Defining Our Terms
Red Flags are any number
of warning signs in our daily lives. Unless we are informed, mindful, and fully understand what we are witnessing or
doing, we might miss and be unable to rectify issues early enough to influence outcomes. And if not seen and acted upon
quickly, these warning signs could take an individual, family or other group down a negative path with potentially long-term,
even dire consequences. The Red Flag process is about connecting the dots of cause and effect, an acumen
which can quite literally change or save lives.
* Print out these "Warning Signs of a Heart Attack" and "Stroke Warning Signs" today for easy access in your home and office. Plus, here is the new
AHA video about women's heart attack symptoms: http://www.youtube.comwatch?v=t7wmPWTnDbE
* As of January 2013, two new studies assert that women who have migraines with auras are at a significantly greater risk of heart disease, especially if they also smoke, don't exercise, have high blood pressure,
and don't maintain a healthy weight.
* The CDC asserts that prescription drug overdose deaths in the U.S.
have tripled since 1990. Find out why and important action steps now.
Health at Risk on a Large Scale
As shocking as it may be for us to believe, the National Institute of Mental Health cites that approximately
57.7 million Americans—nearly 1 in 4 adults—experience a mental disorder in a given year.(1)
Add to that the U.S. Surgeon General's assertion that 10% of adolescents and children "suffer from serious emotional
and mental disorders that cause significant functional impairment in their day-to-day lives."(2) These
numbers and their impacts compound exponentially when you consider the ripple effects on family members and others, especially
if a disorder goes unrecognized, undiagnosed, and untreated. And we are not only talking about quality of life, but
life itself in many cases.
However, there is hope. Each one of us can acquire a higher
level of knowledge, awareness, and vigilance towards the people around us. In so doing, we might be able to see the
red flags and aid in changing the course of a downward spiral that, if left unchecked, could persist
for years or even decades. More serious disabilities and consequences can be averted if we understand what we are witnessing,
and choose to help.
parent’s bipolar disorder, often undiagnosed and untreated until the children are grown, impacts the family in a myriad
of corrosive ways. Here are just a few:
* Life in a constant
state of red alert
* An ongoing condition of chaos
* Emotional unavailability
* Walking on eggshells
* Boundary bullying
* Extreme manipulation
of family members and their loyalties
* Spending frenzies that can impact the financial stability of the family (3)
NOTE: Here is a wonderful and hopeful new bipolar
resource that helps people "begin to catch depression and mania at lower intensities when they still have time
to get it under control." Details of the "six stages of growth from bipolar disorder to Bipolar IN Order" are
available at Tom Wootton's Bipolar Advantage website.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) provides valuable information on several serious conditions,
* Major depression
* Bipolar disorder
* Panic disorder
* Post traumatic stress disorder
* Borderline personality
Find out about the
statistical risks of mental illness running in familes. They may not be as high as you fear. And on the same site, there is
some helpful information regarding how to reduce your risk.
As of a September 2014 article, young men in the U.S. commit suicide at an average rate of 3X per day — 5X as often as young women.
of March 2012, there is evidence that many new Ph.D. graduates are experiencing Post Dissertation Depression.
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) lists Internet Addiction Disorder for the first time.
More than 38 houres per week/5.4 hours per day is a flag for such an addiction. That—and much more information
including Internet-impacted depression, ADHD, OCD, and brain gray matter shrinkage—is available at http://www.thedailybeast.com/Newsweek/2012/07/08/is-the-internet-making-us-crazy-what-the-new-research-says.html
Read about the intense controversy surrounding the new psychiatric DSM.
After the Newtown school mass killing in December 2012, a mother with a
mentally ill son wrote a particularly poignant and honest accounting of her experience as a parent. It also includes important information about the U.S. mental health and
In addition, please take the time to check out this excellent general mental health and rehab resource.
Obsession with Fame is Indicative of Deeper Psychological Issues
Not surprisingly, there is a new condition entitled "Hollywood NOS," but its manifestations can
impact anyone who is obsessed with fame and fortune. Here are just a few symptoms:
* Poor self-esteem
* Some personality disorder traits, like "an overall fixation on their hierarchal status...,
a very rich fantasy life about what other people are thinking of them, and an opportunistic analysis of relationships, where
every connection is evaluated on its usefulness in getting a job."
— From the "What
Makes Sammy Run Wild" news article by Rachel Abramowitz available in its entirety here: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-ca-hollywoodnos14-2010feb14,0,7569097,full.story
In June 2014, an article appeared about the impacts of social media and celebrity
culture on the development of teen narcissism.
Pre-College Students Under Far Too Much Pressure in
"When success is defined by high grades, test scores, trophies—we
know we end up with unprepared, disengaged, exhausted, and ultimately unhealthy kids." This quotation comes from
a recent documentary entitled Race to Nowhere. As adults, it is imperative that we reflect
upon how we can nurture and guide our young students to fulfill their potential, while still thriving and truly
enjoying their lives.
For more information about the film, visit http://www.racetonowhere.com/
For information about the effects of
on the body, click on http://www.qualityoflifenews.com/id4.html
Toxic Manipulation: How to Spot It in Others
behaviors can be immensely damaging to relationships, trust, and integrity. Here's a resource to help you identify
and eliminate manipulation in your life:
Take the "Manipulative Behavior Inventory" test
on behalf of yourself or others. Keep in mind that even something as seemingly harmless as flirting to get what you
want from an acquaintance is a form of manipulation, and perhaps even a deeper insecurity requiring constant reassurance.
