Monthly Archives: August 2015

Common Causes of Suicide

causes of suicide

Suicide happens when a person decides to intentionally take his or her own life.  Almost everyone has suicidal thoughts at one point in their lives. Why do people take their own life? When someone goes through a tough time that causes trauma, mental and or physical illness, hopelessness and other depressive situations, suicide may seem like the only solution. There are many causes of suicide and you’ll get to know more about them from this article.

 

 

Causes of Suicide

 

The following is a list of common causes of suicide and some go beyond the realm of mental illness and feeling of hopelessness. Although there are crisis hotlines  designed to prevent people from committing suicide, they are not 100 percent full-proof effective in helping.

  • Bipolar disorder – the spectrum of bipolar disorder is quite vast but essentially in includes extreme mood swings such as severe depression that can level up to hypomania. Having this mental illness prevents people from establishing relationships with others and enjoying a balanced life. When a person with bipolar disorder undergoes heavy depression, he or she may end up committing suicide.
  • Sexual abuse – victims of this assault normally feel depressed and suicidal; these individuals were forced to perform sexual acts against their will, and the results can lead to serious psychological trauma. When their depression is not properly addressed, victims of sexual abuse can be highly suicidal.
  • Bullying – bullying has been known to have serious effects on its victims both mentally and psychologically. People who are bullied at home, school or work end up feeling very depressed; some victims of bullying feel that they are worthless and they lose hope that their situation will change. Unfortunately, bullying is usually unrecognized and some victims resort to suicide in hope to escape from the pain he or she is experiencing.
  • Personality disorder – this is closely related to mental illness; referred to as having a set of traits that hinder a person from properly functioning in a society. Often, victims are unable to maintain relationships and a job. A victim may have difficulty in coping with life and develop a ‘dependency’ disorder that may lead them to commit suicide.
  • Drug addiction – people who suffer from substance or alcohol abuse are more likely to commit suicide than others. These individuals turn to drugs and alcohol to escape the painful feelings of their lives. Drugs and alcohol may provide a short-term solution to their problems, but in the long run these cause damage to their mind and body. Eventually, many drug and alcohol abusers commit suicide to stop feeling pain and depression.
  • Unemployment – being unemployed can make a person feel worthless and depressed; it can make an individual feel isolated and incapable which lead to low self-esteem. Unemployed people may feel that they don’t have a purpose in life, which can make them highly suicidal. Moreover, people who hate their current job may also commit suicide due to prolong feeling of unhappiness, stress and pressure.

Causes of Obesity

causes of obesity

There are many things that can tip the scale toward excess weight and being aware about them can help you avoid the causes of obesity. The factors that can affect the body weight of a person depends on his or her genes, prenatal and early life influences, certain diseases, unhealthy diet and lifestyle, daily activities and physical environment.

Among all the causes of obesity, the most common factor that plagues people today is their irregular intake of calories. Many people take in more calories than they should and their bodies store these as body fat; when you have too much body fat than what your body can burn, your weight becomes unhealthy.

Read on and find out more about the causes of obesity….

Energy Balance Deficiency

Energy balance refers to your energy in and energy out; inadequacy in energy balance often makes a person overweight or obese. Energy in comes from the amount of calories that you take in your body from food while energy out is the amount of energy that your body releases doing everyday activities. In order to maintain a healthy weight, a balance between these two energies must be obtained. Obesity can happen to you if you take in more calories than you release.

Environment

Unfortunately, the environment encourages an unhealthy lifestyle in more ways than one. If you live in a neighborhood that doesn’t have sidewalks and safe places to walk in, you lose the opportunity to get your daily dose of exercise. Many restaurants and fast foods serve oversized food proportions that make people take too much energy in and this causes excessive weight gain. Moreover, fast food is full of high fat, fillers and sodium thus adds more calories in your body. A busy work schedule is also one of the most common causes of obesity; when you work many hours in a day, you become too tired to participate in any physical activity and it decreases your motivation to do your part in reducing your energy out.

Genes

Some studies have shown that your genes may also have an impact on your body weight. At times, obesity tends to run in families because storing unhealthy fat in the body has become a ‘family trait’ – family members share similar habits, eat the same food and do physical activities together. Children often adapt the habits of their parents which prove that there is a link between your genes and environment.

Inactive and Unhealthy Lifestyle

Many people have difficulty being physically active; most of them spend their time watching T.V., working on computers and other leisure activities that don’t require energy. Additionally, they have been dependent on the conveniences of technology such as riding cars instead of walking to work. Inactivity can cause obesity because it doesn’t burn the calories that you take in. Living an inactive lifestyle can also lead to the development of chronic illnesses such as colon cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure.

