Is the Media Misrepresenting the Facts About Mental Illness and Violence?

With all the news related to the "mental illness" of those responsible for the horrific murders of innocents, some may get the impression that those who are mentally ill are more violent than the general population. The facts are that the mentally ill are more likely to be victims of crime or to harm themselves. Keep that in mind when reading some of the news accounts. Violent crime perpetrators are not all mentally ill. Read the full article for a more thorough coverage of the topic...

Psychology & Mental Health News (Psych Central)

Media Coverage of Gun Violence May Further Stigmatize Mental Illness

By Rick Nauert PhD Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on March 22, 2013 


Media Coverage of Gun Violence May Further Stigmatize Mental Illness March 22nd, 2013 A new report finds that news stories about mass shootings involving a shooter with mental illness heighten readers' negative attitudes toward all persons with serious mental illness. Researchers also found such news ...

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How Mindfulness Can Improve Self-Knowledge

Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you're mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience. See Psychology Today. 

Medical News Today

Mindfulness - paying attention to one's current experience in a non-judgmental way - might help us to learn more about our own personalities, according to a new article published in the March 2013 issue of Perspectives on Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. 

Recent research has highlighted the fact that we have many blind spots when it comes to understanding our patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving. Despite our intuition that we know ourselves the best, other people have a more accurate view of some traits (e.g., intellect) than we do. In some cases, blind spots in self-knowledge can have negative consequences, such as poor decision-making, poor academic achievement, emotional and interpersonal problems, and lower life satisfaction. 

Mindfulness - a technique often recognized for its positive effects on mental health - involves paying attention to your current experience (e.g., thoughts, feelings) and observing it in a non-judgmental manner. 

According to Carlson,  Continue Reading...

Mindfulness Meditation Benefits

A personal account by Christine Langlois of concerning the benefits she and her husband achieved by learning Mindfulness Meditation. If you are interested in joining a Mindfulness Meditation group contact Goose Creek Coaching.

The health benefits of meditation

Science shows meditation offers many health benefits, including making you healthier and happier. Here's how meditation helped one couple cope.

Last year, my husband Christopher and I were at a low point. We had recently taken a gamble by purchasing a small business. The tension built until we were both showing signs of stress: We weren’t sleeping well, our concentration was shot and our tempers flared. After a particularly dismal weekend, Chris wondered aloud one Sunday night whether we should take that meditation course I’d mentioned.

The course on “mindfulness-based stress reduction” was offered by my family physician, Dr. Miroslava Lhotsky, and psychologist Judy Turner, both of whom practise in Toronto. Lhotsky had mentioned it in passing at my last checkup, telling me about new research on the ancient practice. Several of her meditating patients were lowering their blood pressure, she said pointedly, knowing that my numbers had been creeping up. On my way out, I picked up the brochure on the eight-week program.

Our first meditation class

Monday morning, I signed us up. Which is how we found ourselves on a frigid January evening, yoga mats in hand, heading to our first 2-1/2 hour class. But by this point, neither of us wanted to go. We both had vaguely positive views about meditation (and Chris had even tried it years ago as a student), but we had no idea what would happen that night. Would there be hours of lecturing? Or maybe some touchy-feely group discussion about our stress?
The answers were no and no. That first class, of about 20 men and women of all ages, started with a little explanation from Lhotsky and Turner. Mindfulness means being attentive to the present moment, “neither fretting about the past, nor anticipating the future,” Turner explained. We would cultivate mindfulness through meditation, which involves focusing on the breath and observing the body’s sensations and one’s thoughts and feelings.

Stress Management and Behavior?

Stress management and behavior? Behavior - can we actually expect people to change behavior (or even suggest it)? It seems common sense that if you keep doing things that result in stress, you might want to consider not repeating the behavior if possible or learn the necessary steps to take to management it. This article notes the high percentage of young people experiencing levels of stress that place them at risk of serious health problems in their future. Excerpts follow.

Millennials: The Most Stressed-Out Generation, USA

Written by Christian Nordqvist 

Copyright: Medical News Today

APA (American Psychological Association) CEO Norman B. Anderson, PhD., said:

"When people receive professional help to manage stress and make healthy behavior changes they do better at achieving their health goals. Unfortunately, our country's health system often neglects psychological and behavioral factors that are essential to managing stress and chronic diseases.

In order for our nation to get healthier, lower the rates of chronic illnesses, and lower health care costs, we need to improve how we view and treat stress and unhealthy behaviors that are contributing to the high incidence of disease in the U.S."
Americans aged from 18 to 33 years appear to be the most badly affected by mental stress and getting support for it from their health care providers. With an average stress level of 5.4, this is higher than the 4.9 national average and considerably higher than the 3.6 "healthy" level.
Read the Full Article

Cannabis-Induced Psychosis

Considering the fact that legalization of marijuana has begun in various states across the country, this article should give one pause. Just like with alcohol, some people have serious, adverse reactions to its use. This article provokes some serious concerns:

Cannabis-Induced Psychosis May Be in the Genes

By  Associate News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on November 29, 2012

"This may help explain why some marijuana users develop psychosis while others do not.

During psychosis, a person may experience personality changes and disordered thinking. Depending on its severity, this may include unusual or bizarre behavior, as well as having trouble with social interaction and problems with carrying out daily life activities.

The growing acceptance of medical and recreational marijuana means more people will be at risk for cannabis-induced psychosis, the researchers noted.

They also said there is growing evidence that marijuana use during the teen years may increase the risk of developing schizophrenia, a serious psychotic disorder."

Closer Personal Relationships Could Help Teens Overcome Learning Disabilities

The following article notes that strong relationships with parents, teachers and others can improve the success of those who suffer learning disabilities. An obvious finding one would think, but it is nevertheless  important to find a study supports such a conclusion.

"Feb. 28, 2013 — In addition to struggling in school, many learning disabled children are known to face social and emotional challenges including depression, anxiety, and isolation. Often beginning early in childhood, they become more pronounced during adolescence, an emotionally turbulent time.
For these youngsters, more positive relationships with the significant adults in their lives -- including parents and teachers -- can improve learning and "socioemotional" experiences, says Dr. Michal Al-Yagon of Tel Aviv University's Jaime and Joan Constantiner School of Education. In a recent study published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence, she reported that teens with learning disabilities were less likely to have secure attachment relationships to their mothers and teachers compared to peers without learning disabilities."

Letting a Daughter with Development Disorders Grow Up

A mother relates the difficulties encountered in raising a child with a developmental disorder. Letting a child grow up is difficult enough;  letting a child grow up who has a developmental disorder can be painful. Read this mother's story.

New York Times -


'My 15 year-old daughter Lizzie is very angry with me right now. Over breakfast this morning, she sputtered through tears that I am not letting her grow up, and that I am an overprotective, crazy mother. “Not fair,” she kept repeating: her mantra, but the words don’t seem to sink into my apparently dense skull.

Our argument, which began last night and spilled into this morning, is about a simple thing: walking the dog. She can walk our sweet little mutt, Scooter, anywhere in our neighborhood, but she is not allowed to venture on the busier main roads nearby. Yesterday, a neighbor spotted Lizzie and Scooter on the busy road, and Lizzie has lost her dog-walking privileges for now. Last night, after a few minutes of indignant ranting, she ran down the hall and slammed her bedroom door shut at the injustice of it all.'

Eileen Riley-Hall is the author of “Parenting Girls on the Autism Spectrum: Overcoming the Challenges and Celebrating the Gifts.