier in their life than the past. A lot of them try to find balance in their work/student and social life. Social media showcases a safer place for people to reach out and talk. Technology makes it easier for people to get therapy with certain apps like Talkspace and MyTherapist.

For those who like the comfort of their homes when getting therapy instead of going to an office can use these apps in which they can call and video chat. Therapy isn’t for everyone; however, there are alternate ways to seek help now more than ever.
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The Most Stressed-Out City in the United States

What makes a stressed-out city? A stressed-out city is comprised of a majority of citizens who are overwhelmed, anxious and unhappy in their everyday lives. Detroit, Michigan was named the most stressed-out city in both 2018 and 2019. You may be wondering, what about Detroit makes it citizens so stressed out to the daily mail “Detroit had the worst credit scores, the highest poverty rate and the lowest percentage of adults getting adequate sleep each night.”

We can assume the reason for these low credit cards is a significant amount of debt. The citizens of Detroit are in debt, are unemployed and are not getting enough sleep every night. All of these factors together contribute and build on the stress all adults face.

On the flip side, the least stressed city in the United States is Fremont, California. According to the Daily Mail, the lack of stress from this city comes from high job security, low poverty rate, high median credit score, low divorce rate. People in Freemont, California are successfully employed, have a high credit score and have happy marriages.

Ranked number 6th on the least stressed cities in the United States is Plano, Texas. The reason for the relaxed citizens highest average hours of sleep per night, low crime rates and affordable housing.

Written By – Aly Bowles – Social Media Coordinator

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It Is Not Your Fault

Over the years I have seen parents or spouses who feel somehow responsible for the substance abuse of their loved one. I always make it a point to be very direct with them about these feelings: “It’s not your fault.” I look them in the eye and say that is a calming and reassuring a voice as I can manage. Many times, especially from mothers, tears instantly form.

Problematic substance use nearly always develops form one or more of the following:

  • Low levels of certain brain chemicals have for decades now been identified by scientists as the ‘driver’ for addiction to substances. That is because the substances cause the brain to produce an abundance of the normally low-level chemicals. Terms like “Hypodopamegenic” have entered the lexicon of the medical community that works with those seeking help. The # 1 reason to be Hypodopamegenic? Genetics.
  • Extreme or repetitive traumas can cause the brain to become depleted of hormones the brain uses to help us feel balanced, substances can provide the brain with a ‘quick fix’ that just as quickly can become a daily solution, then a nightmare.
  • Overexposure to substances. Especially in European countries where alcohol is consumed at all times, dependence can form because the brain becomes too used to the substances and the stimulation cycle of brain chemistry that results.
  • Mental Health challenges, these too can cause brain chemistry problems that result in seeking outside substances to correct the problem.

Looking over the list you might have noticed that brain chemistry/hormones are the one universal common feature. If you are a parent or spouse of someone who is addicted, how could you have possibly control of someone else’s brain chemistry?


Written by – Michael O’Neal – Clinical Coordinator

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Keeping It Fresh

Recovery programs are famous for the philosophy of One-Day-At-A-Time. Sometimes it is easy to assume that implies ‘hanging on’ and making it through. That is far from the reality though for people who are through the initial stages of early recovery.

Instead, this phrase takes on perhaps an even more important meaning. It is human nature that the more we are familiar with something the more we gradually begin to take it for granted. Cell phones, tablets, laptops, electricity, automobiles and many other things that are a part of our everyday world no longer seem at all novel, yet, they are all very new in the scope of human history.

When the novelty of recovery begins to fade a subtle danger can set in. No longer ‘desperate’ and driven to do whatever it takes, some people begin to gradually lay aside the tools and techniques that such a short time ago brought them back from an abyss of addicted crisis. Addiction is a chronic condition that needs a level of treatment every day to stay in remission.

That is where One-Day-At-A-Time plays a role in helping to keep people on track. By adopting this motto as their own, people in recovery can work to see recovery as forever fresh and vital.

Those who have made it to long recovery will attest how important that motto is and how great recovery is as well.

Written by Michael O’Neal – Clinical Director

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