The Victoria Invisible Disabilities and Mental Health

Invisible Disabilities is an umbrella term for hidden disabilities – disabilities that are not immediately visible.  Invisible Disabilities are innate and neurological in nature, such as Learning Disabilities, Borderline Personality Disorder (Emotional Dysregulation), Aspergers, Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, ADD, ADHD, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Anxiety Disorder, Brain Injury, Epilepsy, really anything where a person feels differences in the brain. People with Invisible  Disabilities can experience rejection and isolation which can impact mood and thinking patterns, education, employment, and building social relationships.  Not always, but often, there is a mental health condition. I want to give people with Invisible Disabilities and mental health issues, the opportunity to come together to socialize, to have fun, to help have a fulfilling lifestyle. You can join if you think you have a disability, if you are just looking for friends, if you are lonely.  In this group, you will feel accepted, comfortable, “at home”. We will do many events movies, bowling, camping, game nights – we are open to anything and we will have some nights to just get together and talk about our problems in a safe environment. Any age is welcome but some of the events will be at age levels.

Click here to check out the website.

Individualized Eating Program Lowers Depression in Dementia Patients

By Associate News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on March 3, 2013

Institutionalized dementia patients who received individualized instruction on good eating habits had fewer symptoms of depression six months later, according to a new Taiwanese study published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing.
“The improvement in nutritional status may have led to reduced fatigue and increased vitality,” said the researchers. “Once the participants perceived the improvements in their health, pessimism, the sense of multiple illnesses, hopelessness, or even worthlessness seldom emerged.”
Nutritional status and body mass index increased in patients who received the individualized program, decreased in the control group, and showed little change with the non-individualized program, said the researchers.
Dementia patients often miss out on proper nutrition. As the researchers explained, “identifying foods, transferring foods, chewing, and swallowing” become progressively more difficult for patients with cognitive problems. To keep reading, click here.

Petition for better emergency mental health care for BC kids

Amanda Wawryk and Denise Wong

VICTORIA (NEWS1130) – A family on Vancouver Island is calling for more emergency mental health care for kids across the province.
More than 25,000 people have signed a petition, calling on our health minister to close what it calls a serious gap in critical care.
The petition was started Owen Bradley and his wife Kelly of Victoria. They are the parents of an 11-year-old girl who suffers from bi-polar disorder.
Owen says their daughter was sent home from hospital several times, despite being in obvious and violent mental distress.
“After initial intake, there’s not really a comprehensive plan for dealing with a child in a mental health crisis. There’s just the initial emergency intake… they do some testing, and then basically, you’re released,” he tells us.
He explains they want the province to more mental health services for young children.
“The goal is to provide a comprehensive plan for children in mental health crisis that follows through from emergency intake and treatment and into the next step of whatever treatment is most appropriate.” Click here to read on.

Aggressive Advertising May Make for Aggressive Men

By Associate News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on March 2, 2013
A new study has found that magazine advertisements may help promote troubling behavior in young men.

That’s because some ads reinforce a set of views on masculinity termed “hyper-masculinity.”

Researchers said hyper-masculinity is an extreme form of masculine gender ideology made up of four main components:

  • Toughness
  • Violence
  • Dangerousness
  • Calloused attitudes toward women and sex
Prior research has shown a link between hyper-masculine beliefs and a number of social and health problems, such as dangerous driving, drug use and violence towards women.
For the study, researchers analyzed ads in eight, high-circulation magazines marketed to men, from Golf Digest to Game Informer. Megan Vokey, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Manitoba, and her colleagues considered only the ads where a photograph, picture or symbol of a man was shown.
They then categorized these advertisements using the four components that constitute hyper-masculinity.

They found that at least one of these hyper-masculine attitudes was depicted in 56 percent of the total sample of 527 advertisements. In some magazines, this percentage was as high as 90 percent, according to the researchers. To read more, click here.

New Moms Experience More Obsessive-Compulsive Symptoms

By Associate News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on March 2, 2013
New mothers apparently have a much higher rate of obsessive-compulsive symptoms than the general population, according to new research.
The study from researchers at Northwestern Medicine found that 11 percent of postpartum women experience significant obsessive-compulsive symptoms compared to just 2 to 3 percent in the general population.
The symptoms, which include fear of hurting the baby and worrying about germs, are usually temporary, according to the researchers.
Researchers speculate the obsessiveness could result from hormonal changes or manifest as an adaptive response to caring for a new baby.

But if the obsessive compulsions interfere with a new mother’s functioning, they may indicate a psychological disorder, the researchers warn. Click here to read on.

Drinking Or Drugging? 10 Reasons To Tell Your Therapist The Truth

If you’re seeing a psychologist or counselor for a mental illness, the chances are fairly good that you also drink or take drugs that are not prescribed for you (or abuse drugs that are prescribed for you).
The chances are also fairly good that your therapist has no idea that you are using alcohol or drugs. Many therapists in private practice do not take complete drug and alcohol histories when doing the initial or subsequent evaluations. If you ain’t volunteering the information, they won’t know.
In a mental health program, such as an outpatient clinic, therapists are more likely to ask about your present and past drug and alcohol use, but they don’t usually follow up with drug and alcohol tests, so if you don’t feel like sharing the information, they, too, won’t know the truth.
I’m taking advantage of the APA Blog Party to share this important message: If you are in therapy, and you drink or do drugs (whether or not you are also prescribed medication) please let your therapist know. Here’s why:
1) If you use alcohol and drugs they can interact with medication. They can potentiate (make stronger) or reduce the potency of your medication. This means your medication isn’t able to work as well as it should. Alcohol and drugs can alone, or in combination with your medication, can also cause unpleasant emotional and physical reactions. There is even the danger of serious mental and physical reactions, even hospitalization or permanent health problems.

2) If you are obtaining drugs illicitly, you may put yourself at risk of harm by dealing with unsavory people and environments. Your therapist needs to know that you are acting responsibly and keeping yourself safe.
To read more, click here.