Disease Can Cause Obesity

Obesity is not just an eating problem, disease such as Hypothyroidism can cause weight gain and prevent one from losing weight. Our thyroid regulates our metabolism, and hypothyroidism is a sluggish metabolism; preventing you from metabolizing your fat into energy thus casing obesity. A healthy thyroid is essential; many people have a thyroid condition and are not aware of it. It’s important to have your thyroid checked, particularly if you have gained or are unable to lose weight, you may have hypothyroidism. Our digestive system is considered and called our “second brain”.  Trauma and or unstable emotions can affect your digestive system preventing you from digesting foods properly and cause weight loss or weight gain, sickness and disease. Most of us (including most doctors) do not recognize or know that digestive problems wreak havoc in the entire body, leading to allergies, arthritis, autoimmune disease, rashes, acne, chronic fatigue, mood disorders, autism, dementia, cancer, and more.

Types of Child Abuse


child abuse

Child abuse is a major social problem today. The statistics of this social problem is very sobering as children are continuously being maltreated every day, all over the world. Children are meant to be cared for and loved, yet many adults inflict not only physical damage but also emotional wounds.

Child abuse occurs in varying situations and for many different reasons. Some children are subjected to more than one form of abuse at a time. The effects of abusive acts that children experience can affect them gravely as adults; they may undergo psychological, emotional and social problems later in life.

The following are 4 major categories of child abuse:

Physical Abuse

Incidents of domestic violence that are committed against children have remained prevalent in many areas of the world. Some common forms of physical abuse that children suffer from are kicking, burning, scalding, threatening, punching, biting and any act that involves deliberate aggressive actions that inflict pain. This type of abuse is apparent because it leaves wounds, scars, sore muscles and bruises on a child’s body.

Emotional Abuse

This type of child abuse affects the psychological and social aspect of the victim. Many parents emotionally abuse their children without being physically or sexually abusive. However, emotional abuse also accompanies physical and sexual abuse at times. Some parents practice child-rearing approaches that are characterized by aggression and manipulation such as shouting and emotional blackmail.

Some common examples of emotional child abuse are exploitation, corruption, over protection and prevention of the child from exploring, learning and participating in normal social interactions. Emotional ill treatment toward a child can cause serious effects on his or her emotional development as an adult such as establishing relationships with others.

Neglect

This is defined as the inadequate provision of a child’s basic needs that may result to impair his or her health and development. Neglecting a child comes in many forms such as inability to:

  • Provide food, shelter and clothing
  • Protect a child from emotional harm
  • Properly respond to a child’s emotional needs
  • Ensure appropriate forms of supervision such as caregivers
  • Provide adequate medical care and treatment
  • Meet a child’s education needs
  • Provide opportunities for intellectual growth and development

Sexual Abuse

Sexual child abuse involves forcing or luring a child to take part in sexual activities. It can be described as an incident where an adult or older adolescent engages a minor in a sexual act or behavior. This type of abuse may occur in both penetrative and non-penetrative forms; penetrative sexual abuse includes rape and assault by penetration while non-penetrative acts involve exposing a child to abusive images and encouraging him or her to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.

Many children who are sexually abused exhibit disturbing behaviors such as inflicting self-harm, being violent or aggressive, bedwetting, eating disorders, mood swings and unhappiness. When they become adults, they may suffer from poor mental health, substance abuse, suicide attempts and depression.

Take a Stand Against Child Sexual Abuse

child sexual abuse

Children have been victims of many forms of abuse and the most common is child molestation. Child sexual abuse happens when a child is being used for sexual stimulation by an adult or an older adolescent. This can occur in different settings including home, school or workplace where a child is forced to do labor as well.

Child sexual abuse cases are not getting any better and today this abuse continues to be a serious social problem. In fact, this is what is called “secret crime” and may be hidden for a lifetime if the victim refuses to tell anyone about it. Victims of child sexual abuse are hesitant to report their situation because they are usually threatened by their perpetrators and or they feel ashamed as if they encouraged or caused the abuse.

Victims of Child Sexual Abuse

Many victims of sexual abuse are children who have learning disabilities or are usually isolated. It’s easy for perpetrators to intimidate these children because they are vulnerable and afraid. Poverty may also be a cause of sexual abuse; many children who come from poor or broken homes are lured into prostitution by their perpetrators in the act of ‘helping’ them. However, its vital to point out that child sexual abuse can happen to anyone and they happen to children from lower to middle class or high class families. National statics say that 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys are a victim of child sexual abuse. Child sexual abuse is a global problem.

