Sunday, March 3, 2024

Lethal drug overdoses in the year 2021 killed 100,000 people.


Lethal drug overdoses in the year in  2021 killed 100,000 people. After fentanyl, methamphetamine is the largest killer.

In my practice I know far more people who have died from drug overdoses than from Covid-19 and suicide.
The interesting observation is that people have much more control over lethal drug overdoses than they do of Covid-19 in the sense that the exposure to the agent of death is under the individual's control.
What are the factors that contribute to the high level of substance misuse in the United States?
What can we do as psychotherapists do to ameliorate the suffering that contributes to this phenomenon?

Saturday, March 2, 2024

Trust in a benevolent universe is a key to spiritual health.


Even if your spirituality does not include a Supreme Being, children need to feel that the universe smiles on them. Einstein said that the most important decision each person makes is deciding whether or not this is a friendly universe.

Dr. Laura Markham, Great Spiritual Lessons Every Child Should Learn

Laura Markham is no relation to me and I don’t know her. However, I admire her work.

As I read and think about this quote, it seemed to me that this is an important decision for adults as well as children. To what extent is one of the foundational purposes of psychotherapy to help people shift their perception from a world of malevolence to one of friendliness?. How do we help our clients shift their perception from a malevolent universe in which they feel victimized to a benevolent universe in which they are loved unconditionally?

Trust, the developmental psychologists have discovered, is developed in the first year of life. Are the child's needs consistently met? Is the caretaker there for them. Do the people on whom their life depends interact with them in ways that are reliable, dependable, nurturing, and empathic?

Throughout our lives we are looking for people who we can depend on to be there for us if needed. If they are there for us we feel secure, valued, and trusting. If not, life is much harder and fraught with distress.

Markham's Behavioral Health back on Blogger

 As of today, March 2, 2024, articles for Markham's Behavioral Health, will now be posted here back on the Blogger platform.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Mental health of populations should be an indicator in measuring a countries gross domestic productivity, GDP

 Here is an interesting short article on about the addition of "mental health" as an indicator of well being in a country's GDP.

While Indonesia’s economic prospects seems promising, an essential factor of productivity needed to sustain growth is often overlooked: mental health.

How mental health affects the economy

People with moderate to high distress levels typically demonstrate reduced productivity and need higher levels of healthcare. This increases the societal economic burden.

The World Health Organization (WHO) found a 25% increase in the prevalence of anxiety and depression worldwide in 2020, the first year of the pandemic.

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

New York State legislature considers changes to Child Protective Services laws

From the Public News Service

bill in the New York state Legislature would implement new standards for Child Protective Services. The bill requires CPS workers to get a court order and inform parents and caregivers of their rights before searching homes.

ProPublica/N-B-C News investigation found New York City's Administration of Child Service has a warrant less than 0.2 percent of the time it conducts searches.

Jasmine Wali, director of policy and advocacy for JMAC for Families said it is time for these agencies to abide by the Fourth Amendment of the U-S Constitution. She describes what CPS workers would need to do.

"At the first point of contact, Child Protective Service workers would notify them of their rights. You do not have to let me in, you have the right to an interpreter, you have the right to legal counsel, you have the right to do preventive services. If you want, you have the right to refuse entry," she said.

She added this bill is not creating any new rights, but aims to inform parents of the ones they already have. The bill was introduced in the state Legislature during the past two sessions. Competing issues took precedence over this one, Wali said, but added additional public education done on the issue has bolstered its support. The bill is currently under review in the Senate Children and Families Committee.

Wali added there are numerous other ways child protective services can be improved, and said the practice of mandated reporting needs to be re-examined.

"Thousands of reports are coming in that are later found to be unsubstantiated, but the family is still experiencing all this trauma and this stress from this investigation, because, once a CPS worker enters the home, they search all the cabinets, they can sometimes strip-search children," she said.

Wali added a different bill has been introduced to change the current system of anonymous reporting to confidential reporting, and said survivors of domestic violence she has worked with have had their perpetrator use the CPS system to harass them. This bill is also under review by the Senate's Children and Families Committee.

Editor's note:
In my experience as a family therapist these changes are long overdo.