Category: Mind & Spirit

5 Reasons Why Fighting the Bully Isn’t Worth It

Nobody should endure physical and emotional abuse from another person. Although it’s tempting to respond negatively to people that wrong you, fighting a bully might have negative consequences. While you have a right to defend yourself if attacked physically, it’s better to handle the situation in a nonviolent manner whenever possible. Learn more about the consequences of fighting a bully to discover how it can affect your life in a negative way.

It’s Dangerous

Fighting a bully can have very dangerous consequences. It’s difficult to anticipate the fighting skill of another person. Someone trained in martial arts or boxing could inflict a great deal of harm on someone else. The negative consequences of fighting a bully include bruises, broken bones, and public embarrassment. It’s also impossible to determine if a bully has a weapon that could potentially kill you.

It’s Illegal

Illegal fighting has consequences. It’s against the law to physically harm someone else unless its a clear case of self-defense, and mere name-calling doesn’t qualify. In many states, if you have the ability to walk away, you can get in trouble if you choose to engage instead. It’s possible for you to be charged with assault if the incident is reported to law enforcement, and the prevalence of cell phones with video capabilities make this very easy. Assault is usually a misdemeanor charge, but you might have to serve jail time. It’s possible to receive a felony charge of aggravated assault if you harm someone severely. Fighting a bully just isn’t worth the criminal and legal consequences that come with it.

You Could Be Sued

In addition to criminal charges, fighting a bully could cost you a large sum of money. A bully might file a civil lawsuit against you. Many people seek financial compensation for medical expenses that result from a physical confrontation. It’s also possible for a bully to seek financial compensation for emotional stress from their injuries — even if they were the ones bothering you in the first place!

Fighting Stays on Your Academic Record

Fighting a bully on school property could stay on your academic record. The minimum punishment for fighting is detention. Many students are sentenced to in-school suspension or expelled. Colleges will look at your academic record during the admissions process. Negative marks regarding your behavior record could make it difficult to attend a prestigious university.

It Might Not Change Anything

Responding to a bully in a violent manner will not always make the situation better. The bully might continue to disrespect you. The purpose of a bully is to get a negative reaction out of you, and a bully loves to see you upset. It’s important to control your emotions around a bully. Many bullies will stop their hostile behavior when you stop responding to it.

The negative consequences of fighting could include include personal injury, criminal charges, and legal trouble. Fighting on school property will stay on your permanent record and might make the situation worse. It’s important to deal with a bully in a non-violent way when possible, such as verbally standing up for yourself, simply walking away, or getting the help of an adult.

However, if you DO need to respond physically, here are some tips from a Krav Maga expert:

 

Want to Make a Difference? Best Organizations for Teens to Make an Impact in the Community

Many teens today want to make a positive impact in their community. There are a variety of causes to choose from for people who want to make a difference. Here are some of the best charitable organizations to help you make an impact in your community.

American Red Cross

With all of the weather issues that the United States has had recently, working with the American Red Cross is a great option. This is a charity that truly cares about the lives of other people. Not only will this charity get supplies to your community, but they will work diligently on your behalf as well.

The American Red Cross has a strong online presence. You can learn all about the charity online and can even donate money online. If you are interested in helping others, the American Red Cross is a great solution for you.

Big Brothers Big Sisters

One of the biggest issues in many communities is that children do not have great role models to look up to. This is a major issue that results in children acting out in order to get attention. There are various charities that work with children in order to help them in the future.

One of the best options for many people is youth mentoring with Big Brother Big Sister. This is a company that has made a positive impact on thousands of communities around the country. When you are a youth mentor, you will spend time with children every week and work on their goals for the future. Making an impact in your community has never been easier.

Many of the children are from poor families. Many of these families only have one parent in the home who has to work to provide for the children. You can make a positive impact simply by spending time with these children and talking to them about their issues.

United Way

The United Way is another charity that is doing a lot of great work in the local area. This is a charity that focuses on helping children in a local community through sports activities. For many children and teens, sports are a great way to release their frustration about situations they have in life.

