[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][vc_social_links size=”normal” email=”” facebook=”www.facebook.com/prosperityedwell.com” twitter=”@ProspEDWELL” google=”” linkedin=”https://www.linkedin.com/in/heatherbprosperity” youtube=”” flickr=”” instagram=”” behance=”” pinterest=”” skype=”” tumblr=”” dribbble=”” vk=”” rss=””]I feel it, do you feel it? That uncomfortable silence and sense of dis-ease that comes when you or someone you love is suffering, but no one is talking about it. Not with a broken arm, or with cancer, or with just a rough day full of identifiable little inconveniences. This suffering is all-together different, it’s silent, because we are silent, it’s the elephant in the room… mental illness.
There is a definitive shift in the air, we are as a nation focusing more on emotional wellness and preventative care than ever before. Part of this is because people were tired of hiding, of suffering silently, and part is a result of the natural connectivity that recent technology provides. We are unveiling ourselves in a society that can be both supportive and condemning. In short, this unveiling is terrifying, not knowing what you are going to get once your vulnerability is out and you’re left exposed to the harsh voices of the masses. Despite this, the unveiling is critical to the wellness of the individual and community as a whole. Talking about the real issues takes away their power and helps us become better advocates for ourselves and for others who need a strong voice.
Mental health problems affect nearly every family in America, and by extension, nearly every family in your community.
The Good News:
- Recovery is possible! There are many successful interventions, treatments, and services available to people with mental health problems.
The Bad News:
- Many people with mental health problems do not seek or receive treatment because of stigma, fear, or lack of awareness of resources
The facts below are intended to arm you*:
- 1:4 Adults suffer with mental illness
- There are over 200 conditions classified as mental illness
- 1:20 Americans has a significant mental illness (Depression, Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder)
- 50% of all mental health disorders show their first signs before 14 years of age; 75% of all mental health disorders show their first signs before 24 years of age
- Those with mental illnesses are 10X more likely to be victims of violent crime
- Only 20% of children receive treatment for their mental health diagnosis; Only 38% of adults receive treatment for their mental health diagnosis
- In 2011, 8 million adults reported dual mental health and substance abuse disorders
- 45% of people with one diagnosis will meet the criteria for having another 2 disorders
- Mental health and substance abuse disorders, that are untreated lead to more deaths than breast cancer, HIV/AIDS, and traffic accidents combined.
Stigma hurts everyone!
Mental health disorders do not have a single cause (many factors contribute to mental illness and emotional wellness). Stigma is a major barrier to treatment, i.e., people who suffer with mental illness do not seek treatment, for fear of discrimination or lack of understanding about mental illness.
|Stigma Contributes to
||Which can result in
Not seeking treatment can prolong the suffering of an individual with mental health problems and impact their ability to effectively function in school or at work; additionally, mental health problems often strain relationships, which often leads to additional negative outcomes.
What you can do to reduce stigma:
- Know the facts
- Mental illness is actually quite common, it affects 1:4 families and 1:17 people have a mental illness diagnosis in America at any time
- Speak Out
- When you hear someone reinforcing a negative stereotype, take the opportunity to educate them
- Recognize that people are not their diagnosis. As opposed to “she is schizophrenic” say “she has schizophrenia”
- Open the Conversation
- Make it okay to talk about mental illness and emotional wellness; the more these topics are addressed the less stigma there is associated with mental health problems.
- Practice Compassion
- Engage others with empathy and respect; reduce language like nuts, crazy, loony, etc.
- Help People Seek Support
- We all go through rough times, it is okay to ask for help. Encourage the individual to seek treatment or help them find resources.
- Give People a Sense of Hope
- Remember there are successful interventions and services available to help almost all mental health diagnoses. Encourage the individual to find a professional to help them address their mental health
No one wants to talk about the elephant in the room; mental illness isn’t cute, it isn’t fun, it’s downright scary and can have some pretty awful impacts. Chances are you or someone you know is suffering and it’s not necessary. Help is out there, it’s available and accessible. Together we can stop the suffering by starting the conversation. Let go of the dis-ease and become who you are meant to be. #StoptheStigma
Written by Prosperity’s Ashley Steelman, MSW[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]
These days, there are as many diets as there are types of breakfast cereals (read: too many!). Unfortunately, most diets create a false connotation of the word diet, incorporating some aspect of restriction, food/nutrient avoidance or fasting. However, the original definition of diet was simply “habitual nourishment” (Webster’s Dictionary). Any time one avoids or restricts food intake in any way, there is risk of missing out on key nutrients that are essential for health. The best diet is one that includes a variety of all foods in moderation (unless of course medical reasons prohibit one from doing so). Read on to find out the downfalls to some of today’s most popular diets.
There is nothing inherently wrong with gluten, which is found in wheat, rye and barley. Yet recently it’s gotten a bad rap and has become the latest food group to avoid. For those with Celiac Disease, gluten damages the lining of the intestine causing malabsorption and a slew of other symptoms. Those with an allergy to gluten can have a variety of reactions, some of which are life threatening. For folks in these two camps, it is imperative that these individuals completely avoid gluten. Others, however, choose to eat gluten free (GF) for a variety of other anecdotal reasons. Unfortunately, those following the diet, no matter the reasons behind it, are at risk of many nutrient deficiencies.
