Monthly Archives: May 2015
We got this note from a grateful Mom:
Our seven-year-old son Sam is a very sweet boy who has had problems with anxiety since pre-school. He now is in second grade with an excellent teacher and many neighborhood friends in his class. He is also a bright boy - schoolwork has never been a problem for him. In spite of all this, at the beginning of the school year he became very anxious, was reluctant to go to school and started wetting the bed again.
This happened at the beginning of first grade too, lasting for many months. This year, my social worker sister predicted this was likely to happen again and coached us to become proactive. She recommended we keep tools on hand from your website to help Sam.
We used two CDs – Sleep Fairy guided relaxation right before bedtime and Magic Island kids meditation in the morning before school – sometimes with breakfast in bed! He enjoyed listening to them immediately.
Researchers from the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom investigated end users' views of two online approaches to self-help for depression: computerized cognitive behavior therapy (cCBT) and informational websites, in a workplace context.
Computerized CBT offers an inexpensive and accessible alternative to face-to-face therapy, and employers have an interest in reducing the working time lost to depression or stress.
Yet little is known about how employees, who have actual experience of using online approaches, judge the intervention as a process.
The qualitative data reported here were collected within an online randomized controlled trial whose participants had diagnosable depression. The experimental intervention was a 5-week cCBT program called MoodGYM (very popular in Australia).
Posted: May 27, 2015|Categories: News|
Giving your body its summertime tune-up should begin with your head, and you can start by fostering an attitude of compassionate acceptance.
According to Dr. Traci Stein, whose body of work on issues involving self-esteem and body image is nothing short of amazing, "Your healthiest weight is the one that honors your inherent worth and keeps your body strong, mind sharp, and emotions balanced."
You will notice that nowhere in this statement does she say that body must have a 22-inch waist, weigh no more than 100 pounds or fit into a size 6. We are the ones who attach numbers to everything. "I will open myself to a relationship after I lose 20 pounds," or "I will look for a better career opportunity once I fit into a size 6."
Posted: May 26, 2015|Categories: Ask Belleruth|
Hi, Belleruth. I'm a psychotherapist, and I have quite a few of your guided imagery CD's that I use with my patients. But this question is personal... my 7 year old daughter has had stomach aches for years. We've had tests run from time to time, but all is well physically.
I would like to buy her a CD from your website to help her with her stomach aches. Most of the ones for kids seem to focus on relaxation. Perhaps that would be enough. I'm wondering which CD you would recommend for her.
Posted: May 25, 2015|Categories: Update from Health Journeys|
That nasty flu that was going around over the winter seems to be enjoying a reprise this spring. Several friends and colleagues have been laid low.
So, I figure it's time to haul out the link to the terrific video that shows how a flu virus gets into your system, becomes all fruitful and multiplies, and how your amazing immune system responds. Of course, you could just take the lazy way out and listen to our Healthy Immune System Meditation, which narrates how it all happens inside of you, and by listening and experiencing this in your imagination, it pumps up the action of your immune system even further...)
This is not a question but a thank you. Your Weight Loss affirmations have been powerful for me. Not just for weight loss, but for encouraging a positive approach to life and for helping me let go of the negative energy that I know consumes me sometimes.
Also, as a musician, I appreciate how the music builds and resolves at critical moments, underscoring the message.
The first time I heard ' . . the time for reinjuring myself by remembering old wounds is over' I felt like I'd been hit between the eyes. I repeat it to everyone who needs to hear it (giving you credit, of course).
While I still struggle, I hope I am improving 'more and more' on my emotional journey. Thank you for helping to guide my way.
Aussies love web and phone based interventions for health education and mental health, and are pre-eminent researchers and evaluators of digital services – probably because flesh and blood providers can be hard to come by in the vast, non-urban areas of this very big country that's also a continent.
This Australian study examines whether mental health self-efficacy (MHSE), a construct from Bandura's Social Learning Theory (SLT), influences the positive results of web-based interventions on such conditions as depression and anxiety.
Posted: May 20, 2015|Categories: News|
“Cast from shackles which bound them, this bell shall ring out hope for the mentally ill and victory over mental illness.”—inscription on Mental Health America’s Mental Health Bell
During the early days of mental health treatment, the mentally ill were often institutionalized in asylums, where they were restrained with iron chains and shackles. As understanding and treatment improved and new modalities were implemented, this cruel practice ended. Mental Health America had these inhumane shackles melted down and recast into the 300-pound Mental Health Bell, that rings out a sign of hope and healing. To learn more, go to Mental Health America.
The theme for this year's Mental Health Awareness Month is B4Stage4, which encourages us to 'get informed, get screened and get help' before mental illness reaches the serious Stage 4, which often involves loss of jobs and families, inability to undertake daily activities, institutionalization or incarceration.
When people first experience symptoms of diseases like cancer or diabetes, they are encouraged to seek treatment. The warning signs of those diseases are published frequently in numerous sources. Posters bearing the warning signs of heart attack and stroke are visible in many public places, but how many of us are aware of the signs of mental illness?
If we don't ignore the symptoms of other illnesses, why do we wait so long to seek treatment for symptoms of potentially serious mental illness? Mental Health Awareness Month encourages us to change the way we think about mental illness and treat it as any serious illness, with screening and early intervention. The Mental Health Bell also reminds us that the chains of discrimination still bind people with mental illness.
"Although the medical community now approaches depression as a disease, many depressed people still feel a sense of shame and judge themselves as weak or self-indulgent for not being able to "will" themselves out of their sadness. When you're in the throes of depression, it's hard to escape the feeling that you are a failure and that the future is hopeless." Deepak Chopra, from Healing Depression.
Anxiety is another aspect of mental illness that is often misunderstood. For more information on dealing with anxiety read Belleruth's blog post, BR' Tips for Beating Anxiety.
To find guided imagery resources to support mental and emotional health, check out our website.
Celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month by telling us your stories. As always, we love hearing from you. Happy Spring from your friends at Health Journeys.
I need help with antidepressant withdrawal. I've slowly withdrawn from Zoloft. This is my first week without any medication in my system whatsoever. I'm functioning fine, but feel 'out of kilter'...just discombobulated (is that a word?)
Truth told, I am already happier, feel more whole, and seem to have a pumped up libido, but these other sensations are confusing and unsettling. I'm trying to find the best of your imagery CD's from my arsenal, but am not sure what's best.
I'm wondering about the Alchol/Drug Recovery CD, and whether it might help me cope with the unpleasant side effects of withdrawal I might be feeling.
As I am somewhat anxious, I don't want to do anything that might reinforce my anxiousness in any way! I am sleeping fine, just feel less predictable somehow. Thanks,
Belleruth. You are welcome to use my letter on Health Journeys, please just post it anonymously.
Well, the Sports Injury Season is truly upon us, people!
I can now smile at the memory of the hours and hours spent in the E.R. of Sibley Hospital in Washington DC with various kids – my own and my neighbor's - with their various broken and lacerated arms, legs, ankles, shoulders and noses.
We had quite a run of visits back in the day, and I'd even learned to be ferociously protective of their faces after the first couple of visits. At the first sight of a very young- looking med student approaching a kid's wrecked face with a needle, I would automatically yell, "Don't touch his face! I want a plastic surgeon down here!"