Life With Reiki, Yoga, And Meditation – Enhanced Mental Health

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Laura Castro is a Reiki Master at Blue Osa at the Osa Peninsula, South of Costa Rica. In 1998, back when she was still a student at Gaia Institute and taking up her massage course, she was also introduced to Reiki, Yoga, and other meditation techniques to improve her skills and supposedly, her mental health. In an article he co-wrote, Jeffrey E. Barnett, PsyD, states that “Meditation is used to treat a variety of symptoms, such as elevated blood pressure, anxiety, stress, pain and insomnia, as well as to promote overall health and well-being.” Laura was suffering from issues which required therapy but didn’t go to the treatment at that time.

She claimed that after her first Reiki session, there was a sense of calmness, her body was more relaxed, and she was in a better mood. According to Michaelene Ruhl, PsyD, “Reiki is a simple, sacred, and safe method for healing your physical, emotional, and energy bodies – mind-body-spirit.” And in 2001, after her graduation, she chooses to apply the Reiki technique because she loves how her hands would feel warm every time she channels out her energy. However, those times, she is still completely ambivalent as to how Reiki and yoga works and how it could change her life.

How Reiki Made Me Who I Am And Where I Ended Up!

When Laura was in her late twenties, she turned her back to yoga and Reiki as she followed what her heart dictates. But all did not go well while overseas, she broke off her engagement and went back to Costa Rica depressed and defeated. A year has passed, and she has not still gathered herself, feeling miserable and lost at the same time. And it was also then that she felt the urge to find the meaning and purpose of her life.

While searching for positive changes in her life, she remembered the experiences she had while doing Yoga and Reiki and that was when she also decided to go to the Osa Peninsula, specifically to Puerto Jiménez with the determination to deal with her life in the most positive way.

 

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Upon arriving at Golfo Dulce, she was welcomed by large red Macaws and the crystal green waters of the sea. She was stunned by the beauty of Osa and right then and there, she felt that her soul was summoned to the place.

In the early days of her stay at Osa, she began with her healing process doing yoga and Reiki. More so, she also started eating healthy and regularly. She would go hiking to a nearby forest with a bottle on hand and a full stomach, immersing into the beauty of nature while continuously doing breathing meditations and more importantly living the moment.

Through her daily rituals, she came to realize that over the past years with all the hardships, she has forgotten about herself. This realization was the start of the real healing process of Laura. She came to realize what was holding her back and making her miserable in life. It was also then that she stopped blaming other people for her misfortunes and started to take all the responsibilities of her actions.

She seriously changed how her outlook in life was. She stopped judging herself and started to change, heal and grow together with the “present.” She started to be more accepting, compassionate, forgiving, patient, and simple especially to herself. And this, according to her, was the first part Reiki changing her life.

 

Source: pixabay.com

 

Over the years, Laura felt she was becoming more in tune with her old self, and when the second phase of the Reiki initiation was right in front of her, she was blown away with the experience which is far more different from the first phase.

Laura’s perception of the world has shifted positively. It was also then that she realized that everything around her is vibrating energies only at different frequencies. With all new learning about different Reiki symbols, she can now send Reiki to other people despite the distance.

She has found fulfillment in sharing with other people the opportunities that Life has given her using yoga and Reiki healing. Although she still believes that one is responsible for finding their path, Reiki can be a great tool to reach the emotional and psychological issues that are affecting the physical body.

After which, Laura continued to practice yoga and Reiki, read self-help books, and therapy. She found healing and inner growth especially with her Reiki sessions and yoga practices. Later on, she received her third Reiki level together with the master symbol. After all that she had gone through, she was now left with the choice whether to be a Reiki practitioner or to prepare herself for the final Reiki initiation to which she gladly chose the previous.

At present, Laura is now a Reiki Master and still residing at the Osa Peninsula. She works at Blue Osa as a Reiki healer, yoga instructor, and an integral masseuse.

According to her the changes in her life because of Reiki were intense. And to give back, she is happy to continuously spread the Light and help those who want healing change, spiritual awakening, and also spreading their light. Susan Franklin, PsyD, said “Reiki is helpful for many physical ailments like pain, injury, and healing from illness as well as emotional challenges like anxiety, life transitions, grief, confusion, or depression.”

Reiki has changed her life, and that is the same reason why she is offering Reiki to others as among her treatment modalities.

