Helping Someone Through Grief: 7 Tips

One of the most common concerns people have is knowing what to say or do when a loved one dies. When it happens, even within our own families, we often don’t know what to say or do. Others don’t know what to say to us. So often, the response is to say or do nothing. The avoidance comes not out of a lack of compassion but out of a fear of saying or doing the wrong thing Continue reading →

No Face to Mental Illness

By Angela Kilgore

As you can see by these pictures, there is no face to mental illness. In reality these people are just pictures that I got off the internet.

“Fact: 43.8 million adults experience mental illness in a given year” (Mental Health Facts in America).

“Nearly 1 in 25 (10 million) adults in America live with a serious mental illness” (Mental Health Facts in America).

“One-half of all chronic mental illness begins by the age of 14; three-quarters by the age of 24”. (Mental Health Facts in America)

View Angela’s slide show

Depression in a Partner – How To Cope

By Eve Pearce

Depression is a major problem in Western society, affecting more and more people every year. When a partner is afflicted with this horrible disease, it can put a huge strain on a relationship.

While one partner becomes emotionally withdrawn, unmotivated, and perpetually sad, the other may become worried, frustrated, or wonder if this change is permanent and the person they love is lost forever. Depression is still a misunderstood condition. Its attendant emotions are very difficult for someone not suffering from it to comprehend, and even harder to witness in a loved one. If your partner is suffering from depression, the best thing to do is to seek professional help – both for their own sake and the sake of your relationship. Alongside this, there are a few important points to take on board to help you to understand, cope with, and help your suffering loved one. Continue reading →

Rise of Opiate Use Is Not the Answer to Relive Stress

By Eve Pearce

According to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2010 12 million people in the US used opiate drugs for purposes other than pain relief.

Abuse of prescription drugs such as morphine, oxycodone and codeine is a far bigger problem than use of heroin and many people are turning to opiates as a way to help them deal with stress. Prescription opiates are able to do this, as although they take longer to reach the brain than injected heroin, once there they exert similar effects. In the central nervous system these drugs bind to opioid receptors which not only aids pain relief but triggers feelings of pleasure, calm and well-being as well. However, they are not the answer for stress relief, as their use is associated with a number of adverse consequences. Only by addressing the root of the problem and developing appropriate strategies can stress be safely and successfully managed. Continue reading →

Sex sells: a fact that continues to entrance and entangle people worldwide

By Zakk Mabrey

Sex sells: a fact that continues to entrance and entangle people worldwide. The commercialization of sex is now a worldwide phenomenon and is becoming common place. Nearly everywhere you look, sexual signals are being placed into the minds of people of all ages.

“Sex drive is something we all have to deal with,” Lara West, a professional sex therapist, said. “And because it is a basic drive, we have a hard time overriding it.”

Companies and businesses use all forms of media to advertise their brands, from television and commercials to computer advertising. With such a spike in media and internet usage, it is nearly impossible to avoid all of the advertisements.

“Internet can expose you to literally anything, whether intentional or not, and regardless of age,” Matt Marshall, a counselor at North Central, said.

More often than not, websites include advertisements all over the screen. All of these advertisements also flood the television screen. It is estimated that, out of a 30 minute television show, about eight minutes of its air time is devoted to commercials. Also more often than not, these commercials are flooded with sexual signals.

“My little game I play is to try to figure out what they are selling with all that sex, and sometimes it is not so clear,” West said.

Sexual commercials are becoming more and more common. With regularity, companies such as GoDaddy release commercials that seem to be increasingly suggestive. Some of these commercials can be a bit much for viewers to absorb, especially considering the fact that in the 1960s, it was pushing the limits to show a woman in her bikini on TV.

“These commercials have become more and more prominent with the time, and they are just pushing the limits of what is acceptable,” Buck Black, a clinical social worker in Lafayette said.

All of these sexual images can have a profound effect on the actions of adolescents. In the teenage years, the brain is still developing. During this stage of life, boys and girls are very impressionable and can fall into habits based upon the things they see and experience. When inundated with such a volume of stimulations, the teenage brain is incapable of handling all of the signals it is given.

“Kids get sexual images, but they aren’t mature enough to grasp the severity of the issue,” Marshall said. “This puts them in a bad spot. They don’t know how to handle the images, and they then begin to portray the images without fully grasping the message they send.”

When the promise of instantaneous sexual opportunities mixes with the natural teenage rush of hormones, the average teenager with an unstable and not yet fully matured brain is made susceptible to falling into the traps of sexual marketing that big businesses use.

Axe deodorant, for example, makes claims of the “Axe effect” with promises to attract women. This message has helped the company in gaining a 9.2 percent share of the male grooming market.

As teachers and school teach abstinence, society and commercials preach against it. The drive for sex runs rampant in nearly all of society’s messages.

“There is a lot of contradiction in society,” Black said, “Actually, society in general is biased toward sex before marriage, and sex with little to no commitment.”

