What do Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake, and J.K. Rowlings have in common? All are talented, famous, and were bullied growing up. Bullying is a serious problem in schools and can have a lifelong impact on a child’s social and emotional development. While a lot is being done to prevent it, bullying is not acceptable — whether it happens at school, in the workplace, or on the internet (aka cyberbullying).
Before the internet, bullying largely took place at school or on the playground while parents were not always aware of what was happening. Today, bullying is a worldwide problem that takes place over digital devices, like cell phones, computers, and tablets.
Also called cyberbullying, these interactions aren’t much different from the type of bullying that many of us grew up with. The only difference is that it is happening online. Cyberbully can occur through a text, chat room, social media, forums, or gaming apps where people can view, participate in, or share content. It can include personal or private information about someone else causing them embarrassment or humiliation.
Unlike the bullying that takes place in schools, victims of cyberbullying have little or no way to escape. And the bully can be “anonymous” . Once the negative comments or embarrassing photos are put online, it is extremely difficult to remove them from the internet, making many victims feel helpless. According to researchers, the most common types of cyberbullying are comments online (22.5%), followed by rumors (20.1%) and posting sexual remarks (12.1%) source: https://firstsiteguide.com/cyberbullying-stats/
Whether someone is bullied in person or online, there is no question that they are at risk for a variety of mental health conditions. According to dr. Stephanie C. Eken, MD, FAAP, regional medical director of rogers' behavioral health, a nonprofit organization providing mental health and addiction services, most victims of bullying experience depression and anxiety but they can also develop ptsd (post traumatic stress disorder).
Fortunately, overtime experts have learned a thing or two about how to prevent bullying (in person and online). Here are some of those tips:
parents and teachers can help stop the spread of bullying. If you notice a child’s grades are dropping, the child’s absenteeism has increased, or the child is isolating themselves from others, these may be signs that they are the target of bullying. Keep open communications with your child and always take accusations of bullying seriously. For more information on bullying and prevention tips, check out the website stopbullying.org. If you are feeling helpless, hopeless, and considering suicide, call 1-800-255-273-8255.
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I have always been easily distracted and found it difficult to concentrate for long periods of time. It wasn’t until I was in my mid 40’s that I received an official ADHD diagnosis following a neuropsychological exam for memory loss. While the medical diagnosis made sense based on my behavioral traits, I never considered that my memory problems could be caused by ADHD.
Also known as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, ADHD is a neurological developmental disorder that most often occurs in children but can be diagnosed in adulthood. Those who are diagnosed later in life, like myself, usually experience ADHD symptoms at a young age, including not listening in the first place and nine symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity.
ADHD can be difficult to diagnose in children as parents often confuse their child’s rambunctiousness, inability to sit till, and lack of focus as “normal for their age”. Today, a teacher may address the issue with a parent especially if the child’s behavior is disruptive in the classroom or affecting their school work. ADHD can also accompany autism, anxiety, depression, borderline personality, and numerous learning disabilities including dyslexia.
If you are diagnosed with ADHD as an adult, you most likely had it as a child. But if you did not experience these symptoms at an early age and are uncharacteristically distracted, overly impulsive, unable to organize your thoughts or experiencing memory problems, you may be suffering from a mood disorder, such as depression, anxiety, or mania.
Symptoms of ADHD can present quite differently from person to person and most diagnoses are made largely through observation rather than blood testing or other physical markers. ADHD symptoms can also manifest in different ways as a person ages. For example, in younger children, hyperactivity may present as an inability to sit still, while adults may simply seem restless. Thus, it's important for both children and adults with ADHD to stay physically active.
Like many people with ADHD, I tried to mask my symptoms by creating coping mechanisms. Instead of being seen as someone with a short attention span, I would say I was multitasking. When I got bored or restless, I took on new challenges and increased my level of exercise.
Due to the lack of focus and restlessness associated with ADHD, holding down a 9 to 5 job can be extremely difficult. Therefore, the key is to pick a job that makes the best use of your skills and where your challenges won’t create major issues.
Research shows that people with ADHD are often creative and think up unique ways to problem-solve. Look for a job that will reward you for originality and innovative thinking such as: marketing, sales, advertising, the arts, teaching and design. Jobs to avoid if you have difficulty staying organized or on task would be accounting, medicine, or legal services. Instead, look for jobs with more flexibility.
You may also want to consider starting your own business which has its pluses and minuses. On the plus side, you can work independently and choose your own hours. On the negative side, running a business does require organization and accounting skills. As a business owner myself, I have learned to outsource those tasks that do not fit my strengths, including bookkeeping, billing and payroll.
Living with ADHD does not have to limit your ability to live a fulfilling and successful life. There are many entrepreneurs, celebrities, actors, politicians, and entertainers who are living with ADHD. Among them, Sir Richard Branson, adventurer and founder of Virgin Airlines, who is best known for his risk taking and big spending. While these thrill-seeking ADHD traits can be cause for concern, they’ve helped Branson become an inspiring, successful businessman.
If you are living with ADHD, please comment below and let us know your biggest success and be sure to tune into our biweekly podcast and follow us on Instagram for inspirational stories and quotes.
There’s no doubt that the current situation with COVID-19 has dramatically impacted mental health in America and more people than ever are struggling with depression, stress, and anxiety. While medication and talk therapy are the most commonly prescribed treatments, studies suggest that owning an emotional support animal can improve both mental and physical health.
The term emotional support animal (ESA) was established by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) in 1973 to help individuals with disabilities. An ESA must be prescribed by a licensed mental health professional, such as a psychologist, psychiatrist, or counselor, to receive the legal rights associated with the designation.
An emotional support animal is not the same as a service dog and differs in a few ways. For example, a service dog is trained to perform specific tasks for an individual with a disability. As a result, a service dog may go anywhere with their owners, including areas usually restricted to pets. By comparison, an emotional support animal is not required to have any training and they do not enjoy the same legal rights as a service dog.
Studies show that emotional support animals can benefit individuals with mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and feelings of loneliness. According to an article in Psychology Today, “petting, holding, or cuddling an animal increases the levels of serotonin and dopamine in our bodies, which are feel-good, changing brain chemicals. As a result of these positive chemical changes, feelings of depression and loneliness may be reduced while our self-esteem and happiness may increase.”
ESAs can be particularly helpful to seniors who are more prone to feelings of depression due to isolation, loneliness and lower levels of activity. Caring for a pet can provide a senior with a sense of purpose, increased physical activity, companionship, and a reason to get outside more. All mood elevators. Pet owners of all ages are also reported to have lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels (indicators of heart disease) than those without pets,
Although emotional support animals do not have the same legal rights as service dogs, they are protected under the Fair Housing Act (FHA). This means that people with mental health disabilities who live in the U.S. with an ESA can be exempted from certain federal housing rules. In order to receive an exemption, an individual must meet the federal definition of disabled, and the animal must provide emotional support that alleviates some symptom or effect of the disability. Individuals who meet this criteria may live with their emotional support animal free of charge and deposits, even if the building doesn’t allow pets. The Fair House Act also prevents housing providers from imposing breed and weight restrictions on the emotional support animal.
Until recently, individuals with an ESA were allowed to travel together in the airplane cabin, until effective in January 2021, airlines are no longer required to accommodate emotional support animals (although a few airlines still have programs to allow them). This rule does not apply to psychiatric service dogs (PSDs). A PSD is a type of service dog that performs tasks relating to an owner’s psychological or intellectual disability.
If you have a story about an emotional support animal, we'd love to hear it. Looking for ways to improve your mental health, you can follow us on Instagram and be sure to check out our podcast on Google Podcast.