Understanding Child Depression, Therapy and Treatment

Major depressive disorder among children is a disorder that could affect a child’s daily functioning. “Depression and its worst risk, suicide, are serious and common problems in children and teens. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in U.S. teens, resulting in more deaths than from cancer or any other disease or illness.”, according to Michael Shapiro, a child and adolescent psychiatrist. It’s a mental illness that can affect the way the child thinks about things, the way he thinks about himself, his moods, and even affect his daily activities such as sleeping and eating patterns. To understand the underpinnings of child depression, this article will tackle the cause of the disorder and possible treatment modalities such as undergoing therapy.

Source: pixabay.com

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Depression And Genetics: When It’s In The Family

 

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While your friend who’s going through a terrible divorce may feel a lot of devastating emotions that may stay for weeks or months, you may be sinking into a major depressive disorder – and family history may be able to explain why. “Depression is a disorder that develops from environmental and biological issues that are unique to each person.”, according to Deborah Serani, PsyD.

Perhaps your dad had it, or your sister, or your aunt. Seeing a family member go through depression can be really hard, but does it mean you, too, will suffer from it sooner or later?

Continue reading “Depression And Genetics: When It’s In The Family” »

Does Mental Illness Really Run In the Family?

I was very young when I first witnessed a cousin of mine having an episode of what I think was a neurosis.  He was tied in a bed and was struggling.  All I know at that time is that they can’t restrain him from aggressive outbursts.  His mom was crying, and grandma was taken aback by what was happening.

Source: maxpixel.net

That was not the first time actually, but that was the worst I have seen so far.  Years after, that cousin of mine committed suicide.  And he was not the only one in our family who did such.  Actually, my grandpa shot himself for reasons I don’t know.  My uncle (my dad’s bro) also took away his own life after his wife left him.

Now, that I’m experiencing some kind of depression, some curiosity arose in me.  Does mental illness run in our family? According to Mindia Gabichvadze, PsyD, “Other risk factors for depression include a personal or family history of mental health issues.”

 

Angry Outbursts

I first started to ask myself about it when my partner noticed how quickly I switch moodsAccording to Dana Harron, PsyD, “Sudden mood swings are common in people considering suicide, and may or may not relate to mental health issues such as bipolar disorder.” She wonders why I occasionally blow hot and cold.  Well, man can have his moods, too, but she sees mine as a bit exaggerated.  One moment, I’m so into this thing, and with reasons she doesn’t know, am not interested anymore.   If she insists, there goes my anger outbursts and aggressiveness.  And we will end up with a fight, sometimes serious, other times not quite.

 

Depression

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Then, I realized there are days when I would go into depression. Notably, at times when we didn’t end up on a good note, I would just stay in my room for days with the lights off.   I would avoid talking to friends and my parents.  I would refuse my parents even though I know they’re worried about me.  I was just there curled up in my bed, then would be down the floor, back to the bed again, then would stare out the window.  At times, I have these deep thoughts; other times, it seems I have nothing on my mind at all, just there thinking of nothing really.   But worse is when I would cry as I write notes on my walls, pages of notebooks, and even at the back of some photos. “The depressed person, due to the way brain operates in depression, become unable to see new solutions to problems, and they focus overly on negatives. They tend to ruminate on what is wrong in their lives, and such brooding increases mental ‘stuckness.'”, according to Margaret Wehrenberg, PsyD.

 

I Shared My Thoughts Once, And It Made Me Wanna Kill Myself

I was confused.  I had a flashback as if I was seeing my cousin yelling with his angry outbursts, imagining how my grandfather and uncle took away their own lives.  Have they passed on that craziness on me?

“Oh, it’s in my genes.” (Sobbing)

I shared my feelings on social media, and all I got are upsetting words.  Not even one comment sympathize or seems affected by what I posted in there.

“Hey, people, feel like I wanna kill myself.”  And the voice in my mind is nagging me to do it, “NOW.”

What should I do?

 

source:  maxpixel.net

 

With the negative comments I received, I drank until I passed out.  I woke up in the hospital.  My mom was crying beside me.  My wrist still a bit hurting.  I wasn’t aware I almost killed myself after I took some Quaalude, which I was able to get online days before and cut my wrist in the bathroom.

 

My Fears Confirmed!?

It frightened me so much.  I was terrified realizing I could have it.  I saw a psychiatrist who doesn’t want to conclude if its hereditary.  According to him, there could be a number of reasons behind my acts, not just the genes.