Many of the sexually-charged advertisements’ promises go unfulfilled, such as promises to attract multitudes of women.

“It is all a little contradictory,” senior Troy Thompson said. “The teachers say to us that we shouldn’t be having sex, but these companies are basically saying that we can have sex if we buy what they have. Alcohol, cigarette, and Axe commercials all use sex to sell their products.”

Sex sells; there is no easy way around it. With the growth of businesses and media, the commercialization of sex is bound to continue as companies try to keep up with one another. Every day, countless adolescents and impressionable youths are exposed to sexual images, ideas and situations. With exposure at younger and younger ages, the desensitization to sex can only continue to affect society.

About the author:
I am Zakk Mabrey, a senior at North Central High School in Indianapolis. I am going to Indiana Wesleyan University to double major in sports management and sports ministries, with a minor in journalism. This is my second year writing for a journalism group. I hope to one day write for ESPN.

The End of Identity

I can’t
not think
and see, through OCD<--break->
my kitchen table
with thoughts of fire
bursts into flames.
Those images,
keep coming
every minute
making a friend’s movements
into a musical.
I am
not alone
by myself
the world
my unwanted guest
my mind, myself.
Thoughts played
never willed
make me wish
I could make
the world die,
to live.
I hate
to think the world
doesn’t love me,
but fate
flows indiscriminately
I scream
in my own head
and desire
to lose my mind.
They play
I fight
and won’t
go away
growing stronger equally
as we are the same.
I am
burning brighter
by feeding
on myself, weakness.
From the empty planet of myself, I look across
a cold grey landscape which runs forever, barren
without nature’s blood.  The sky pulses under
image after unbidden image, a kaleidescope
where snakes constantly crawl over themselves.
Once there was a light, an image
that never changed, an anchor, immune
to involuntary influence, the promise of tomorrow,
of being, of bloody survival.  The world
of which I am a part, would never have me.
What can be done, can be undone, and the light
froze into a circle and cracked like a dinner plate.
The Intruder Mind, the state of nature
never needed me, breaking me, the individual,
into everything, unstoppable images linked inseparately.
We are eternal
We are the wind blowing through the trees
each note of a symphony.
We are lust and passionate need
a lover’s delicate fingers.
We are reason and cold calculation
the insatiable mind.
We are legion
Submitted by a client

What Women Drivers Should Know About Verbal Encounters

We have been asked on a number of occasions what is the best way to handle verbal encounters with male drivers and warehouse staff.  Here are few suggestions from our Women’s Personal Safety and Defense classes.

Rule #1…   If you cannot control yourself … you cannot control situation.

  1. Lets face it, people say stupid things. Don’t react to casual comments.  The purpose of the comment was to get a reaction from you. Let casual comments slide and focus on responding vs. reacting.
  2. Don’t allow yourself to be baited into a verbal exchange with a potential heckler.  Control the encounter. Don’t become the victim.  Resist the urge to come back with a smart put down comment.  If you feel like you won, you actually lost.  If an encounter continues to escalate, establish eye contact and say “ Back off.  Be firm. Say it once and keep moving.
  3. Every encounter is different. Follow your instinct and don’t be embarrassed to take some direct action.  ALWAYS TRUST that small voice inside your head. If you feel something is wrong it probably is.
  4. The first 30 seconds of any confrontation sets the tone. If you look and act confident and prepared, you will avoid trouble most of the time.
  5. Never go with someone even if you are threaten with a weapon.  Your job is to spoil their plan. If they tell you to be quiet, yell Back Off at that the top of your lungs. Feel free to add other words for additional color. If they tell you to come with them and that you will not be hurt — run the other way. If you go with an attacker you have a 10% chance of surviving.
  6. Carry pepper spray. It is legal to possess and use in most states.  We recommend the use of a stream spray and aim for the eyes.  If you use it in a state that has legal restrictions, you typically may pay a small nuisance fine but potentially saved your life.
  7. If it gets physical. Never give up fighting.  Do as much damage as you can to sensitive targets such as eyes, ears, nose, knees, fingers and groin.

Consider taking a street proven self-defense program like Girls Strike Back that shows women how to use their most powerful weapons to protect against attack.

The Value of a Smile

by Author Unknown

A smile cost nothing, but gives much.
It enriches those who receive,
Without making poorer those who give.
It takes but a moment,
But the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.
None is so rich or mighty that he can get along without it,
And none is so poor but that he can be made rich by it.
A smile creates happiness in the home,
Fosters good will in business,
And is the countersign of friendship.
It brings rest to the weary,
Cheer to the discouraged,
Sunshine to the sad,
And is nature’s best antidote for trouble.
Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen,
For it is something that is of no value to anyone until it is given away.
Some people are too tired to give you a smile.
Give them one of yours,
As none needs a smile so much as he who has no more to give.