In general, it is important for us to consider consciously relying on our talents and intelligence versus
manipulation. This reliance constitutes a truer and higher approach that will surely enhance all of our
Another website addresses 90 toxic behaviors within families: http://www.lightshouse.org/things-toxic-parents-do.html#ixzz1zZvXYD5o
Distracted Driving a Major Threat
Traffic safety experts provide
some disturbing statistics. Texting on a cell phone, and many other "distracting" behaviors—like talking
on a cell phone (even hands-free), eating or drinking—are more hazardous than you might think.
* A Southern California commuter train crashed because the operator was texting. The result: 25 fatalities
and 135 injuries.
* A 17-year-old Illinois girl was texting friends while behind the wheel, drove off the
road, and died.
Access the full article at: http://www.viamagazine.com/top_stories/articles/president_page_jan10.asp
(1) NAMI website as of 12-19-2009
(2) NAMI website as of 12-19-2009
(3) Excerpted from the book: "Inspirations for Thriving
in Our Troubled World."
See the Products page of this website for more information.
"Violence" Manifests in 6 Forms
Abuse and the damaging of trust can assume many forms. It is more widespread than you might
think, and is perpetrated by men, women, and young people toward adults. This excerpt from a “Center
for Domestic Peace” document is particularly compelling. The list
is also significant because many people might have a narrow definition of violence and say “I am not violent,”
not understanding some of the more subtle and varied forms of abuse.
“The Six Types of Violence: PEEVSS (www.CenterForDomesticPeace.org).
* Physical violence can be described as violence to someone
(hitting, restraining, spitting, shaking, etc.) or violence done around someone (like throwing or breaking objects,
etc. with the implied message of "You're next!").
* Emotional violence is deliberately withholding yourself, your services, or the 4 A's (Acceptance,
Appreciation, Attention, & Affection).
abuse is controlling someone's financial resources. It includes such behaviors as trying to keep someone from
getting or keeping a job, making them ask for money, giving them allowance, taking their money.
* Verbal violence can be described as violence that is threatening, thingifying
(name calling) or trivializing which constitute the "3-Ts".
* Sexual violence is sexual behavior that crosses someone's boundary without his/her permission.
In addition to the more obvious manifestations like rape or kissing and fondling without permission, this also includes subtler
sexual violence of an emotional nature such as withholding sex from your partner in order to control or coerce him/her. It
also includes flirting with someone else in the presence of your partner.
* Spiritual abuse is when someone behaves in such a way that your spirit, will or morale is drained
and even demeaned. Mocking your spiritual beliefs and customs or denying practice of these. Using improper interpretation
of spiritual doctrines to control you or family members."
[Note: Here are some warning signs of non-physical sexual abuse on the part of a father towards his daughter.]
U.S. Department of Justice estimates that “women are five to eight times more likely than men to be victimized by
an intimate partner.” Based on the latest research, the Center for Domestic Peace organization
asserts that domestic violence springs from a superiority belief system. The ramifications of this represent
a pivotal social issue. Center for Domestic Peace’s work in the community centers around teaching a system for creating
equality, which is absolutely necessary in order to engender healthy interpersonal relating.
As we further explore domestic violence, it is also
critical to acknowledge that women can be the abusers of their male partners, and in alarmingly increasing numbers.
World Leaders & Their Own Histories of Child Abuse
Alice Miller, a renowned Swiss psychotherapist and author, has put
forth powerful theories in her essay entitled The Political Consequences of Child Abuse. Here are a few compelling
examples of the manifestation of empathy-killing childhood abuse:
Hitler, whose regime was responsible for the deaths of 6 million Jews plus another 5-8 million non-Jews(4), had
been beaten mercilessly as a child every day by his father.
* Mao, who sent 30 million people
to their deaths, had been regularly whipped by his father.
* Stalin, who perpetrated suffering and death
upon millions, had been whipped by his drunken father almost daily.
Alice Miller's full essay
.These three individuals are worst-case archetypes. However, any of the 6 forms of
violence cited in our earlier section above distort and corrode the human spirit. They can—if persistent,
merciless, and disempowering—severely damage the abused young person, as well as countless others caught in
the ensuing ripple effect.
2009 Austrian film with a related theme, The White Ribbon—Abused and suppressed children are subjected to ritual punishment in a German village just prior to World War
I. Their treatment sows the seeds for future Naziism.
(4) Data as cited on the Wikipedia
page for Adolph Hitler, Holocaust section.
A High Percentage of People Who Abuse
Escalate Their Violence to Include Humans
Psychology and criminology research details case after case of individuals who perpetrate child abuse, rape, school shootings, or
serial killings had also previously indulged in animal cruelty, torture or murder (often all 3). The statistics
are shocking and horrifying, especially when we take into account that authorities failed to examine the perpetrators'
childhood or early violence only because it was directed at animals rather than people.
Read the full factsheet here, plus learn about preventive strategies for your community.
Text for the "Violence Manifests in 6 Forms" section of this right column above is excerpted from the
book: "Inspirations for Thriving in Our Troubled World." See the Products page of this website for more information.
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