He is also thinking that I might just be engrossed with the idea of mental illness being passed on to me because of the things I witnessed when I was young.  I need to go through tests, observations, and therapy sessions to make a final conclusion.  I was given meds to calm my nerves when I have attacks.

For now, I feel a bit lost, but I’m trying to find myself.  I was confused but trying to be strong.

The Relationship Of Depression And Eating Disorders

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This is another case of examining which comes first — did depression cause the eating disorder or did the eating disorder cause the development of depression? Singularly, these are two separate mental states that need exclusive treatment. However, if these are present in one person, then the treatment plan is more complex and will require the intervention of psychiatrist, nutritionist and primary care physician.

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7 Ways Of Managing Childhood Depression

Source: all4women.co.za

Depression comes as black clouds in the sky during childhood, the most beautiful season in our lives. Clinical depression makes a child gloomy, aloof and takes away his innocence and simplicity.

One of the major reasons for childhood depression is the persistent feeling of, as Betterhelp says,  “no one cares”. Feeling deprived, ignored or unheard can make any child morose and develop negative thoughts. Persistent feelings of sadness and grief interfere with the normal functioning of children, making them inactive, aloof and low all the time. “Depression and its worst risk, suicide, are serious and common problems in children and teens. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in U.S. teens, resulting in more deaths than from cancer or any other disease or illness.”, according to Michael Shapiro, a child and adolescent psychiatrist.

 

The Causes

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There are several reasons why depression triggers in childhood. Especially in these changing times, multiple issues contribute to a child’s unhappiness.

  • Broken homes, parental divorce/separation, loss of a parent.
  • Unhealthy competition with siblings, friends.
  • The Harsh behavior of parent/s.
  • Being a victim of trauma (natural disasters, wars, abuse, etc.)
  • Getting bullied (at school or home).

“Depression is not a weakness of character, laziness, or a phase.”, according to Deborah Serani, PsyD. It happens even to the most liveliest of kids, as soon as the above situations happen to them.

The warning signs

Source: rd.com
  • Feelings of sadness and hopelessness persisting for over 2 weeks
  • Lack of energy in playing or doing activities the child used to enjoy do
  • Significant changes in appetite and sleep
  • Vocal outbursts or crying (even in petty matters)
  • Physical ailments that are not responding to treatments (such as stomach aches, headaches, muscle cramps)
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt with impaired thinking or concentration and experiencing fatigue
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Remarkable changes in all social activities like sports, studies, social interactions, etc..
  • Poor academic performance and complete loss of interest in studies/school.

 

7 ways of managing childhood depression

Source: news.uci.edu
  1. Talk to your child – Children often fail to identify the real cause of depression. They would just feel sad and don’t know why. Parents, teachers, siblings or caregivers can take the first step by helping the child talk about how he/she feels. Talking out also makes the child feel important and understood.
  2. Visit the pediatrician – Childhood depression often comes up with physical ailments that become the focus of concern instead. A full exam by the doctor helps let you know better about the health conditions of your child that can cause depression like symptoms.
  3. Consult a therapist – It is always good to consult a child psychiatrist or a therapist if the symptoms persist. A professional guidance ensures a better solution. Usually, for moderate to severe depression, the treatment involves Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Short-term Family Therapy, and Supportive Counselling. For family or group therapy – According to psychotherapist Ali Miller, MFT, “Group therapy reduces isolation and alienation. It increases the sense that ‘we’re all in this together,’ and normalizes suffering.”
  4. Be cautious about your child’s nutrition – Be vigilant about your child’s diet. Always ensure that your child is getting a balanced and healthy diet with all the essential nutrients. See that he/she gets the optimum amount of sleep. It is important that they get daily physical activity. These have many positive effects on mood and provides nourishment for a healthy mind and body.
  5. Enjoy time together – Go for a walk, play games (see suggested ps4 games for kids or other activities for both parent and child), cook, watch funny movies, make some art and craft items. These will gently encourage positive emotions and moods and overcome depressive moods.
  6. Act with patience and kindness – When suffering from depression, kids often act grumpy and irritating. Try to be as calm as you can and let the child feel safe. Using harsh words does the worse.
  7. Build a positive relationship – A positive relationship with parents, siblings, and friends helps strengthen a child’s resilience against depression. It is very important for parents to become good friends with their children so that they can share their feelings freely.

Life cannot always be easy and comforting, not even in childhood. But with affection, love, and support from close ones, children can easily get over depression.

Reach out to your children, notice their behavior, stand in their shoes, be there anytime they need you.