Children who suffer from child sexual abuse typically do not tell anyone about it because they think that no one will care or believe their story. Their abuser threatens some and the victim lives in fear of being hurt or even killed if they tell anyone. Victims also feel ashamed of their story, especially if their perpetrator is a family or friend.

How to Stop Child Sexual Abuse

Have you ever watched an adult play with a child and felt uneasy about it? You may be over-reacting, but what if you’re not? Always trust your instincts, everyone should speak up!

People who often make sexualized comments or behaviors toward a child deserve to be questioned. If you just let this behavior slip, you are already risking the well being of the child and not helping put a stop to child sexual abuse.

People who usually abuse children are empowered by the reluctance of other adults to acknowledge the discomfort of the situation. It is an adult or a parent’s responsibility to keep a child safe at all times. You can do this by establishing boundaries and limits with everyone that surrounds your child and speaking up when someone violates any of your rules.

An open communication with your children can also help prevent child sexual abuse. Parents of children who are victims of sexual abuse find themselves wishing that they had talked more to their child. Teach your child how to talk about the words ‘penis’ and ‘vagina’ in a comfortable manner so they can tell you when they are sexually approached or made uncomfortable by anyone.

Knowing how to use the right words is a powerful tool to prevent child sexual abuse. If your children feel embarrassed talking about sexual behaviors with you, they will also find it difficult to tell you if someone acts sexually inappropriate toward them.

Take responsibility and speak up against people who make children feel uncomfortable through touching, cuddling or their words. In that way, you are setting an example to the child that it is okay to say ‘no’ when someone makes him or her feel uneasy.

Hope and Healing for Hurting Women

hope and healing for hurting women

Sexual assault can cause grave physical, emotional, spiritual and psychological pain. And the statistics continue to alarmingly grow as about one in seven girls become victims of this crime even before they turn 18.

According to the report from George Mason University, Worldwide Sexual Assault Statistics, 2005: 1 in 3 American women will be sexually abused during her lifetime and every 2 minutes, someone somewhere in America is being sexually violated (www.rainn.org).

The darkness and grief experienced by these victims are inexplicable and they need clear help, hope and healing.

When the wounds go beyond skin-deep, professional help and encouragement are vital. Hurting women and girls who have suffered from sexual abuse still have an opportunity to restart their lives and reclaim their joy; to recover from past wounds and move on to a more productive life! With the grace of Jesus, the broken will be healed and the disgraced will be restored.

Where is the Hurt Residing?

Healing starts with recognizing where your pain is coming from. Is it from the physical trauma that you went through? Or from your broken heart and soul that kept harboring emotional pain? Your hurtful memories affect the way you think or make decisions in the future.

In the Bible, the place of hurting and healing is often referred to as ‘innermost being’ or ‘inward parts’. Nowadays, people refer to it as the ‘soul’ which encompasses the thoughts, will, emotions and memories of an individual. If you don’t get proper treatment after suffering from extreme abusive acts, your past pain will remain as open wounds that can affect the quality of your life forever.

Dealing with Past Hurts

Past hurts that remain unhealed can lead to various problems: psychological, emotional and spiritual.

Hurting women who have unresolved anger in their hearts can become very depressed and fail to develop a positive outlook in life. The anger that they feel is rooted from a particular hurtful event in their lives in which they weren’t able to express constructively. Many hurting women and girls suffer from depression because they are anxious or afraid; they feel hopeless that they don’t have anyone to run to for help.

Serious cases of depression can lead to suicide, acts of harm toward others, psychomatic illnesses and so forth.

How to Heal

Inner healing for the abused is now possible with the help of ‘powerful tools’ such as therapy and support groups. But if you’re not comfortable to tell others about your story, you can always turn to Jesus for your healing – call to Him when something is bothering you.

Hurting women and girls who have suffered from sexual abuse want healing and they can do this either through a certified therapist or by asking Jesus to take them to that painful memory and heal it. Victims of abuse need to find an outlet; someone that they can trust so they can release their pain and know that there is still hope for total restoration.

Violence Against Women

violence against women

Violence Against Women or VAW refers to violent acts that are directed toward women; the violence primary motive is the victim’s gender – the crimes are committed to women because they are women.

Violence against women has been one of the most pervasive social problems of the world – it is closely related to the issue of inequality between men and women. Back in the day, society has dictated people to think that men are superior to women; that they are the providers, pursuers and leaders. Women were not allowed to take on dominant roles as they were only viewed as supporters to men.