Many studies show that children who have access to community help will perform better in school and in life. Spending your time with these charities is a great investment to help others.

5 Reasons To Get Sober and Stay Sober (at least for now)

There are many reasons why someone might begin using drugs or alcohol. It could be peer pressure, curiosity, or a severe case of depression. However, there are just as many good reasons to take charge of your life and learn to embrace sobriety. Here are 5 reasons to get sober and stay that way.

Better Health

Alcohol is well-known for the terrible effects it can have on a person’s liver. Liver damage can also result from abusing inhalants, prescription drugs, ecstasy and heroin. Cocaine and other stimulants can increase a person’s blood pressure and heart rate to dangerous levels. While these effects aren’t always reversible, the sooner a person gets into rehab, the easier it is to minimize damage that might have already occurred.

Fewer Legal Troubles

Sobriety eliminates the possibility of getting caught driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It can help keep you from losing your driver’s license or ending up behind bars for intoxicated manslaughter. When you give up drugs, you no longer have to worry about getting arrested for possession of drugs or drug paraphernalia. You won’t have to rebuild your life again after serving time for a felony.

Improved School or Work Performance

Prolonged drug and alcohol abuse often makes people lazy and disinterested in school or work. Students who frequently get high are less likely to graduate on time or get higher grades. Users are less ambitious than their peers who don’t abuse drugs and unlikely to pursue more demanding careers. Employees who use on the job are more likely to have accidents than those whose minds are focused on what they are doing.

Improved Relationships

Individuals with chemical dependence problems are more likely to have rocky relationships with friends and family. This often stems from the fact that their loved ones lose trust in them. Children of drug abusers are also more likely to suffer from some form of abuse. This can cause problems that are not easily forgotten by those most affected. This widespread emotional pain is one of the biggest reasons people commit themselves to a rehab program.

Better Self-Esteem

A person with a drug or alcohol problem isn’t likely to have a high self-esteem. Intoxication may offer a way to deal with self-esteem issues a person already has. In other cases, the user may begin feeling worthless because they’re unable to control the bad habits that are now ruining their lives. They may conclude that their lives aren’t even worth saving. It’s tempting to want to dull this inner pain by remaining drunk or high.

If you’re even considering sobriety, chances are that at least one of the reasons listed above has resonated with you. You might have some others, as well. Write your reasons down and make a commitment to get yourself into rehab as soon as possible. The sooner you act, the sooner you can begin to create the kind of life everyone deserves.

References

http://casanuevovida.com/

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/cocaine

http://fortune.com/2011/02/03/drug-use-at-work-higher-than-we-thought/

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/heartache-hope/201306/low-self-esteema-disposition-can-lead-addiction

How to Talk to Modern Teens About Drug Safety

Drug use is an important topic, and all teenagers need to know about dangerous substances and how to avoid them. Drugs have just been named the number one killer of people under 50 in the US. It is a horrible situation, and not helped by images of rappers constantly blowing marijuana smoke or Coachella-bound hippie girls popping Molly on Instagram.

Any teenager can give in to peer pressure and even well-behaved teens may encounter drugs when they are around their peers. Parents know that drugs have several harmful side effects. But before starting the conversation, parents need to know how to talk to their teens about drugs. Here are some modern things you may need to know before monologuing about drugs alone.

Discuss the Negative Side Effects

Teenagers see drugs at parties, but they may not be aware of the negative consequences that come with taking them. Teens need to know that even legal  drugs are dangerous. Some of the health side effects may be irreversible, let alone the mental effects. At school, your teen might only hear good things about drugs from their peers. Show your teenager pictures of people who have been addicted for some time and talk about the ways in which lives can be uprooted by addiction. Your teenager also needs to know that drugs will impair their ability to make good decisions.

