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 "Stroke Warning Signs" today for easy access in your home and office.
Two 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 helps us better understand drug overdose deaths, including opioids.
Mental 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.
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.
A 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
* 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, including:
* Major depression
* Bipolar disorder
* Obsessive compulsive disorder
* Panic disorder
* Post traumatic stress disorder
* Borderline personality disorder
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.
is evidence that many new Ph.D. graduates are experiencing Post Dissertation Depression.
After the Newtown school mass killing, 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.
An Obsession with Fame is
Indicative of Deeper Psychological Issues
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 from the L.A. Times
Studies show a sharp increase in narcissism
amongst teens who use social media.
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.
More information about the film.
Information about the effects of persistent stress on the body.
Toxic Manipulation: How to Spot It in Others & Yourself
Manipulative 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.
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 interactions.
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
* 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.
(1) NAMI website as of 12-19-2009
(2) NAMI website as of 12-19-2009
DID YOU KNOW?
* As of January
2013, more U.S. women die of lung cancer from smoking than of breast cancer.
* With the recent disturbing increase
in teen suicides, you have an opportunity now to learn the risks and warning signs.
* Rape within
the U.S. military extends to male-on-male of other servicemen at an alarmingly increasing rate.
* Tanning beds can increase the risk of melanoma by 75%.
* If your waist-to-height ratio is over 0.5, this is the best indicator for your risk of Type 2 Diabetes.
Take your waist measurement in inches and divide it by your height in inches to get your score.—Prevention Magazine 3/2010
* Binge drinking is defined
as: A woman downing 4 servings(+) of alcohol in a 2-hour period and a man downing 5 servings of alcohol in a 2-hour period. This level of abuse, if continued, "presents an escalating
health risk as the drinker ages." —
L.A. Times, 1/2/2010
* “Workplace violence is often a result of a slow burn that scorches other employees before the explosion.” — Joni Johnston.
* Learn the 13 warning signs of workplace
"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" from the Center for Domestic Peace in San Rafael, California.
* 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).
* Economic 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
* 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: Learn about "covert incest" between parent and child.]
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 is here.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.
The 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.
as cited on the Wikipedia page for Adolph Hitler, Holocaust section.
A High Percentage of People Who
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.
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