Your Thoughts Impact How You Age

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Scott Bea, PsyD, of Cleveland Clinic, says for years doctors have had notions that attitudes and thoughts may predispose us to early aging.

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More and more these notions are turning into scientific research.

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He says there are different types of negative thinking.  Each can be impactful.

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“One is just cynical hostility, where you know, we stew a lot,” says Dr. Bea. “When people are kind of suspicious and pretty certain the world or folks are against them it stays with them; and keeps stress chemicals like cortisol circulating in the body too long.”

Dr. Bea says some studies have looked at how certain types of behavior and thought patterns can impact our aging and DNA.

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He says we tend to lump all negative thinking into one place, but there are actually many little ways that can actually harm us by influencing our telomeres, which are – the tips at the end of our DNA that affect the aging process.

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Thoughts like pessimism – — always predicting doom and gloom, as well as ruminating, which is dredging up past events and mulling them over and over again, can keep stress chemicals active and alive.

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Dr. Bea also says thought suppression – where we actively try to avoid thoughts – takes a lot of activity and tension and tends to overload our brains.

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What to do?  When we’ engage in the outside world, and not in our own heads, Dr. Bea says we can better handle these negative thought patterns.

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The key is to be able to recognize that thoughts are just thoughts.

“Dr. Bea recommends you do the following to cut off negative self-talk:

Say to yourself, ‘I’’m allowed to think without trying to fix or solve anything.’ “

Use simple mindfulness exercises that can be done, even in five second bursts at various times throughout the day.  Focus on the sensation of your breath.

If something distracts you (sights, sounds) ease your attention back to your breath.

 

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MY two cents and what I recommend. My blog. My two cents: 
 
I subscribe to something called DAILY PRIME.  You know how a “Good Morning Beautiful” text from your significant other can make you wake up with a smile.
Well, relationships ebb and flow, so you can’t count on consistency. It can also border on creepy if it’s not from your SO.  DAILY PRIME is consistently in a positive, good mood.
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Here’s how it works. Each morning, I get an amazing, positive, motivational, inspirational text that kick starts the rest of my day. You pick a time preference.
It’s created by John Assaraf.

John and his wife Maria are two of my favorite people in the world. When I first met them we walked in San Diego for Rady’s Children Hospital.

They’ve wonderful energy and such an authentically calm, healing presence. It’s the kind of good, positive energy that radiates from within. I

When you get to that state, it benefits your well-being and everyone in your presence.

Assaraf has been preaching thoughts equals things way before before The Secret (which he appeared in) was on Oprah or studies confirm it.
One of my favorite books, The Power of Positive Thinking did too.
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Positive THOUGHTS lead you to make positive ACTIONS.
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Also, you can do things that release the opposite of cortisol in your body. There are naturally healthy healing chemicals and hormones inside your body, but it takes action to release them.
Actions like daily exercise, listening to music, mediating, spending time in nature or with positive family and friends, laughing, petting your dog, and hugging release endorphins.
Love is a biggie. It releases all the feel good hormones, including oxytocin. I read a great book about it in 2014 and interviewed author, Paul J. Zak for this blog. It’s called The Moral Molecule: The Source of Love and Prosperity.  I
I was recently interviewed on a radio program about mind-body connection –hot topic.
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Stay healthy!
Related:
I was delighted to meet Brian Tracy while in San Diego.  I attended one of his conferences and brought one of his books with me. Without my even asking he graciously says, “Let me sign that.” He wrote, “Maria, You can do it!” inside it.  That’s positivity for you. Whatever “it” is doesn’t matter when someone believes in you.

How To Be More Positive by Brian Tracy

Your mental diet largely determines your character and your personality and almost everything that happens to you in life.

What is a mental diet? Keep reading and I’ll explain…

When you feed your mind with positive affirmations, information, books, conversations, audio programs, and thoughts, you develop a more positive attitude and personality.

You become more influential and persuasive. You enjoy greater confidence and self-esteem.

Those who work with computers use the expression “G.I.G.O.” or “Garbage in, Garbage out.” But the reverse is also true, “Good in, Good out.”

When you make a clear, unequivocal decision that you are going to take complete control over your mind, eliminate the negative emotions and thoughts that may have held you back in the past, and become a completely positive person, you can actually bring about your own personal transformation.

Mental fitness is like physical fitness. You develop high levels of self-esteem and a positive attitude with training and practice. Here are the seven keys to becoming a completely positive person:

1) Positive Affirmations

Speak to yourself positively; control your inner dialog. Use positive affirmations phrased in the positive, present, and personal tense:

“I like myself!”

“I can do it!”

“I feel terrific!”

“I am responsible!”