Do Not Underestimate Peer Pressure

Parents should not underestimate peer pressure. Strong-willed teenagers can be easily influenced by their friends. Most teenagers have a desire to fit in with their peers. Instead of giving into peer pressure, your teen should make new friends. Point out your teen’s accomplishments. Let him know that they have a bright future. Don’t drive them away from friends, but instead point out alternative options that could be a better use of their time.

If possible, monitor your child’s phone messages to discover negative influences.

Give Your Child Solutions

Despite your best efforts, your child might give into peer pressure. They need to know how to get home safely if under the influence of drugs. Let your kids know that they can call you in an emergency. They should not drive when they are mentally impaired and your teen should understand that their safety is paramount in a bad situation. Be open about having them call, no matter what bad decisions might have been made.

Have More Than One Conversation

The initial conversation about drugs should not be the only one you have on the topic. According to Recovery In Tune, a Florida Treatment Program, addicts usually aren’t well-educated, and if they were, weren’t aware of all the potential dangers before becoming addicted. You should encourage your kids to talk to you about their day. You can ask questions about your child’s friends and activities while you are eating dinner. Your kids are likely to open up to you when they know you are available to them.

In addition to talking with your teens about drugs, you can spend more quality time with them. Family outings are a great way to keep your teen safe. If your teen wants to have a wild party, you should consider hosting the party. When you are the host, you can make sure your teenager is safe while he is having a good time with their friends.

5 Ways to Improve Your Self-Confidence as a Young Adult

Self-confidence is an attribute that should come naturally, but for many people, it does not. In fact, the inability to trust your own judgment bears no rewards – only anxiety. There are some normal levels of stress that can feel like anxiety, but those effects tend to dissipate as stress levels decrease. More and more youth today suffer from excessive worrying, which turns into self-doubt. But there are alternatives to counteract low self-esteem. Listed below are FIVE ways that could improve self-confidence:

Love Yourself

Learn to love yourself first and foremost. Loving yourself means not needing validation from anyone else. Accept your imperfections; know that you are uniquely designed and purposely different from everyone else. Become comfortable in your own skin by realizing your worth.

Self-Affirmations

Every day you wake up, before you do anything else, remind yourself of how great you are! Glorify your strengths and challenge your weaknesses with an open, judgment-free mindset. Compliment yourself – acknowledge your beauty. Don’t be afraid of the unknown.

Self-Forgiveness

Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to accept our own flaws. It’s easier to forgive someone else for their shortcomings, but to forgive oneself is virtually impossible. Self-forgiveness is about realizing that things happen (good or bad) and we make life decisions; nevertheless, life goes on. Learn from the lessons given and make different choices in the future.

Avoid Pessimism

Learn to look at life as the glass being half full instead of half empty. Be optimistic. Embrace that, bad things are inevitable and will happen because that’s life, and it’s OK. Negativity only begets negativity; therefore, do your best to think and speak positively, even when it feels like your back is against the wall. You possess the power of change; channel positive vibes, people and things into your life.

Focus on What You Can Control

Many young adults lack confidence because they’ve made a habit of worrying about things outside of their control. For example, you cannot control how a dogmatic professor will grade an opinion paper, but you can control how much research and effort you put into writing it. You cannot control the behavior of criminals in your neighborhood, but you can control how prepared you are for break-ins, which drastically increases your confidence. Carefully delineating your personal sphere of influence can help you develop a confident attitude, because you’ll be satisfied with the best you can do, and blissfully dispassionate towards the opinions of others.

Conclusion

No one is perfect. We all suffer from our own personal defects, but that’s what separates one person from another. If we were all alike, the world would lack personality and culture. It would be a very uninteresting place – don’t you think? Adore the skin you’re in. Accept your accomplishments and learn from your defeat. Find confidence in knowing that every single detail about you, was specifically designed with only one person in mind- therefore, you’re perfect just the way you are!

