Posts Tagged ‘MINDFULNESS’

3 Bullying Facts

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From https://positivepsychology.com/bullying/


What Is Bullying? 3 Facts

  1. When does bullying most often occur?

Bullying persists at epidemic levels among children and adolescents (Harris, Lieberman, & Marans, 2007). It has been described as an adverse childhood experience (Stopbullying.gov, 2017).

Bullying is most common in childhood and adolescence (Aalsma & Brown, 2008). Up to three-quarters of young adolescents experience bullying (e.g., name-calling, embarrassment, or ridicule), and up to a third report coercion and even inappropriate touching (Juvonen, Nishina, & Graham, 2001).

  1. Does bullying affect only the victim? How long do the effects last?

Bullying has been found to affect the bullied person as well as the bully. Both are at greater risk of mental and behavioral problems, including a higher risk of depression (Smokowski & Kopasz, 2005).

The poor physical and emotional outcomes of bullying can affect an individual, both in the short and long term (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021).

A plethora of research shows that bullying experienced in childhood can go on to cause anxiety and depression (Stapinski et al., 2014) in young and middle adulthood (Copeland, Wolke, Angold, & Costello, 2013).

Adult suicidal attempts (Stapinski et al., 2014), poor financial management (Wolke, Copeland, Angold, & Costello, 2013), and poor career success as an adult are all negative outcomes (Takizawa, Maughan, & Arseneault, 2014).

  1. What type of profile does a bully or a victim possess?

There is not one single profile of a bully or someone affected by bullying. Bullies and victims can be socially included or marginally excluded (Stopbullying.gov, 2021). Either the bully or victim may have been in the role of a perpetrator and victim of bullying at some point in life (Leiner et al., 2014).

One interesting study found that bullies, victims, and those who have experienced both have a plethora of emotional, psychosocial, and behavioral problems (Leiner et al., 2014). This highlights that interventions are equally important for all groups, not only the victims.
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PTSD: A contracted state of Mind

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From Bouncing Back by Linda Graham

“When we find the space between the stimulus and the response, we alter the rhythm of our doing; we wake up and create space for being.

Awareness is the knowing, not the contents that are known.

We can experience it as a vast sky that can hold all the clouds and storms moving through it.

We usually pay more attention to the contents of clouds and storms than to the sky that contains them.

As the Zen teaching tells us, when we are in a contracted state of mind, it’s like looking at the sky through a pipe.

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With mindfulness of awareness, we become adept at putting down the pipe and looking at the whole sky again.“
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My two cents: Even with PTSD I have developed an awareness practice.

It transports me out of dissociation and back to this moment.

Develop all the tools you can.

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What do you do when Dad is your bully?

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What do you do when the person bullying you is your dad?

Many midwestern fathers wanted star athletes at all costs.

The end justified their means.

This could be labeled conditioned love.

Self-worth equals performance, you never reach worthy in their eyes.

Some mothers and daughters have their destructive dance through childhood also.

My father told me I needed to be twice as good as everyone else, so no one would question his coaching decisions.

Some moms and dads use their kids to fulfill their lost dreams or bring them adulation from parenting.

My family had discussions on how we looked to the world, and how we were judged by others.

The highly dysfunctional family strives to look perfect, they strain to present a positive image.

Not protecting the family’s secret of child abuse was a mortal sin.

I was afraid to report my father, I was a kid, and I was isolated without any support.

No child wants to be abandoned, we need our abuser to survive.

There is no escape, some of us lost the birth lottery.

My father tried to control my entire existence, he ignored my younger sister.

Narcissist value their kids differently, they need adulation and the kid who delivers gets the attention.

That attention brings anger, violence, and criticism, dad demanded perfection.

Their children battle to survive the traumatic situation.

I never thought what happened 60 years ago would be more powerful today than as a kid.

A soldier seems to never be able to forget or let the war go.

Trauma brings the past to life in our subconscious.
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Someone asks, What does healed look like for me?

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In my mind I would feel worthy and trust people if I healed.

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Somehow I would have a slew of trusted friends.

Worthiness and trust are strangers to my life, criticism and violence were my childhood companions.

Next in public, in social interactions, I would feel free and easy, having a strong desire for community and relationships.

Then my nervous system would calm, spotting danger would subside, feeling connections would replace isolation, and finally at least a week of happy-go-lucky experiences.

Triggers would disappear, intrusive thoughts would be gone, and anxiety would be replaced with a calm confident demeanor.

I would feel secure and safe.

Traumatic memories would be buried and never be resurrected again.

I think I would faint from euphoria.

What would healing look like for you?
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ACE study versus Neuroplasticity

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Neuroscientists and therapists pontificate on the brain’s ability to rewire itself.

They say we can either rewire around the damage or create new pathways to healing.

The literature is optimistic, plasticity avails us the opportunity to heal childhood abuse.

I question their stance and rhetoric.

Reality looks different.

Kaiser’s ACE study says we are more prone to disease, mental illness, cancer, incarceration, trauma, and early death.

Soldiers’ daily suicide rates average double digits.

The military should be the front line for healing trauma.

Why have they failed so miserably?

We can train them to kill but struggle to help them cope with the consequences.

I wish we had statistics on PTSD, who heals, how fast, and what percentage?

How many of us heal?

PTSD is out of control in America and the world.

The current climate of divisiveness, violence, hate, and vitriol makes the world even scarier for PTSD people.

PTSD is far more prevalent than reported, so many are undiagnosed.

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CDC

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Look at the trauma inflicted on Ukraine.

That’s real life and death events, scarring a whole country.

Let’s not forget the Russian soldiers and their acquiring PTSD?

What percentage of seriously abused kids do you think heal?
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PTSD: Avoidance

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The question is not if we avoid, but how much.

