The Meadows Blog

I recently came across a blog written by ACEs Connection member Elizabeth Prewitt titled, For the first time, SAMHSA's annual children’s mental health event focuses on trauma.”  In the article, Ms. Prewitt writes, “It is both remarkable and natural that the theme of the 2018 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) May 10th Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day event was “Partnering for Health and Hope Following Trauma”. It was remarkable to hear “ACEs” and “trauma-informed” roll off the tongues of all the federal officials (some seasoned, some new appointees in the Trump Administration). And natural as the awareness of ACEs science grows at lightning speed…at least it feels that way.” 

Our capacity for empathy and closeness is formed and strengthened through the quality of our childhood relationships.From conception onwards, we resonate in tune or out of tune with those who bring us into this world. Our nervous systems are fashioned by nature to resonate with the nervous systems of others to achieve a sense of balance and connection (Schore, 1999) and these early interactions become the neurological templates upon which later interactions are built. Did we feel safe and held in our parents arms? How did we experience their touch? Were they interested and able to read our little signals and our attempts to communicate with them and did they respond in an attuned and caring manner? Or did we feel dismissed or even as if we were a burden or somehow a disappointment? A combination of both? Could we put a smile on their faces just by being part of their lives? These early expereinces knit themselves into the very fabric of our mind/body system and pattern our capacity for intimacy. 

Wednesday, 13 June 2018 15:16

The Trauma/Addiction Cycle

Addiction encourages trauma and trauma can encourage addiction. This process becomes a vicious circle or negative feedback loop, with trauma contributing to addiction, which in turn fuels more trauma, which encourages still more addiction, and so on and so on. The Claudia Black Young Adult Center treats substance and process addictions, recognizing them to be primary disorders which reinforce each other and are often fueled by traumatic experiences. Here are some examples of how this process plays out:

My therapist prescribed me to drink more alcohol. I had described symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), yet once again, the diagnosis was completely missed. Even worse, this uniformed therapist suggested that I drink wine “medicinally,” beginning in the morning, to help cope with what he said was high anxiety. What makes this horrible advice even more dangerous is the fact that upward of fifty percent of those with PTSD also battle substance use disorder.

Thursday, 07 June 2018 15:03

Collage Your Mood

Feeling creative or like playing around with your mood? Collage it online with this mood collage tool from Tian Dayton Ph. D. and Senior Fellow at the Meadows.

When you think of management of your mental health, what comes to mind? Maybe you meditate or take yoga, perhaps you participate in group activities to stay connected to others, or maybe you focus on getting enough sleep. Do you ever think of the role food plays in all of this? You should. That’s because studies show that the foods you choose to consume play a big role in your mental health status. Here’s what to choose, and what to lose.

Friday, 01 June 2018 09:56

The Subtle Cues of Communication

“You cannot ‘not’ communicate.”

Wednesday, 30 May 2018 16:18

Frozen Tears: Processing Hidden Losses

Grief is normal, it is a direct result of attachment and love. There is really no one-size-fits-all approach to grief but normal grief tends to follow a pattern whereas complicated or what psychologists refer to as disenfranchised losses, can go underground and truthfully never get processes at all. This is when grief becomes what is referred to as complicatedand can block our enjoyment of life and even undermine our ability to be intimate.

If you haven’t already noticed, you will likely start to see some significant changes to how your food is packaged and sold. Rolling out Obama-era policies, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is requiring food makers to implement a new Nutrition Facts label, which will include the following information and updates [1]:

  •  Increasing the type size for “Calories”, “servings per container”, and the “Serving Size”
  • Bolding the numbers of calories and serving size to better highlight this information
  • “Added Sugars” in grams and as a percent of Daily Value will be included on the label
  • Manufacturers must declare the actual amount, in addition to the percent of Daily Value, of Vitamin D, Calcium, Iron, and Potassium
  • The list of nutrients that are required or permitted to be declared is being updated
Tuesday, 15 May 2018 19:43

The Dark Side of Fake Sugar

It doesn’t take much effort to see that there are a myriad of “sugar-free” food products available to consumers today. In fact, for many of the regular food items available, there is likely an alternative option that is sugar-free. In addition, all your favorite drinks, including teas, coffees, sodas, even flavored water, can all be purchased without added sugar.

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