NAMI Problem Solving Strategies | P.O.W. – Family to Family

In a previous blog, I shared about the severe social anxiety my son, Darrell, is experiencing.  At this time, my husband and I feel this is Darrell’s most pressing and serious mental health issue that needs to be addressed.  The class instructors from the NAMI class I am attending walked our class through NAMI Problem Solving Strategies: P.O.W. (NAMI Family to Family 5.18) as a guide to problem-solving the severe social anxiety Darrell is experiencing.


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Living with Someone with Social Anxiety Disorder

In my NAMI class a week ago, each student was asked to identify the most pressing and serious problem our relative suffering from mental illness is experiencing.  We were instructed to choose only one specific problem and encouraged to choose the most dangerous one. The instructors chose to “group-problem-solve” my son’s severe social anxiety disorder.  Living with someone with social anxiety disorder is difficult for families.

Living with someone with social anxiety disorder 

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Prevention of Mental Disorders – Includes US statistics

In my last NAMI class, I learned about some mental health preventions a parent can implement I have never heard before.  I read many books about childcare in the 80’s but prevention of mental disorders along with emotional and mental well-being guidelines was not included in those books at that time.

Prevention of Mental Disorders

NIMH has evidence that toxoplasmosis doubles or triples the risk for schizophrenia. Pregnant women can get the parasitic infection, toxoplasmosis, quite easily. Precautions include not eating undercooked meat, not handling cat litter, and washing the hands often as needed.- NAMI Family to Family Education Program 4.18, 2014

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Difference Between Psychosis and Schizophrenia

When I tell people my son has experienced psychosis, some thought it meant he has schizophrenia which is not the case.  For this reason, I want to explain the difference between psychosis and schizophrenia.

Difference between psychosis and schizophrenia

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True Story, No Letting Go | Mental Illness Support

This true story, No Letting Go, offers mental illness support to caregivers and families.  This film honestly depicts the mayhem mental illness can cause within a home.  I could relate to the loss, confusion, fears, exasperation, despair, and uncertainty these parents, Catherine and Henry, faced with the onset of their young son’s mental illness.  This movie helps us understand we are not alone despite the loneliness we have endured due to mental illness.

 Tim’s mental health declines despite given excellent care

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Coping Tips Living with Mentally ILL – From a Mother

The most unpredictable situations I have encountered is living with a loved one who has mental health challenges.  More times than I have kept track of, I have had the thought, “We have found the path to recovery.” Boom! unexpectedly, a  downward shift occurs.  Mothers and families of those with mental health challenges are often discouraged and at a loss for what to do.  I want to share a few helpful things I have learned caring for my son, Darrell.  I titled my list, “A Mother’s Coping Tips Living with Mentally Ill Son”.

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Mental Health Support Overlooked – NAMI Support, Family to Family

I started to attend a no-cost support class this past week sponsored by NAMI, National Alliance on Mental Illness, called “Family to Family” at my local library.   This class is very needed as families who have loved ones dealing with various mental challenges including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, psychosis, schizophrenia, etc., desperately need mental health support.

Difficult to Diagnose

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Sudoku A Great Mental Activity – Increase Memory Skills

I recently discovered I enjoy solving Sudoku puzzles. Sudoku a great mental activity that originated from JapanHere is a short description of how Sudoku puzzles are solved:

A puzzle printed on a square grid of nine large squares each subdivided into nine smaller squares, the object of which is to fill in each of the 81 squares so that each column, row, and large square contains every number from 1 to 9.

Sudoku A Great Mental Activity that is Fun

Sudoku is a great mental activity that is fun.  While I am having fun, I am engaged in a mental activity that builds my memory and improves brain health.

Although I have only been doing these puzzles for a few months, I have already noticed an increase in my ability to remember. It is my hope if I keep solving Sudoku puzzles, it will keep my mind younger and healthier. I can tell without doubt, Sudoku a great mental activity is a good choice to enhance my mental health.

Solve Puzzles while Waiting for an Appointment

For quite some time, I have wanted to find an activity that I could enjoy while I wait for an appointment or for a family member, when I am traveling, etc..  I have tried reading, but I have difficulty focusing on quality reading material when in public places.  I enjoy reading short magazine articles about famous people, but I desired to do something more productive or to build a talent.  I  also tried doing crossword puzzles but I am terrible at those.  Then I tried doing both cross stitch and crocheting, but they required more time than I had available to become proficient at these hobbies so I am really pleased to finally discover Sudoku a great mental activity.

Rather not Stop

I can tell I am enjoying myself when I solve Sudoku puzzles because I would rather not stop once I start a puzzle, and I don’t tire easily of this game.

Improves Memory 

I also have been gently looking for an activity to improve my memory and to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.  When I am solving a Sudoku puzzle, I can feel my brain is working, thinking, and struggling.  Although I have only been doing these puzzles for a few months, I have already noticed an increase in my ability to remember. It is my hope if I keep solving Sudoku puzzles, it will keep my mind younger and healthier. I can tell without doubt Sudoku a great mental activity is a good choice to enhance my mental health.

How does Sudoku help?

While playing Sudoku you need to look at the big picture and figure out missing numbers that you can plug in the right places.

Sudoku solving, trains your mind to process various forms of information, details, images and strategies at lightening speeds. While you devise strategies to win the game, it also builds your neural connections. It helps in extending dendrite connections in your brain cells which help improve memory. Scientists say solving them depends on neural pathways that even the most powerful computers can’t replicate. They say that by studying how people solve the puzzles, we might be able to develop more intelligent and brain-like computers.  IQ Test

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Curiosity for Truth – Related to Humility

I developed a curiosity for truth when my devoted and true-hearted daughter left our family religion of Mormonism.  I committed myself to find out why.  My new curiosity for truth began to teach me that I knew much less about truth than I thought.  Mormons teach they are the only true religion.  Why look for truth, when you belong to the only true church and feel what you have is better and more complete than all others?  

A relationship between humility and curiosity

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Pet Rabbit Emotional Support | Pets Change Lives

 Pet Rabbit Emotional Support 

It has been a special privilege to witness a pet rabbit giving emotional support and love to our son, Darrell, who is enduring difficult challenges. As a parent, I often feel helpless as I watch my son endure isolation and loneliness.  I am coming to understand when someone is struggling emotionally and mentally, there are difficult obstacles to overcome that hinder healthy communication flow.   We have been blessed to accidentally discover a special pet can break through barriers people, even professionals, are not successful breaking through. Meet Pepper, our pet rabbit.

A pet rabbit emotional support is changing our son's life while a dog has and is changing another boy's life.  I am grateful for pets and the important role they play in spreading unconditional love and support, especially during difficult, dark times.
Pepper enjoys stretching out in a relaxing position.

Pet Rabbit Emotional Support for Severe Depression

Our son Darrell has severe depression with some psychosis and is often plagued with suicidal thoughts.  Pepper, our pet rabbit, brings comfort and love to Darrell lessening the effects of depression.

Rabbit Offer

Our 8-year-old granddaughter, Hallie, begged her dad to get her a couple of bunnies.  Finally, her dad consented as long as both rabbits were females. She was delighted as her dad helped her find a bunny house, food, and a water dispenser. Hallie stared at the young bunnies thinking about what to name each bunny.  Selecting fun, fitting names to match their coloring and temperament, she named the bunnies Flash and Honey.

Several months passed, and one day Hallie discovered five baby rabbits laying next to Flash.  Hmmm, surprise, Honey Bunny wasn’t a girl, she was  Continue reading “Pet Rabbit Emotional Support | Pets Change Lives”