References

Mayo Clinic

ADT Home Security

Here to Help

For more tips, check out: https://www.selfdevelopmentsecrets.com/not-good-enough

 

4 Tips for Staying Out of Trouble in High School

Congratulations! You’ve finally made it to the next level of your scholastic journey, or you’re already well on your way. But, how do you survive it with the least amount of drama? This may be a concern floating around in your head while you’ve better things to be concerned about. Why don’t we free up some bio-gigabytes and make your life a little easier in the process? That way you can get back to socializing and doing your homework.

You’re going to do your homework, right?

Here are four quick tips to help you along your way to avoiding drama and the consequences disrupting your chill regular flow.

TIP ONE: KNOW THYSELF!

Knowing who you are and what you’re about will help you avoid peer pressure and develop character. Stay away from the negative crowd and influences. You know what you struggle with the most, so make sure you set boundaries for yourself to prevent those from becoming a problem.

TIP TWO: RESPECT THE RULES!

Sounds like an easy decision, doesn’t it? It is! While you may object to certain rules, they really do have purpose. Remember the rules are in place to create order and for our protection. Without those, what do we have? That’s right! Drama! Following the rules will make your life so much easier.

TIP THREE: AIM FOR A GOAL!

While it’s fun to socialize with your friends, it’s best to remember you’re here for a purpose. Most people find it’s not the destination, but the journey they enjoy most. Self-satisfaction comes from accomplishment, and you have the power to start designing your life right now. Learn how to set goals and to save money to accomplish those goals if you need it. Plus, if you’re working towards a goal, you’re too busy to get sucked into the drama. Bonus! Figure out what you want and go for it!

TIP FOUR: THINK BEFORE YOU ACT!

Life is a series of decisions, but a decision is not an act. You’ve the ability to take time to think things through before you act. If it doesn’t seem like a good idea, it probably isn’t. Avoid acting on impulsive decisions! Doing crazy things with your friends might be fun, but be careful about what you choose to do. A fun night can easily get out of hand and lead to charges of disorderly conduct. No one wants to deal with legal troubles, so think twice about that crazy things people say to do.

YOU CAN DO THIS!

You’re not alone in this. Utilize your support team of friends, family and school staff if you feel overwhelmed or in trouble. Remember, stay focused, positive and a little respect goes a long way. The journey through high school makes memories for life. Make yourself some good memories, avoid trouble!

5 Ways to Avoid Stress as a Teenager

by Gianella Ghiglino

They say your teen years are the best years of your life. You are young, carefree, and have all the energy in the world. However, they forget to mention all the stress with school, hormones, crushes, and peer pressure. I, however, will say your teen years are for the most part pretty cool but only when you learn how to deal with everything going on. Stress is something we can all tackle and these five ways may help you make life a little easier.

teenage stress relief

Don’t give into pressure from others

Boys, do not pressure girls into doing anything they don’t want. ‘No’ means No and that is final. Vice versa with the boys, you do not need to prove anything to anyone and if you don’t want to do something, that is okay. Ladies, don’t feel pressured to do anything you don’t want to because if he truly cares about you he will respect your decision.

Avoid drugs at all costs

Say no to drugs, including marijuana and prescription pills. As repetitive as this message may seem, too many of us still ignore it. It doesn’t matter if every pop and rap star smokes marijuana and the fact that it is becoming legal in many states — it alters and fogs your thinking, and often leads to other drug use. If your friends are smoking, and offer you some, just say ‘No I’m good.’ It isn’t rude to decline and if they pressure you to try it just simply say ‘I’m not into it.’ You do need to go into a rant about why it is morally wrong (they are not going to listen to you, trust me): just be calm, cool and say ‘No.’ And then try to leave, because hanging around high people is pretty much just annoying — just like hanging around very drunk people.

Focus on your education

If you find yourself in the situation in which your friends want you to ditch school with them, advise them that your value your education. I am not going to say missing one day of school is going to destroy your chances of get into college, because it won’t. I will say, however, that you should not let your friends interfere with your schoolwork and trying to get the highest grades possible. Real friends want you to succeed and do well, and you have plenty of time to party later. Ask your friends how they are doing in school, show interest in their success and they will do the same. If not, find new friends.


