Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Trauma and Adversity in Childhood: History Need Not Be Destiny from Huffington Post

Once again, the American Academy of Pediatrics is demonstrating its clinical leadership. Two recent, groundbreaking reports -- "The Lifelong Effects of Early Childhood Adversity and Toxic Stress" and "Early Childhood Adversity, Toxic Stress, and the Role of the Pediatrician: Translating Developmental Science Into Lifelong Health" -- by the Academy boldly declare what has been known but too hidden from sight: Namely, that brain and emotional development is profoundly disrupted by childhood adversity and trauma.

The pediatric academy quotes Frederick Douglass who said "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men."

Pet Loss: Mangia and Me from Huffington Post

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Mary K. Moore
Mary K. Moore

Author, 'The Unexpected When You're Expecting'

Pet Loss: Mangia and Me
Posted: 02/21/2012 1:40 pm
Cats , Grey's Anatomy , Marley & Me , Cathy , Euthanasia , Grieving For a Pet , Losing a Pet , Old-Yeller , Pet Death , Pets , Healthy Living News

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"Why do you have two frozen corn dogs on your eyes?" asks my husband.

It's a fair question. I was trying to relieve the swelling from crying the night before. My 16-year-old cat, Mangia, had died unexpectedly which in many ways is like saying Christmas came without warning or you were ambushed by gravity. Still, as my breaded meat compresses attested, I was completely unprepared for her passing.

Grieving for a cat is a tricky proposition. Especially if you're a woman. By just owning one, you're a potential punchline and crying over one is viewed as more Cathy than cathartic. With dogs, you have society's blessing when it comes to sadness. It's the stuff of best sellers and tear jerkers, from "Old Yeller" to "Marley and Me." I remember being handed "Where the Red Fern Grows" in sixth grade as a silent, in-class reading assignment. It was the story of two hunting dogs bound together by love until their ultimate heroic deaths. You could always tell when one of us got to the touching graveside scene, sniffles erupting, classmates weeping quietly in order of their reading speed.

Monday, February 27, 2012

As Children Grieve from Nurse Together

Talking to children about death is never easy.

Often this is because we are caught up in our own grief over a particular loss. So often children are pushed aside during these times and their feelings are left unaddressed and thus, we send the message that their feelings are unimportant. This can start a life cycle in which they learn to repress their emotions. They can bury them under deep and dark covers because during their childhood encouragement was not offered for the free expression of their thoughts and feelings. When all that was needed and wanted was understanding and patience, comfort and acceptance, children are often ignored because it is easier. This is especially true when the adults are experiencing their own grief and loss.

The following message came to me in my sleep, as most of my writings do, and so when I awakened, it was fresh on my heart. I send it to you with love and respect.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Should grief be treated like depression? from CNN

Editor's note: Dr. Charles Raison, CNNhealth's mental health expert, is an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

(CNN) -- I am starting to think that there are no answers to the issues most worth writing about, at least in psychiatry.

Consider the following scenario: A woman who has been mostly happy in her marriage for 30 years comes home to find her husband dead on the floor, the victim of a heart attack.

At first, she is numb with shock. Slowly, as the days pass, she becomes more and more upset. She cries at any mention of her husband. She can't sleep. She can't eat. Nothing seems worth doing, and even if it was, she wouldn't be able to concentrate enough to get it done.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Benefits of Tears from Huffington Post

Something extraordinary happened at Candlestick Park in San Francisco two Saturdays ago, Jan. 14. Sure, it was an amazing ending to an NFL playoff game between the San Francisco 49ers and the New Orleans Saints (which the Niners won in dramatic fashion, making all of us fans here in the Bay Area very happy); but the monumental win wasn't what made it so remarkable to me.

As Vernon Davis, the tight end for the Niners who caught the game-winning touchdown, came running off the field, tears were streaming down his face. He came to the sidelines and was embraced by his head coach, Jim Harbaugh, in a huge bear hug. Coach Harbaugh hugged him for quite a while and spoke into his ear in what I can only imagine was an expression of authentic appreciation and celebration. It was a beautiful and moving moment that transcended football and even sports -- it was about courageous triumph, raw human emotion and vulnerable self expression.