As Pam Leo has rightly said, “Let’s raise children who won’t have to recover from their childhoods”.

Understanding Encopresis And Enuresis – Disorders In Kids

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Encopresis and Enuresis are disorders in kids that parents and family should be knowledgeable of in order to deal with them.

 

Encopresis Disorder

Source: healthline.com

 

Encopresis is a disorder that poses repeated feces passage at inappropriate places which include the floor or the clothing of the child. Most of the cases of Encopresis Disorders are involuntary, but there are situations when the act is intentional.

Involuntary Encopresis is usually related to the following:

  • Constipation
  • Retention with Subsequent Overflow
  • Impaction

Due to psychological reasons, constipation may develop in the process. As explained also in Family Hype website, it could be due to the anxiety of having no control to defecate in a particular place or the necessity to follow a pattern of oppositional or anxious behavior. With this anxiety, it forces the person, in the end, to avoid defecating at all.

Some of the physiological predispositions when it comes to constipation are the following:

Complications may even occur once constipation has developed, including:

  • Anal Fissure
  • Painful Defecation
  • Further Fecal Retention

The consistency of the feces may vary from normal to liquid form. Most of the cases for the latter though is a result of overflow incontinence secondary to the fecal retention.

Encropesis disorder cases can occur for at least 3 months. Its chronological age, which is equivalent to the developmental level, can reach up to at least 4 years. This disorder is not related to general medical conditions or as a physiological side effect of substances like laxatives.

For treatment of Encropesis disorder, some experts would encourage appropriate bowel habits. For severe cases though, they may recommend laxatives or stool softeners to cater to constipation. “A physician should rule out the presence of physical causes for the presence of fecal soiling in children over age four years. The physician may proceed with treatment typically using top down oral medications on a maintenance basis following a clean out of a colon that is overfilled with feces,” according to Dr. Collins, a licensed psychologist.

The problem will be more complicated if the child has other mental health issues. As mentioned by Dr. Elizabeth Woodcock, a clinical psychologist, in her website, “Co-existing emotional and behavioural disorders should be treated separately according to evidence-based recommendations. If your child also has anxiety, depression, or oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), these conditions should be treated concurrently.”

Enuresis Disorder

Source: mhmrcv.org

 

Enuresis disorder is the repeated voiding of urine that can either be involuntary or intentional. The voiding of urine can happen anytime, from the day to night and even when on the bed. The disorder can be manifested by:

  • Twice a week or at least 3 consecutive months of occurrence
  • Clinical distress in professional, academic, or social functions

Its developmental level can take at least 5 years and it may not be exclusively caused by direct physiological effect from a substance or a medical condition. “Enuresis is the inappropriate elimination of urine. The DSM 5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) indicates that the prevalence of enuresis is around 5%- 10% for children 5 years old and 3 % – 5% of 10 year olds,” according to Erica David, PsyD.

There are three subtypes of Enuresis Disorder that a child can suffer in, including the following:

Diurnal Only. This specific subtype is when the person voids urine during waking hours.  More common in females compared to males, the Diurnal Enuresis Disorder becomes uncommon after the age of 9 years. The incidences occur more frequently during the early afternoon. It is sometimes caused by the person’s reluctance to use the toilet due to preoccupation with an activity or it can be due to social anxiety.

Nocturnal Only. This is considered to be the most common form of Enuresis Disorder, where kids void urine at night. Incidents usually occur on the first one-third of the night and happen most commonly during the REM or rapid eye movement stage of sleep. In fact, the kid may even recall a dream that includes the act of urinating.

Diurnal and Nocturnal. This is the subtype combination of both the two forms mentioned above.

Treatment for Enuresis Disorder comes in the form of Desmopressin acetate. This therapy is for children and known to lessen the frequency of instances.

You can also resort to Talk Therapy for your child. It is also possible to search for – therapist near me online or this link can answer more queries that you may have – https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/therapy/how-do-i-find-a-therapist-near-me/.

 

Understanding Kleptomania

Source: acnr.co.uk

 

Kleptomania is a rare condition where one has the constant urge to take something that is not his. It doesn’t have to be of any value, or he doesn’t even need it. Kleptomaniacs feel satisfaction after a successful theft. This condition has been very controversial and mysterious as people who have kleptomania are living with shame and keep their situation a secret. According to Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC, “Kleptomania is behaviorally categorized as an impulse control disorder. Not only is the person fighting the kleptomania, they often have comorbid issues to deal with as well. Other types of mental disorders including eating, drug use, mood, impulse control, and anxiety are often present in conjunction with the kleptomania.”