This concept resulted to men overpowering women and with power comes the need to control. And violence against women is one of man’s ways to express their control over women.

There are many forms of VAW and here are common examples:

Rape

Rape is a sexual assault that involves sexual intercourse. It can happen to both men and women, but majority of rape victims are women. Up to this day, rape is considered as the most underreported sexual violence against women. Most of the reported rape crimes are conducted by people whom the victim knows; rape crimes by strangers are less common in the United States.

Victims of rape suffer from various psychological traumas. In addition, they also incur physical injury, sexually transmitted diseases and some even become pregnant. Some victims of rape are even threatened by their perpetrators after the abusive act happened. Intimidation prevents the victim from reporting from filing a complaint against the rapist.

Stalking

Stalking takes place when one person receives excessive, unwanted attention from another individual or group. It involves persistent harassment, intimidation and constant monitoring that may lead the victim to feel fear. Stalkers may range from strangers to old partners or colleagues. Stalking by old partners is very threatening as some cases have resulted to extreme violence or even murder.

Human Trafficking and Forced Prostitution

The improper acquisition of people, usually by force, deception or fraud, is considered as human trafficking. Victims of this crime are exploited for prostitution, forced labor, slavery, and extraction of organs, debt or servitude. Unfortunately, there is very limited reliable data about trafficking because it is illegal. However, there is strong evidence to prove that most victims of this crime are women and children. Forced prostitution is a common form of human trafficking where a victim is forced to have unwanted sexual intercourse with someone for money. Victims of this abuse usually suffer from tremendous psychological, physical and mental health.

Female Genital Mutilation

The World Health Organization defines this form of abuse as ‘all processes involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons’. This is one of the most brutal forms of violence against women because genital mutilation has no health benefits for women and girls. Moreover, it can cause severe bleeding and urination problems that may lead to serious infections and complications. It simply puts the overall health and well-being of a woman is at stake.

Traumatic Effects of Child Molestation

child molestation

The effects of sexual child molestation can be very devastating; most of its victims suffer from grave distress and experience different kinds of psychological, spiritual and mental symptoms that may last for short or long term. It’s normal for victims to feel powerless, afraid, distrustful and ashamed after the traumatic events that they’ve been through.

They may show destructive behaviors, experience sleep and eating disorders, have difficulty coping in school and develop unhealthy habits such as alcoholism and substance abuse. They may also show fear every time they encounter someone who shares similar characteristics to their abuser. Some find it difficult to establish adult relationships and sexual functioning.

 

Psychological Effects of Child Molestation

  • Guilt and Shame – victims tend to blame themselves for the wrong things that happened to them. Abusers tend to make their victims feel that the abuse is the victim’s fault; making the victim feel like a bad person.
  • Isolation – incest victims suffer from different emotional turmoil compared to other children. They become secretive and isolate themselves from anyone – even people who mean them no harm; they are distrusting.
  • Betrayal and Anger – victims of child molestation feel betrayed and angry not only by their perpetrators but also the world. They depend on adults to shower them with care and nurture them with love, but instead they were helplessly and repeatedly abused. It is common for victims to feel anger towards non-offending adults whom they feel failed to protect them from the sexual assault.
  • Melancholy – children who were sexually abused feel grief because of their loss. This feeling is more intense if their abuser is a loved one whom they trusted and depended on.

 

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD is a framework used to treat child victims of child molestation. Through PTSD, psychologists and psychiatrists are able to identify disturbing behaviors that need to be focused on during therapy.  However, PTSD doesn’t apply to all victims of child molestation; it depends on the diagnosis and in some cases, PTSD occurs many years after the abusive event took place. The following are some criteria for PTSD:

  1. The victim experienced a very traumatic event that almost anyone who undergoes the same situation will feel the same.
  2. Re-experiencing the event through at least one of these ways: intrusive recollections of the trauma, disturbing dreams about the past, flashback episodes and exposure to things that remind the victims of what they’ve been through.
  3. The victim is hyperalert, feels guilty about surviving, experience memory problems, avoids activities that arouse recollections of the abusive event and intensifies symptoms if reminded by the event.

 

Long-Term Effects of Child Molestation

Survivors of sexual abuse may experience a myriad of emotions long after their abusive traumatic episode is over. They may feel depressed for a long time and suffer from anxiety attacks; have low self-esteem and develop ‘damaged goods’ syndrome – the victim forms a negative image of himself or herself because of self-blame. Child molestation victims may also isolate themselves from others and refuse to disclose information about themselves; some even get destructive and have sexual difficulties and intimacy.