25 years ago I made the decision to become a Mental Health Counselor. It was encouraged by a Pastor who saw me working with a couple dozen "Alley Kids" and my own statement of 'its sad that I enjoy what I do for free more than what I do for pay'. Several of those kids had real mental health 'issues' -most just assumed they were the 'bad' kids. I intuitively knew different.
Since then - 1995 - I have been in the trenches of mental illness, addiction, grieving, community tragedies, headline events and the real stories that many don't know, won't know and can't know.
I've been on a kick to "Tidy" - the principal of it is to organize your home bycategory.
Please make one category every single medication, vitamin, supplement, diet pills, OTC medications.
Having been on the front line of this horrific drug epidemic that has taken the lives of people I know and left behind even more grieving I know. I can't emphasize enough to remove any 'extra' drugs that you don't need or are not prescribed to you. This is not just a teen problem -adults steal medications too!
Risk / Symptoms Present
Loss of sleep
Not able to sleep 24 hours
Staying up and out late despite other responsibilities
Not able to sleep 2-3 days
Feel and stating they feel ‘wired’
is obvious to others, may include verbal abuse
is inappropriate – now angry and violent.
Desire to be impulsive:
Using drugs –more
of legal or illegal
Sexual acting out
Medium Risk/ Symptoms Obvious:
with impulsive thoughts:
You should get evaluated by a professional if you've hadfive or
more of the following symptoms for more than two weeks or if any of these
symptoms cause such a big change that you can't keep up your usual routine..
- You feel sad or cry a lot and it doesn't go away.
- You feel guilty for no reason; you feel like you're
no good; you've lost your confidence.
- Life seems meaningless or like nothing good is ever
going to happen again. You have a negative attitude a lot of the time, or
it seems like you have no feelings.
First put down your phone. Really.
Anyone born before the 80's knows that you really can have a summer without having a phone attached to your ear or palm. We survived. We had to be creative! We also survived all those 'horrific' events of bug bites, poison ivy, seeing snakes, catching frogs, trips in the back of station wagon or pick up truck, discovering swimming holes, learning how to dive into mucky waters, card games, board games, Jarts(!), Kick the Can, numerous bikes (without motors), dragging our butts home bleeding from falls, jumps, and dares where a bunch of bandages, grilled cheese and tomato soup cured the pain .
One of my life's best pleasures or joys is reading. That pleasure is made visible every month I have been leading the way at the Frackville Free Public Library since 2003. We have ventured to read more than 120 books since we started. That's a lot of books, Especially when you hear the statistic that 40% of the country has not read a book in the last year, many have not since high school! Less than 17% even go into a book store and I can bet its even lower for walking into a library these days!
Our country is in the midst of an epidemic of Heroin addiction and deaths by overdose. As many as 80% claim they started by using prescribed opioid medications for seemingly 'normal' life eventsrequiring pain management: teeth extractions, sports injuries, accidents involving injuries, surgeries, child birth, cancer, and/or cosmetic/ re constructive surgeries. Physicians often prescribed them for increasingly lower level painful events - because they wanted their patients to be 'comfortable' and insurance companies often paid for the prescription that was reported as 'effective'.
Do you have trouble asking for help?
Do you perceive asking for help as a sign of weakness?
Do you know how to get help when you can't sleep, haven't slept, seem to cry 'all the time', feel emotionally fragile or vulnerable to the slightest statements, even those not directed to you directly?
Have you 'copped an attitude'? - that is either expressed in reactive anger at just about anything or apathetic or not caring about people, work or things you used to?
Are you feeling physically anxious
Is your home, neighborhood, town, borough, county or state dealing with the surge or epidemic of heroin addiction?
I doubt your answer is 'no'.
We're all seeing it, hearing about it, experiencing it or have dealt with the collateral damages of it.
I've been hearing about it directly from the addicts themselves, their mothers and fathers, their siblings, peers, professionals along with reading anything I had time to read. I recently got a chance to readChasing the Scream