We believe that fully 95% of your emotions are determined by the way you talk to yourself as you go throughout your day. The sad fact is that if you do not deliberately and consciously talk to yourself in a positive and constructive way, you will, by default, think about things that will make you unhappy or cause you worry and anxiety.

As we said before, your mind is like a garden. If you do not deliberately plant flowers and tend carefully, weeds will grow without any encouragement at all.

Discover your level of self-confidence and build greater confidence in yourself.

2) Positive Visualization

Perhaps the most powerful ability that you have is the ability to visualize and see your goals as already accomplished. Create a clear, exciting picture of your goal and your ideal life, and replay this picture in your mind over and over.

All improvement in your life begins with an improvement in your mental pictures. As you “see” yourself on the inside, you will “be” on the outside.

3) Positive People

Your choice of the people with whom you live, work, and associate will have more of an impact on your emotions and your success that any other factor. Decide today to associate with winners, with positive people, with people who are happy and optimistic and who are going somewhere with their lives.

Avoid negative people at all costs. Negative people are the primary source of most of life’s unhappiness. Resolve that from today onward, you are not going to have stressful or negative people in your life.

4) Positive Mental Food

Just as your body is healthy to the degree to which you eat healthy, nutritious foods, your mind is healthy to the degree to which you feed it with “mental protein” rather than “mental candy.” Read books, magazines, and articles that are educational, inspirational, or motivational.

Feed your mind with information and ideas that are uplifting and that make you feel happy and more confident about yourself and your world.

Listen to positive, constructive CDs and audio programs in your car and on your MP3 player or iPod. Feed your mind continually with positive messages that help you think and act better and make you more capable and competent in your field. Watch positive and educational DVDs, educational television programs, online courses, and other uplifting material that increases your knowledge and makes you feel good about yourself and your life.

5) Positive Training And Development

Almost everyone in our society starts off with limited resources, sometimes with no money at all. Virtually all fortunes begin with the sale of personal services of some kind. All the people who are at the top today were once at the bottom, and sometimes they fell to the bottom several times.

The miracle of lifelong learning and personal improvement is what takes you from rags to riches, from poverty to affluence, and from underachievement to success and financial independence.

As Jim Rohn said, ”Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.”

When you dedicate yourself to learning and growing and becoming better and more effective in your thoughts and actions, you take complete control of your life and dramatically increase the speed at which you move upward to greater heights.

6) Positive Health Habits

Take excellent care of your physical health and wellness. Resolve today that you are going to live to be eighty, ninety, or one hundred years old and still be dancing in the evenings. Eat healthy foods, natural and nutritious, and eat them sparingly and in proper balance. A nutritional diet will have an immediate, positive effect on your thoughts and feelings.

Resolve to get regular exercise, at least two hundred minutes of motion per week, walking, running, swimming, bicycling, or working out on equipment in the gym. When you exercise on a regular basis, you feel happier and healthier and experience lower levels of stress and fatigue than a person who sits on the couch and watches television all evening.

Especially, get ample rest and relaxation. You need to recharge your batteries on a regular basis, especially when you are going through periods of stress or difficulty.

Vince Lombardi once said, “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.”

Some of the factors that predispose us to negative emotions of all kinds are poor health habits, sleep deprivation, lack of exercise, and nonstop work. Seek balance in your life.

7) Positive Expectations

Practicing the Law of Attraction is one of the most powerful techniques you can use to become a positive person and to ensure positive outcomes and better results in your life. Your expectations become your own self-fulfilling prophesies.

Whatever you expect, with confidence, seems to come into your life. Since you can control your expectations, you should always expect the best.

Expect to be successful.

Expect to be popular when you meet new people. Expect to achieve great goals and create a wonderful life for yourself. When you constantly expect good things to happen, you will seldom be disappointed.

Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed this post on developing a more positive attitude with positive affirmations.  Please leave a comment and share with your friends!

 

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Why You Need Positive People in Your Life

Happiness is a choice. But we continually need to be reminded by people to make that choice.

One big mistake people make is not realizing that happiness is an individual choice. But every choice is influenced by the people in our lives. If you change your life influencers for the better, you can dramatically increase your chances for happiness and success.

In my research, I’ve found that positive social connection is the greatest predictor of long-term happiness. Welcoming a positive new influencer into your world can be one of the most important choices for happiness you make. That person might be a professional life coach or a mentor or simply someone whom you respect and who has the positive outlook you want to emulate.

A positive influencer will have a few outstanding traits that rub off on you over time. This person will practice gratitude. He will seek joy daily and work at becoming his best self. He’ll enjoy being active and feel connected to others.

Think about the negative influences around you. These are people who focus on the bad things in their lives and cause you to do the same. You’ll be left searching for new problems to worry over. Negative influencers don’t smile or laugh easily. They have trouble maintaining relationships and see stress as a threat rather than a challenge to embrace. Steer clear!

