Archive for March 2017

Equestrian Therapy

Equestrian therapy (also known as equine therapy or Equine-Assisted Therapy [EAT]) is a form of therapy that makes use of horses to help promote emotional growth. Equestrian therapy is particularly applied to patients with ADD, anxiety, autism, dementia, delay in mental development, down syndrome and other genetic syndromes, depression, trauma and brain injuries, behavior and abuse issues and other mental health issues.

In many instances, riders with disabilities have proven their remarkable equestrian skills in various national and international competitions. This is the reason why equestrian therapy has been recognized as an important area in the medical field in many countries.

Equestrian or equine therapy is also an effective technique for many therapists to teach troubled youth on how they learn, react and follow instructions. For example in a  beginners’ horse therapy, the students were asked to get the horse move outside of a circle without even touching it. Students tried to clap, yell and whistle but the horse didn’t heed the signal. In the same manner, parents, friends and others who are part of a troubled youth’s therapy would learn that yelling, clapping and forcing would not be  the best way to make the person do something.

Horses are the most popularly used animal for therapy although elephants, dolphins, cats and dogs may also be used. This is because, horses have the ability to respond immediately and give feedback to the rider’s action or behavior. Horses are also able to mirror the rider’s emotion.

The basis of the therapy is that because horses behave similarly like human beings do in their social and responsive behavior; it is always easy for patients to establish connection with the horse.  http://www.equestriantherapy.com/

How bullying affect health and well-being

Bullying can affect physical and emotional health, both in the short term and later in life. It can lead to physical injury, social problems, emotional problems, and even death. Those who are bullied are at increased risk for mental health problems, headaches, and problems adjusting to school. Bullying also can cause long-term damage to self-esteem.

Children and adolescents who are bullies are at increased risk for substance use, academic problems, and violence to others later in life.

Those who are both bullies and victims of bullying suffer the most serious effects of bullying and are at greater risk for mental and behavioral problems than those who are only bullied or who are only bullies.

NICHD research studies show that anyone involved with bullying—those who bully others, those who are bullied, and those who bully and are bullied—are at increased risk for depression. NICHD-funded research studies also found that unlike traditional forms of bullying, youth who are bullied electronically—such as by computer or cell phone—are at higher risk for depression than the youth who bully them. Even more surprising, the same studies found that cyber victims were at higher risk for depression than were cyberbullies or bully-victims (i.e., those who both bully others and are bullied themselves), which was not found in any other form of bullying.  https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/bullying/conditioninfo/Pages/health.aspx

 

How to help a Friend Member with Depression or Bipolar Disorder

Mood disorders such as bipolar disorder (also known as manic-depression) and depression affect millions of people. Their family members and friends are affected too. If someone you love has a mood disorder, you may be feeling helpless, overwhelmed, confused and hopeless, or you may feel hurt, angry, frustrated and resentful. You may also have feelings of guilt, shame and isolation, or feelings of sadness, exhaustion and fear. All of these feelings are normal.

Things to remember:

  • Your loved one’s illness is not your fault (or your loved one’s fault).
  • You can’t make your loved one well, but you can offer support, understanding and hope.
  • Each person experiences a mood disorder differently, with different symptoms.
  • The best way to find out what your loved one needs from you is by asking direct questions.

What can I do to help?

Keep in mind that a mood disorder is a physical, treatable illness that affects a person’s brain. It is a real illness, as real as diabetes or asthma. It is not a character flaw or personal weakness, and it is not caused by anything you or your family member did.

Don’t ask the person to “snap out of it.” Your friend or family member can’t snap out of this illness any more than he or she could overcome diabetes, asthma, cancer or high blood pressure without treatment.

Educate yourself about your loved one’s illness, its symptoms and its treatments. Read brochures and books from DBSA and other dependable sources.

Give unconditional love and support. Offer reassurance and hope for the future.

Don’t try to fix your loved one’s problems on your own. Encourage him or her to get professional help.

Remember that a mood disorder affects a person’s attitude and beliefs. When a person says things like “nothing good will ever happen to me,” “no one really cares about me,” or “I’ve learned all the secrets of the universe,” it’s likely that these ideas are symptoms of the illness. With treatment, your friend or family member can realize that this kind of thinking is not a reflection of reality.

Have realistic expectations of your loved one. He or she can recover, but it won’t happen overnight. Be patient and keep a positive, hopeful attitude.

Take care of yourself so you are able to be there for your loved one. Find support for yourself with understanding friends or relatives, in therapy of your own, or at a DBSA support group.  http://www.dbsalliance.org/site/PageServer?pagename=education_brochures_helping_friend_family