The Meadows Blog

Video games are great escapes from the world. If as a young adult you struggle with real life relationships, feel pressure from unrealistic expectations, feel powerless, or defeated and inadequate,  games are hypnotizing, allowing you to dissociate from real life stresses at home, school, and work. Gaming offers many rewards, from escape from reality, satisfying curiosity, providing a purpose, heightening a sense of invincibility, feeding the ego, offering companionship, satisfying the need for challenges, gratifying the need to be a leader, fulfilling sexual fantasies and meeting the need for acceptance.

Resilient qualities are not only what we’re born with but also the strengths that we build through encountering life’s challenges and developing the personal and interpersonal skills to meet them. It is one of life’s paradoxes that the worst circumstances can bring the best out of us. According to the Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) studies performed by Robert Anda (2006) and his team at Kaiser Permanente’s Health Appraisal Clinic in San Diego, we will all experience four or more serious life stressors that may be traumatizing, and according to positive psychology research, most of us will grow from them.

Stefanie Carnes, Ph. D., CSAT-S, Senior Fellow of The Meadows, presented at the Littler’s Executive Employer Conference held in Phoenix, Arizona, May 2- 4, 2018.

Friday, 27 April 2018 15:29

The Whole Truth on Whole Grains

For the past few months, I’ve focused on eating real food, and getting plenty of color in the diet. Now that the month of May has arrived, let’s focus on getting the best grains possible! The US Dietary Guidelines recommends that whole grains should make up half of the grains you eat. My take – why just focus on half? The truth is, the vast benefits of whole grains should convince even the biggest white bread fan to make the switch. Here are some fun whole grain facts.

Friday, 20 April 2018 17:24

What I Wish I’d Known as a Teenager

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Sexual violence can lead to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), substance use disorder, depression, and other trauma-related problems. What I know now: if you have to ask yourself whether sex was consensual, it wasn’t. By definition, the idea of consent means that you would know.

This is a message many of my friends and I desperately needed to hear. If I had, when I experienced sexual assault with a boyfriend in my late twenties, I might have known to call it what it was. I believe that we should take the “date” off “date rape” because it seems to minimize the assault. I’d later develop PTSD as a result.

The Meadows specializes in treating trauma.  Abuse is one form of trauma.  Often times, childhood trauma that occurred because of child abuse is overlooked as a core issue when people enter treatment for addictions or other mental health disorders.  Sometimes people minimize what they experienced as children, deny that they were abused, or believe that it happened so long ago that they are (or that they should be) “over it” or it is no longer relevant.

It is estimated that each year three million cases of child abuse are reported to authorities in the United States (source: Childhelp.org). Childhood abuse comes in many forms and can be anything from physical abuse, sexual boundary violations, neglect of medical and physical needs, to emotional and social maltreatment and injustices.

Thursday, 12 April 2018 14:30

Growing Up With An Addicted Parent

I remember as a twelve year old, sitting alone in our living room after one of our by then typical family meltdowns …….trying to make sense of the pain and general devastation of our once very happy family……trying to understand how kind, decent and loving people could cause each other such unrelenting pain, how we could say the things we were saying, hurl insults, act out in anger and rage……I recall saying to myself “wars do these things to people, separate loved ones, wound hearts, tear families apart. But somehow we’re doing this to ourselves.”

Thursday, 12 April 2018 09:16

April Is Stress Awareness Month

Chances are if you’re under any stress you don’t want someone to make you even more aware. Most people are already experiencing stress but may not know how to keep it under control. Research from The American Institute of Stress indicates that 90% of visits to primary care physicians are stress-related, from stomach trouble to heart disease. These stress-related illnesses cost businesses a whopping $150 billion every year.  Since 1992, Stress Awareness Month has been helping people understand what stress is, and how it can impact them. From the smallest worry to big things like divorce, depression and job-related issues, unchecked stress can cause physical symptoms if you don’t manage it well.

The National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence (NCADD) is promoting their 32nd Annual Alcohol Awareness month this April.  The theme for this year encompasses the idea of drinking as a rite of passage.  This immediately makes me think of a case that I have been following regarding a fraternity at Penn State and the alcohol-induced death of one of its pledges.  While there are many issues in this case that can be picked apart and examined, I feel that alcohol, as a rite of passage is central to what occurred.

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