We know that happiness is a choice. But we continually need to be reminded by people to make that choice, especially when life gets challenging. Think about the people you know who could be positive influencers and spend more time with someone who will improve your happiness and lead you to greater success.

The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

Are you waiting for life events to turn out the way you want so that you can feel more positive about your life? Do you find yourself having pre-conditions to your sense of well-being, thinking that certain things must happen for you to be happier? Do you think there is no way that your life stresses can make you anything other than “stressed out” and that other people just don’t understand?  If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions, you might find yourself lingering in the land of negativity for too long!

The following are some tips to keep positive no matter what comes your way. This post will help you stop looking for what psychologists call “positivity” in all the wrong places!  Here are the ten essential habits of positive people.

1. Positive people don’t confuse quitting with letting go.

Instead of hanging on to ideas, beliefs, and even people that are no longer healthy for them, they trust their judgement to let go of negative forces in their lives.  Especially in terms of relationships, they subscribe to The Relationship Prayer which goes:

I will grant myself the ability to trust the healthy people in my life … 

To set limits with, or let go of, the negative ones … 

And to have the wisdom to know the DIFFERENCE!

 2.  Positive people don’t just have a good day – they make a good day.

Waiting, hoping and wishing seldom have a place in the vocabulary of positive individuals. Rather, they use strong words that are pro-active and not reactive. Passivity leads to a lack of involvement, while positive people get very involved in constructing their lives. They work to make changes to feel better in tough times rather than wish their feelings away.

3. For the positive person, the past stays in the past.

Good and bad memories alike stay where they belong – in the past where they happened. They don’t spend much time pining for the good ol’ days because they are too busy making new memories now. The negative pulls from the past are used not for self-flagellation or unproductive regret, but rather productive regret where they use lessons learned as stepping stones towards a better future.

4. Show me a positive person and I can show you a grateful person.

The most positive people are the most grateful people.  They do not focus on the potholes of their lives.  They focus on the pot of gold that awaits them every day, with new smells, sights, feelings and experiences.  They see life as a treasure chest full of wonder.

5. Rather than being stuck in their limitations, positive people are energized by their possibilities.

Optimistic people focus on what they can do, not what they can’t do.  They are not fooled to think that there is a perfect solution to every problem, and are confident that there are many solutions and possibilities.  They are not afraid to attempt new solutions to old problems, rather than spin their wheels expecting things to be different this time.  They refuse to be like Charlie Brown expecting that this time Lucy will not pull the football from him!

6. Positive people do not let their fears interfere with their lives!

Positive people have observed that those who are defined and pulled back by their fears never really truly live a full life. While proceeding with appropriate caution, they do not let fear keep them from trying new things. They realize that even failures are necessary steps for a successful life. They have confidence that they can get back up when they are knocked down by life events or their own mistakes, due to a strong belief in their personal resilience.

7. Positive people smile a lot!

When you feel positive on the inside it is like you are smiling from within, and these smiles are contagious. Furthermore, the more others are with positive people, the more they tend to smile too! They see the lightness in life, and have a sense of humor even when it is about themselves. Positive people have a high degree of self-respect, but refuse to take themselves too seriously!

8. People who are positive are great communicators.

They realize that assertive, confident communication is the only way to connect with others in everyday life.  They avoid judgmental, angry interchanges, and do not let someone else’s blow up give them a reason to react in kind.Rather, they express themselves with tact and finesse.  They also refuse to be non-assertive and let people push them around. They refuse to own problems that belong to someone else.

9. Positive people realize that if you live long enough, there are times for great pain and sadness.

One of the most common misperceptions about positive people is that to be positive, you must always be happy. This can not be further from the truth. Anyone who has any depth at all is certainly not happy all the time.  Being sad, angry, disappointed are all essential emotions in life. How else would you ever develop empathy for others if you lived a life of denial and shallow emotions? Positive people do not run from the gamut of emotions, and accept that part of the healing process is to allow themselves to experience all types of feelings, not only the happy ones. A positive person always holds the hope that there is light at the end of the darkness.  

10. Positive person are empowered people – they refuse to blame others and are not victims in life.

Positive people seek the help and support of others who are supportive and safe.They limit interactions with those who are toxic in any manner, even if it comes to legal action and physical estrangement such as in the case of abuse. They have identified their own basic human rights, and they respect themselves too much to play the part of a victim. There is no place for holding grudges with a positive mindset. Forgiveness helps positive people become better, not bitter.

How about you?  How many habits of positive people do you personally find in yourself?  If you lack even a few of these 10 essential habits, you might find that the expected treasure at the end of the rainbow was not all that it was cracked up to be. How could it — if you keep on bringing a negative attitude around?

