Is Epilepsy Inherited? — Epilepsy Talk

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Just because you have a parent, sibling, cousin or aunt who has epilepsy doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have it also. In fact, if you have a close relative with epilepsy, the chance of you having epilepsy is only about 2-5%, depending on the specific type of epilepsy. The risk in the general population is about 1-2%. On the other hand, there is a 92-98% chance for the close relative of someone with epilepsy to NOT have the same condition! So, even though the risk in families with epilepsy is higher than in the general population, most people with epilepsy do not have any relatives with seizures, and the great majority of parents with epilepsy do not have children with epilepsy. [. . .]

via Is Epilepsy Inherited? — Epilepsy Talk

12 Things To Do When You Are Stressed — STRESS LESS WITH DOCTOR JESS

Did you know that STRESS is linked to the 6 leading causes of death? According to the American Psychological Association, chronic stress is linked to the six leading causes of death which are: heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver, and suicide. We have all been told that stress can kill us, so how can we prevent […]

via 12 Things To Do When You Are Stressed — STRESS LESS WITH DOCTOR JESS

sick woman fake smile

Feeling Sick, Faking Well

Source link: https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/chronically-me/201910/feeling-sick-faking-well

The Costume of Health in Chronic Illness

Many of us who live with chronic illness engage all year round with a costume that we take on and off: the costume of wellness. This post addresses what that costume looks like, the social pressure we may feel to wear it, and ways to be mindful of when and how we don it.

The Costume of Wellness

The visual accoutrements of the costume of wellness include makeup and clothing that mask the effects of illness. Behavioral manifestations can include denying the impact of illness in words (“I’m fine!”), in silence (pretending we are not in pain), and in actions (not slowing down or limiting activity, even when we endanger our health).

Sometimes we wear the costume of wellness because it helps us feel better about ourselves.  Sometimes we wear it because we prefer our privacy. And sometimes we wear it because social pressure dictates that we must, and we feel we have no choice but to comply.

The Pressure to Appear Well

Many of my chronically ill clients fear exasperating family and friends when they have to limit activities due to illness. Some also are fearful of complaining too much and “being a downer” by bringing up their illnesses. They’ve internalized the message that they will lose relationships if they dare show up without the costume of wellness.

Psychoanalyst Judith Alpert theorizes that our culture is terrified of death, illness, and vulnerability. Thus, “[t]hose who have contact with the chronically ill . . . do not want to be reminded of vulnerability and ultimate demise. In turn, the demand placed on the chronically ill is to control, hide, and overcome the chronic illness.” (Alpert, 2012).

We who live with chronic illness feel this fear in our interactions with family, friends, and the larger public. We may see friends drift away, unable to manage their own uncomfortable feelings in the face of our suffering. We may have disappointing experiences when we reveal our illness selves, receiving the message that this is something that cannot be spoken about. And so we learn, experientially, that we’d better not remove the costume of wellness.

The Pressure to Manage Well

Inevitably, there are the times when we can’t pass as well — when we’re hospitalized or incapacitated in ways that we can’t hide. We may not be expected to wear the costume of wellness during these situations, but we likely are expected to wear the costume of “the heroic sick person.” The heroic sick person never complains, is able to joke through her pain, and comforts the well with her positive attitude. There’s a lot of social approval for this type of heroism. As Alpert (2012) notes, “The person who smiles and jokes while in obvious physical misery is honored by all.”

Little Women’s sickly Beth is the prototype of the heroic sick person. Angelic in looks and character, she meets her illness and ultimately death with acceptance, bravery, and good humor. There’s no room in this sanitized depiction of illness for terror, bitterness, ugliness, and bodily fluids. There’s no room for being human. There’s no room for truly being sick. (Machado, 2019).

Wearing Wellness Mindfully

There are times that we make the decision to appear healthier than we feel. We may have discovered that it’s good for our mental state to act as if we are more robust than we feel. We may be discerning in determining not to share the vulnerable details of our illness experience with people who would not hold that information safely. The choices of how to define ourselves—both internally and relationally—are ours.

It’s important to be mindful, though, of how much our decisions to mask our illness identity are driven by our perceptions of social pressure. Do we fear abandonment if we appear ill? Do we fear disapproval and distance from those we love if we fail to live up an ideal of wellness? If so, putting on our wellness costume can have negative effects on our mood. Research shows that when people perceive that others think they should feel happy, and not sad, it leads them to feel sad more frequently and intensely (Bastian, et al., 2012). Putting on a smile may NOT be in our best interest, especially if we do so because we fear relational ramifications for being authentic.

How to Wear Our Costumes

Each year, I look forward to interacting with the trick-or-treaters who come to my door. They are delighted with themselves. The five-year-old Superman half-believes he can fly. The seven-year-old movie star feels beautiful enough to walk the red carpet. I conspire with them in their put-on identities, admiring the strength of the pint-sized Hulk and shrinking with fear from the ghost wrapped in an old sheet. We revel together in the playfulness of the holiday and in the thrill of power we feel when we mindfully choose how to present our identity.

