Mental Health Month: Bills that await California Assembly’s approval to improve maternal mental health

Mental Health Month: Bills that await California Assembly’s approval to improve maternal mental health

Nina Jacobs had for long cherished the dream of becoming a mother. And when the time finally came, she would be anxious most of the time. Brushing aside her thoughts as the usual “baby blues,” she continued with her routine medical check-ups. After delivery, however, what Nina experienced was in contrast to how a mother feels after childbirth. In fact, she had become a person imbued with distress and apprehension. These feelings crippled her, inhibiting any effort she made to bond with her son. It was only after she consulted a psychiatrist that Nina found out about her postpartum depression. Read more

Spanking during childhood linked to mental health problems in adulthood

Spanking during childhood linked to mental health problems in adulthood

An old idiom that has been used to justify corporal punishment for generations is “spare the rod, spoil the child.” Usually, corporal punishment exists in the form of spanking with a range of objects, such as a paddle, stick, cane, hairbrush, etc.

Some of the common forms of punishment include hitting the buttocks using a paddle or stick (also known as swaddling), slapping with an open palm on the face, pinching anywhere on the body, caning or striking with an implement (e.g., belt, slipper, cane, hairbrush, etc.), and many more. When the punishment takes place in the home, normally parents or legal guardians reprimand their children for some undesirable behaviors. Read more

Identifying suicidal individuals by determining specific brain response to emotional words

Identifying suicidal individuals by determining specific brain response to emotional words

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide emerged as the 10th leading cause of death in the United States in 2015 claiming the lives of over 44,000 people. Given the large number of casualties due to suicide, it is regarded as a public health crisis.

While suicide was the second leading cause of death among individuals between 15 and 34 years of age, it stood third among individuals between the ages of 10 and 14. Thus, suicide appears to be one of the biggest risk factors among adolescents and young adults. The trend is only increasing as noted by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH).  Unfortunately, many people are still reluctant sharing their inner fears with others and continue to remain in the denial mode. Read more

Understanding dissociative identity disorder

Understanding dissociative identity disorder

Also known as multiple personality disorder or split personality disorder, dissociative identity disorder (DID) enfolds a number of idiosyncratic personalities that exist within an individual. It is a convoluted, protracted and disturbing psychopathology that is indicated by disturbances in memory and identity.

A person with this disorder may project an array of splits. Each of the splits differs from the other by means of behavior, thinking, voice and much more. Compared to other mental disorders, dissociative identity disorder is differentiated by persisting coexistence of relatively deviating or separate forms of a single identity by amnesia and periodic episodes of memory loss. Such episodes of fragmented characters emerge as a corollary of shattering childhood experiences. Read more

Ways to rebuild life after domestic violence

Ways to rebuild life after domestic violence

Rebuilding life after experiencing domestic violence or intimate partner violence (IPV) for a long time can get very challenging and disorienting. Years of abuse and control by the perpetrator result in loss of self-confidence and self-worth in the victims. Starting life afresh is easier said than done. However, one must try to find direction and purpose of living, and strive towards building a brighter future. Even though the journey may appear to be difficult, the victim should be proud of the fact that he or she is out of the toxic relationship and realize that moving on is the only way forward. Read more