Gluten free products are known to be low in nutrients that are typically found in whole grain, wheat-based products, such as B vitamins, calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, and fiber. Wheat based products (i.e. bread, cereals, crackers, etc.) are mandated by law to be enriched with many of the aforementioned nutrients while GF products do not fall under such regulations. Therefore, a diet made up of mostly GF pre-packaged items will provide less nutrients than their wheat based counterparts. This is especially important for children and adolescents following a GF diet who are still growing and developing.
In addition, a lot of GF products are made with added sugars and are higher in cholesterol, calories and fat. So a 1:1 switch from gluten-containing to GF products will not necessarily bring about improved health, except when medically necessary.
Therefore, any individual on a GF diet should seek counsel from a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist in order to ensure that their new intake pattern provides all the necessary nutrients required for optimal health.
Low Carb Diets
Low carbohydrate diets have become the go-to approach for improving health and losing weight. There are many different low carb diets out there. The premise is generally the same – reduced carb intake, increased protein/fat intake. Proponents of the low carb diets claim that carbs cause weight gain and therefore should be limited and/or avoided. Unfortunately, the science just isn’t that simple and more current research is debunking the myth that carbs are “bad.” Like it or not, carbs are essential for every bodily cell’s proper function. The brain can only use carbohydrate for energy and if you’ve ever followed a low carb diet, your brain has taken notice. Many low carb dieters complain of brain fog, headaches, blurred vision, difficulty concentrating and reduced cognitive abilities. Newsflash – it’s because the brain is in need of more carbohydrates! In addition, carbohydrates provide necessary energy to the muscles during exercise and many grain-based carbohydrate foods are excellent sources of other vitamins and minerals that one misses out on when reducing carb consumption.
This isn’t to say one should consume carbs like they’re going out of style – our culture’s portion sizes have certainly led to carb overconsumption. However completely eliminating carbs or entire food groups, such as grains, altogether isn’t the ideal response. Carbs should be present at each meal & snack (again, think about feeding the brain), yet moderation is key. Choosing high-quality, fiber-rich carbs such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables will provide required nutrients and lasting energy to help you get through your day. Low carb diet followers often weight-cycle after repeated bouts of carb-avoidance and falling off the wagon. Research and years of client testimonials prove that low carb eating is extremely difficult to sustain life-long.
Cleanses & Detoxifying Diets
Typically these diets consist of mainly liquids and promise to bring about quick weight loss and flush toxins out of the body. Many believe it is necessary to cleanse the body and clean out the gut in order to lose weight and feel better. Cleanse and detox diets provide inadequate protein, fat and carbs, which means followers of these diets are typically miserable during the process (see above about feeding the brain). Like the low carb diets, these types of regimens are also not sustainable and any weight lost is typically regained as soon as regular food intake is resumed. In addition, the claims of flushing toxins out of the body are unsupported by research.
Regardless of one’s reasons for going vegan, this diet presents a number of nutrition risks. It’s vitally important to be aware of the nutrient deficiencies inherent in this diet so as to properly compensate for them. Often, vegans fall short in their protein, B-12, calcium, iron, omega-3 and vitamin D intake. Because most of these nutrients are most abundantly available in animal products, it can be incredibly difficult to meet one’s daily needs through plant-based foods and grains. It takes a lot of pre-planning and finesse to ensure that all nutrients are represented. Therefore, vegans should be seen by a physician to monitor vitamin and mineral levels in addition to seeking the assistance of a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist.
By Kate Grefenstette, RD
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Today ends the National Eating Disorder Awareness week and in it’s cessation I have a few thoughts to share in the spirit of bringing “Awareness”.
At a bloggers brunch today with some amazing women, it was asked “Why do people choose eating disorders?”
I almost stood up and started preaching. But I did remain seated and said politely “People do not choose to have eating disorders”.
So first, I would like to shout from the rooftop that a person chooses an eating disorder like someone chooses to have cancer.
An eating disorder is a disease that takes years to overcome. With only 50% reaching full recovery for life. 10% of people with this disorder die. This is the top killer out of all mental illnesses. (check out: http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/get-facts-eating-disorders)
But people choose to go on a diet – including children. Well children don’t always choose to go on diets, but their parents sure do. Many parents have their children eat what they eat. Case in point, as an eating disorder expert, I have had countless patients whose parents put the family on a Gluten Free diet, Vegan diets, all organic diet, and on and on. No child should ever be on a diet. They are growing and need a variety of foods for their best health (not including allergic or medical conditions). Teaching kids that there are good and bad foods influence children and hence there is a sense of shame in what you eat. There should be no guilt for anything we eat. Food is not a morality issue.
I have found that around the ages of 10-12 when a girls body is going through puberty, the messages they receive about their body is paramount. The average person should gain about 30 pounds during the course of puberty and everyone’s bodies grows differently. This is the time that many girls then think that they need to lose weight. Body dissatisfaction often starts around this time and is so prevalent amongst our children.
Parent Tip: Do not make negative comments about anyone’s body – especially your own.
Fact: 95% of diets fail. If diets didn’t fail, we wouldn’t have so many people in our world on diets and the diet industry wouldn’t be making an enormous amount of money.
Stay tuned for Kate Grefenstette, RD to write a post on the negatives of the different diets out there.
My hope is that we can start seeing food and our bodies not as the enemy but just a part of our humanity.
Come join us at the Mall in DC for an exciting event! The 2014 DC NEDA WALK.!
Join our team: Prosperity Eating DIsorders and Wellness