It would be crushing to these children to fail to believe them, to say, “You’re not a princess; you’re only the child next door.” But it also would be frightening to insist that the presentation is reality, that the skeleton has negated the little boy inside the costume. Indeed, sometimes children will pull up their masks as if to reassure themselves and say, “I’m not really a monster; I’m just me!”

Can we wear our costumes of wellness as children wear their Halloween costumes? Donning them can be powerful, playful, and resilient. But we don’t want to wear them so rigidly that others can no longer identify us — or so rigidly that we can no longer identify ourselves.

References

Alpert, J.L. (2012).  Loss of humanness:  The ultimate trauma.  American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 72, 118-138.

Bastian B., Kuppens P., Hornsey M. J., Park J., Koval P., Uchida Y. (2012). Feeling bad about being sad: the role of social expectancies in amplifying negative mood. Emotion, 12, 69–80.

Machado, C.M. (2019).  The real tragedy of Beth March. https://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2019/08/29/the-real-tragedy-of-beth-march/

Be a Potter—Mold Your Child to Be An Achiever

Parenting is not about just providing; it is much deeper than that. As a parent you will be worried about your child’s well being as well as his future. The aim of most parents is to raise a happy, intelligent, and fulfilled child – a child that is secure, confident, and independent.
— Read on parentingtoday.ga/be-a-potter-mold-your-child-to-be-an-achiever/

Stress And Fatigue Top Students’ Concerns About Exam Time

Students across the country are gearing up for year-end exams and standardized tests, in addition to meeting class deadlines and heavy homework loads. Unfortunately, increased pressure for good grades has many students taking the wrong approach when it comes to exam time preparation.
— Read on stressmanagement1.ga/stress-and-fatigue-top-students-concerns-about-exam-time-2/

12 Celebrities who suffer from anxiety — Mental health from the other side

Anxiety is a normal, if unpleasant, part of life, and it can affect us all at different times and in different ways. It can persist whether or not the cause is clear to the sufferer. Anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe. It’s natural to […]

via 12 Celebrities who suffer from anxiety — Mental health from the other side

Abnormal Psychology and Mental Health — ACCREDITED SENIOR PSYCHOTHERAPIST / COUNSELLOR -Dr.Fawzy Masaoud-LONDON, ENGLAND

Often when people go to see a counsellor, it is because they perceive that there is something wrong with them, something that makes them feel not quite right. Sometimes clients do not recognise for themselves that there is something wrong, and it is friends or family that draw their attention to it or advise them […]

via ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY AND MENTAL HEALTH — ACCREDITED SENIOR PSYCHOTHERAPIST / COUNSELLOR -Dr.Fawzy Masaoud-LONDON, ENGLAND

Recovering From Addiction With Yoga — 800 Recovery Hub Blog

Addiction is much more than a physical problem, which is why recovery has to address much more than its physical symptoms. If you or someone you love is looking for effective drug treatment, there are significant benefits to choosing a holistic addiction recovery program. By engaging both the body and brain, the ancient practice of […]

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What are the Signs to Identify Teen Drug Abuse — Self Life Hacks

There are few early and common warning signs of teen drug use, a few simple guidelines can go a long way toward spotting an issue earlier rather than later. The substance abuse among the young people is a much bigger problem than many parents realize. How big? One in 10 kids 12 to 17 years […]

via What are the Signs to Identify Teen Drug Abuse — Self Life Hacks

Individualized Positive Affirmations for Improving Self-esteem — Self Improvement

Positive self-esteem is very important if not crucial to our happiness and well being as a human being. Having positive self-esteem can make the difference in that which we take on in life, in that which we go about achieving and creating. Having positive self- esteem also allows us to have healthy and joyous relationships…

via INDIVIDUALIZED POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS FOR IMPROVING SELF-ESTEEM — Self Improvement

Daily Yoga – Yoga As a Life Philosophy — How to do yoga

Yoga is different things to different people, so what it means to you will depend greatly on how you were introduced to it and how you enjoyed your initial experiences with it. For some people Yoga is simply a method of exercising that ensures they have a healthy supple body. For other people Yoga transcends…

via Daily Yoga – Yoga As A Life Philosophy — How to do yoga

Ten Different Types of Depression and the Things to Look for — Top 10 of Anything and Everything – The Fun Top Ten Blog

You might be thinking it is easy to spot signs of depression in people, but that is not the case at all. In fact, there are lots of different types of depression…

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How to Cope in Times of Disaster — Damon Ashworth Psychology

The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse reports that exposure to extreme stressors, such as natural disasters and internal displacement, is a significant risk factor for mental health and social problems. […]

via How to Cope in Times of Disaster — Damon Ashworth Psychology