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Coping with Empty Nest Syndrome – A painful reality

                                                            

Source:pinterest.com         

Empty Nest Syndrome is the depression aged people go through after their children leave home. Feeling empty, lonely and left out, the ‘second childhood’ (old age) brings in a surge of pain and grief.  BetterHelp’s post talks more about this, and how a professional psychologist can help for those that really struggle with this. “Empty nest syndrome is a very real feeling of grief and loss, including feelings of loneliness and a shifting of your sense of purpose. It most frequently happens when your children go off to college or start to live independently,” says Stephanie Sarkis, Ph.D., N.C.C., D.C.M.H.S., L.M.H.C.

Empty Nest Syndrome is not diagnosed as a depressive disorder, it is rather a phenomenon that old people undergo. There is still less awareness about how we can help parents cope with this.

The challenges of Empty Nest Syndrome

After the child moves out, parents face crucial challenges that become a harsh reality for them to handle.                                                 

Source:pryoritywellness.com

                  

  1. Adjusting themselves with the changing parent-child relationship.
  2. Reverting back to normal life without kids and finding new ways to fill the emptiness they are left with.
  3. Taking care of the household and other work which they often find difficult to do.
  4. Trying to accept the normality of the phenomena is the biggest challenge. All parents know that it is completely normal for the child to move out, yet the pain seems unbearable to them.
  5. For single parents, the situation is even more difficult as they are left to live all alone.

Symptoms

The symptoms of Empty Nest Syndrome include

  1. Unbearable sadness and grief when the child leaves home.
  2. Difficulty in carrying out the usual daily life functions.
  3. Reduced appetite and sleep.
  4. Frequent spells of crying and holding back to old memories.
  5. Difficulty maintaining a good relationship with the child after he/she moves out. Parents might blame the child out of distress.

 The Coping Strategies for the sufferers

Source:telegraph.co.uk

 

Coping with the distress of Empty Nest Syndrome is not an easy task after all. The main reason for this is the age group of the sufferers. It cannot be denied that people in old age have less adjustment and acceptance capacities than young people. Hence the sadness seems unbearable for them.

  1. Engage in activities that you like – Doing things that make you happy is always a good way to uplift the mood. Resort to work like gardening, nature walking or cooking to keep yourselves engaged with the things you like to do.
  2. Meet up with old friends – Consider old age as a permanent break from all the duties and responsibilities you have been doing for years. Meet up with old friends, hang out with them and rejuvenate the old memories of life. It brings happiness and fills in the void.
  3. Spend quality time with yourself – Though it seems very difficult to look beyond the grief, try to pamper yourself as much you can. Cook your favorite dish, go out for shopping and redefine your self-worth that got burdened with the years.
  4. Set up frequent meetings with children and their family – Meet up with your kids, go to their homes or invite them to yours. This can create some beautiful memories that would improve the parent-child relation.
  5. Expect less, accept more – Try not to expect anything which can hurt you. People are often less sympathetic towards parents whose children move out as they consider it to be a normal phenomenon that every other parent faces. Expecting to be understood and heard often results in disappointment. Be your own best friend. That is the best way to get over the grief.                                                
Source:ec.europa.eu

 

  1. Reminiscence therapy – This is advised by therapists and is considered an effective way of coping with Empty Nest Syndrome. Parents who live alone can take out some time, maybe once or twice a week, or as frequently as they like, to go through old pictures and remember the happy moments of the past. Recalling the happy times replenishes the pains even if it is for a short while.

“Try to make some contact with other people who have been in similar circumstances,” Dr. Scott Bea PsyD says. “They can provide support by helping you feel more normal about some of the sentiments you’re experiencing. Through their experience, they also can help you to understand some of the feelings that your kids might be expressing.”

To help parents cope with Empty Nest Syndrome, children should accompany them in sailing through the storm without feeling lonely. The solution for this lies as much in the hands of the sufferer as the ones causing it. Not that anybody is to be held responsible, but the more empathetic children would be, the less painful Empty Nest Syndrome would be for parents. “Transitions in life can be difficult. If your transition to an empty nest has left you suffering from grief, depression, anxiety, or regret, make an appointment with a local therapist. It can be healing to discuss what you are experiencing with a trained and experienced professional.,” says Julie K. Jones, Ph.D., LPC.