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Accept your looks

Looks, looks and more looks. High school is definitely the place where your peers will judge every aspect of your physical appearance. Guess what! Everyone has something they are insecure about. Even the prettiest girls and hottest guys feel pressured to be attractive, and they are often made to feel like their looks are the only thing that validate them. No one is confident every single hour of the day. Embrace your body, acne, crooked teeth, frizzy hair. You will become so beautiful the minute you start believing that you are — it will manifest in a confident attitude which people love. Its okay to have off days but always know you are fire.

Be productive and get stuff DONE

Procrastination leads to stress. It forces you to ignore responsibilities. This is something that will haunt you for the rest of your life if you don’t get a handle on it early. I know it would be so much more fun to go play a sport with your friends, play video games, go shopping, binge on Netflix shows — but if you have homework or other responsibilities, just get them done. Study, exercise, or do your chores first and you will enjoy all your activities more after, without all that stress. When you get the stuff that needs to be done out of the way, you will feel accomplished and it will actually raise your self esteem. The more you do, the better you will feel about yourself. Have a planner, set alarms and get responsibilities done first so that when you’re on that millionth episode on Netflix you wont have to think about your homework that still needs to be done.

Suicidal? Self-Harming? Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services Can Help

One topic which continues to rear its ugly head in the news and across social media is teen self-harm, which includes things such as suicide, cutting, intentional alcohol and drug overconsumption, and more.

While bullying is often cited as a cause of the depression which leads to self-harm, the roots can stem from anything from family pressure to relationship troubles to bonafide mental illness.

One organization seeks to combat teen self harm and suicide through awareness and direct counselling. Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services is a Southern California entity which, among other services, operates a teen suicide prevention hotline at 800-TLC-TEEN (852-8336).

Didi Hirsch recently held a fundraiser and award ceremony at the renown Beverly Hilton dubbed the Erasing the Stigma Leadership Awards, where it raised over $450,000 for mental health and substance abuse treatment while also honoring several passionate champions of mental health awareness and suicide prevention.

Here are some of the pictures from the event, and be sure to keep scrolling for an exclusive interview with Lyn Morris, Senior Vice President, Clinical Operations at Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services who explains more about the organization, the awards ceremony, and how teens can help if someone they know if considering self-harm, including suicide.

Darrell Steinberg Mary Lambert Dr Kita Curry Jordana Steinberg Shawn Amos
Darrell Steinberg, Mary Lambert, Dr Kita Curry, Jordana Steinberg, Shawn Amos
Mary Lambert Erasing the Stigma
Honoree Mary Lambert performing

 

Wendy Liebman Kita Curry Jordana Steinberg Mary Lambert
Wendy Liebman, Kita Curry, Jordana Steinberg, Mary Lambert

 

And now, without any further ado, here is our interview with Lyn Morris, MFT, Senior Vice President, Clinical Operations at Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services who was willing to answer some important questions for us.

Lyn Morris (1)
Lyn Morris

 

Can you please start us off my explaining a little about the Didi Hirsch organization?

Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services provides mental health, substance abuse and suicide prevention services to children and adults who live in communities where stigma or poverty limits access. We have 11 locations in Los Angeles and Orange Counties—including three residential treatment centers–and counselors in nearly 100 schools. Our Suicide Prevention Center is the first in the nation to have a 24/7 hotline and now takes more than 62,000 calls, chats and texts each year.

Can you tell us a little about the Leadership Awards and this year’s honorees?