I avoided the most when my fight or flight mechanism was firing 10 plus times a day.

My agoraphobia lasted six months, it left me scarred, afraid, and lost.

Meditation and exposure therapy helped me past agoraphobia.

It was a great victory however it was painful and I suffered.

Childhood abuse (Complex PTSD) wires the brain differently, mine searched for danger, then fired my fight or flight mechanism for protection.

Remember that shuts down some of the executive branch, our prefrontal cortex.

Triggered, we sense a near-lethal threat, the prefrontal cortex is confused and partially offline.

Our whole being shifts to surviving, we are scared to death.

Thinking is confused as cortisol and adrenaline flood our system.

Forget trying to explain this to others, you have to experience an out-of-control nervous system, the severity, and FEAR produced.

My PTSD and avoidance have matured.

Now, I navigate life a little better but do not even think about going to social functions, crowds, or certain events.

If I have to go to a function, I can block out and distract myself to limit the damage.

Normal people do not understand how much energy and pain we go through preparing to face our PTSD Triggers.

Then there are all the questions and exploration of the interaction afterward.

Our mind wants to judge, and prepare for the next time we venture into dangerous waters.

Childhood abuse brings a danger that never leaves our brain, it is like a big stain ruining the whole carpet.

How does avoidance impact your life?
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PTSD: Failure is Subjective

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My father raised me to fear failure and demanded perfection, a regular narcissistic behavior.

He told me I needed to be twice as good as everyone else, it was not a suggestion.

It was hard to fit in, to make friends when I was tasked with destroying them.

He wanted me to be separate, and isolated to strengthen his influence.

I was a thing to my father, a tool to make him look good.

Lacking empathy, he enforced his doctrine with violence and criticism, the whole experience was abusive.

Most of my desires in life were connected to this pursuit. Failure would trigger me, fear of failure impacted my behavior and nervous system

I would do almost anything to not fail.

This was true at 10, at 25 and now at 70. It has survived untouched for six decades.

How?

The drive to be perfect, a success, dominated a frantic childhood, then followed me into baseball and adult life.

Survivors of serious abuse live a life without direction, it is a dysfunctional and confusing existence.

At 30 I felt like a failure after graduating college and playing 6 years of pro baseball.

The only explanation is Complex PTSD?

Normal kids acted differently than me when I entered school.
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Part two: How Emotional Abuse in Childhood Changes the Brain

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“This outcome could be related to attachment theory, or the idea that our early relationships with caregivers influence the way we relate to people later on in life.

Emotional abuse and neglect don’t allow for a secure attachment to form between a child and caregiver, which causes distress for the child and influences the way they see themselves and others.


Adults who went through childhood emotional abuse or neglect may also experience:

. Emotional dysregulation

. Feelings of hopelessness

. Low self-esteem

. Negative automatic thoughts

. Problems coping with stressors

How childhood abuse or neglect affects children later in life depends on a variety of factors:

. How often the abuse occurred

. The age the child was during the abuse

. Who the abuser was

. Whether or not the child had a dependable, loving adult in their life

. How long the abuse lasted

. If there were any interventions in the abuse

. The kind and severity of the abuse

. Other individual factors”
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How Emotional Abuse in Childhood Changes the Brain By Leonard Holmes, PhD

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Effects on Brain Structure

“Childhood abuse and neglect can have several negative effects on how the brain develops. Some of these are:

. Decreased size of the corpus callosum, which integrates cortical functioning—motor, sensory, and cognitive performances—between the hemispheres

. Decreased size of the hippocampus, which is important in learning and memory

. Dysfunction at different levels of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which is involved in the stress response

. Less volume in the prefrontal cortex, which affects behavior, emotional balance, and perception

. Overactivity in the amygdala, which is responsible for processing emotions and determining reactions to potentially stressful or dangerous situations

. Reduced volume of the cerebellum, which can affect motor skills and coordination

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Effects on Behavior, Emotions, and Social Function

Because childhood abuse, neglect, and trauma change brain structure and chemical function, maltreatment can also affect the way children behave, regulate emotions, and function socially. These potential effects include:

. Being constantly on alert and unable to relax, no matter the situation

. Feeling fearful most or all of the time

. Finding social situations more challenging

. Learning deficits

. Not hitting developmental milestones in a timely fashion

. A tendency to develop a mental health condition

. A weakened ability to process positive feedback

These effects can continue to cause issues in adulthood if they’re not addressed. Adults who experienced maltreatment during childhood may have trouble with interpersonal relationships—or they may avoid them altogether.

This outcome could be related to attachment theory, or the idea that our early relationships with caregivers influence the way we relate to people later on in life.

Emotional abuse and neglect don’t allow for a secure attachment to form between a child and caregiver, which causes distress for the child and influences the way they see themselves and others.
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PTSD: Our Mood Swings

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I have been observing my mind more intently, the inner workings, and the judgments.

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Yesterday morning arrived with a feeling of impending doom. A weird uneasy, anxious feeling.

Internal observation showed nothing concrete to trigger this foreboding emotion.

So PTSD, the mental constructs of trauma fuels some of our mood swings.

I could not touch that awkward sensation, that tenseness in the solar plexus, that tightness in the gut, or that panic in my nervous system.

Mechanically, I hiked a little harder to flush out all the poisons and anxiety.

Emotionally, I meditated intently, letting go of all the noise I could.

I expect this unrest as part of life. This is a healthy relationship, rather than resent not being normal.

If I expected a calm and easy flow of my days I would suffer.

Know the mood will shift as always.

Happiness looks different for PTSD sufferers.

Set realistic goals for yourself.

Playing defense is part of coping with PTSD.
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