Didi Hirsch held its first Erasing the Stigma Leadership Awards in 1997, honoring then-Second Lady Tipper Gore for sharing her history of depression. Since then we have honored nearly 50 artists, athletes, authors, activists and others who have helped erase the stigma of mental illness, including Ronda Rousey, Kid Cudi, Natasha Tracy, Michael Angelakos and Ross Szabo. This year’s honorees include:

  • Mary Lambert (Mental Health Ambassador). She has used her music such as her song, “Secrets,” which features lyrics about her experience living with bipolar disorder, to erase the stigma of mental illness.
  • NBA New Orleans Pelicans forward Ryan Anderson (Leadership Award). He became an advocate for suicide prevention after losing his girlfriend, Gia Allemond, to suicide.
  • Former California Sen. Darrell Steinberg (Leadership Award). He authored the Mental Health Services Act of 2004 which has raised more than $13 billion for mental health services in California.
  • Jordana Steinberg (Leadership Award). She is Darrell’s daughter and a college student who has spoken publically about her experience with a severe childhood mood disorder.
  • Howie Mandell (Beatrice Stern Media Award)
. A judge on “America’s Got Talent,” he has spoken and written about his ongoing struggle with OCD and ADHD.

One of the services offered by Didi Hirsch is the TeenLine. Can you tell us more about that?

We have a partnership with TeenLine, which has “teens helping teens” nightly from 6 pm – 10 pm. That number is 800-TLC-TEEN (852-8336) toll-free in California only. Didi Hirsch’s crisis counselors answers TeenLine during all other hours.

What is the most important thing you think teens should know about mental health?

There is help available and you can get better.

With the NIMH recently withdrawing support for the DSM-5 (the “bible” of mental illness) due to lack of validity, it seems that the definitions for specific diagnoses used by mental health professionals have to be re-evaluated. How do you distinguish actual mental illness from someone just having a rough time dealing with life’s circumstances—which happens to all of us at some point?

Mental illness is mild to severe disturbance in thoughts, mood or behavior that makes it difficult for a person to function. Feeling sad or low from time to time is a normal part of life. But if those feelings persist to the point where a person is not functioning in a normal way, he or she should be evaluated by a mental health professional.

Early warning signs of a mental health problem can include eating or sleeping too much or too little, pulling away from people and usual activities, experiencing severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships, having difficulty performing daily tasks or feeling hopeless or helpless.

And for teens who are thinking about self-harm, such as cutting or even suicide: what tips could you give to cope in the meantime when things get bad, and before they can reach some help? 

Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Our crisis counselors are trained to help teens thinking about self-harm or suicide.

What should I do if I am a teen and one of my friends is acting distraught and suicidal—and they refuse to call a help line? In other words, it’s just me and her/him.

If you or someone you care about is in imminent danger of suicide, call 911. Other tips:

  • Never agree to keep suicidal thoughts in confidence. Inform an adult family member.
  • Express your concern . Be empathic and non-judgmental.
  • Listen. You may be scared, especially if the person is someone who is close to you. However, it is important to listen to how they are feeling without overreacting.
  • Ask directly about their suicidal thoughts – “Are you thinking of killing yourself?”
  • Take suicidal thoughts and feelings seriously.
  • Ask if he/she has developed a plan of suicide.
  • Remove lethal means of suicide from the person’s home.
  • Let him/her know that suicidal feelings are temporary, that depression can be treated, and that problems can be solved.

Over time, what do you think are the biggest changes as far as the pressures and problems teenagers are facing these days as opposed to fifteen years ago?

Facebook, Instagram and other forms of social media, which didn’t exist 15 years ago, are exposing teens to additional social pressures at a time in life when they are experimenting with their independence and other issues like drugs and sexuality. Unfortunately, they can be shamed, humiliated and bullied by thousands of people through social media, which puts vulnerable teens in danger and at times has led to suicide.

Drug production to treat mental health issues like ADHD in kids has soared since the 1990s. For anyone who wants treatment for ADHD symptoms, but doesn’t want to risk getting side effects from amphetamines and other stimulants, what do you recommend? 

Ask questions, be informed and discuss treatment options with a psychiatrist and therapist in order to determine what treatment is best suited for the child.

Is there anything in particular which gives you hope that we will one day conquer mental illness?

I have hope that one day mental illness will be viewed and treated with the same humanity and dignity as any other medical illness so people feel comfortable reaching out for help earlier which can help reduce the severity and progression of mental illness.

For more information, please visit http://www.didihirsch.org/