I wish you well in keeping positive, because as we all know, there is certainly nothing positive about being negative!

(Photo credit: Positivity Amongst Negativity via Shutterstock)

 

Featured photo credit: Janaína Castelo Branco via flickr.com

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638 Primary Personality Traits from MIT

Positive Traits (234 = 37%)

  1. Accessible
  2. Active
  3. Adaptable
  4. Admirable
  5. Adventurous
  6. Agreeable
  7. Alert
  8. Allocentric
  9. Amiable
  10. Anticipative
  11. Appreciative
  12. Articulate
  13. Aspiring
  14. Athletic
  15. Attractive
  16. Balanced
  17. Benevolent
  18. Brilliant
  19. Calm
  20. Capable
  21. Captivating
  22. Caring
  23. Challenging
  24. Charismatic
  25. Charming
  26. Cheerful
  27. Clean
  28. Clear-headed
  29. Clever
  30. Colorful
  31. Companionly
  32. Compassionate
  33. Conciliatory
  34. Confident
  35. Conscientious
  36. Considerate
  37. Constant
  38. Contemplative
  39. Cooperative
  40. Courageous
  41. Courteous
  42. Creative
  43. Cultured
  44. Curious
  45. Daring
  46. Debonair
  47. Decent
  48. Decisive
  49. Dedicated
  50. Deep
  51. Dignified
  52. Directed
  53. Disciplined
  54. Discreet
  55. Dramatic
  56. Dutiful
  57. Dynamic
  58. Earnest
  59. Ebullient
  60. Educated
  61. Efficient
  62. Elegant
  63. Eloquent
  64. Empathetic
  65. Energetic
  66. Enthusiastic
  67. Esthetic
  68. Exciting
  69. Extraordinary
  70. Fair
  71. Faithful
  72. Farsighted
  73. Felicific
  74. Firm
  75. Flexible
  76. Focused
  77. Forecful
  78. Forgiving
  79. Forthright
  80. Freethinking
  81. Friendly
  82. Fun-loving
  83. Gallant
  84. Generous
  85. Gentle
  86. Genuine
  87. Good-natured
  88. Gracious
  89. Hardworking
  90. Healthy
  91. Hearty
  92. Helpful
  93. Herioc
  94. High-minded
  95. Honest
  96. Honorable
  97. Humble
  98. Humorous
  99. Idealistic
  100. Imaginative
  101. Impressive
  102. Incisive
  103. Incorruptible
  104. Independent
  105. Individualistic
  106. Innovative
  107. Inoffensive
  108. Insightful
  109. Insouciant
  110. Intelligent
  111. Intuitive
  112. Invulnerable
  113. Kind
  114. Knowledge
  115. Leaderly
  116. Leisurely
  117. Liberal
  118. Logical
  119. Lovable
  120. Loyal
  121. Lyrical
  122. Magnanimous
  123. Many-sided
  124. Masculine  (Manly)
  125. Mature
  126. Methodical
  127. Maticulous
  128. Moderate
  129. Modest
  130. Multi-leveled
  131. Neat
  132. Nonauthoritarian
  133. Objective
  134. Observant
  135. Open
  136. Optimistic
  137. Orderly
  138. Organized
  139. Original
  140. Painstaking
  141. Passionate
  142. Patient
  143. Patriotic
  144. Peaceful
  145. Perceptive
  146. Perfectionist
  147. Personable
  148. Persuasive
  149. Planful
  150. Playful
  151. Polished
  152. Popular
  153. Practical
  154. Precise
  155. Principled
  156. Profound
  157. Protean
  158. Protective
  159. Providential
  160. Prudent
  161. Punctual
  162. Pruposeful
  163. Rational
  164. Realistic
  165. Reflective
  166. Relaxed
  167. Reliable
  168. Resourceful
  169. Respectful
  170. Responsible
  171. Responsive
  172. Reverential
  173. Romantic
  174. Rustic
  175. Sage
  176. Sane
  177. Scholarly
  178. Scrupulous
  179. Secure
  180. Selfless
  181. Self-critical
  182. Self-defacing
  183. Self-denying
  184. Self-reliant
  185. Self-sufficent
  186. Sensitive
  187. Sentimental
  188. Seraphic
  189. Serious
  190. Sexy
  191. Sharing
  192. Shrewd
  193. Simple
  194. Skillful
  195. Sober
  196. Sociable
  197. Solid
  198. Sophisticated
  199. Spontaneous
  200. Sporting
  201. Stable
  202. Steadfast
  203. Steady
  204. Stoic
  205. Strong
  206. Studious
  207. Suave
  208. Subtle
  209. Sweet
  210. Sympathetic
  211. Systematic
  212. Tasteful
  213. Teacherly
  214. Thorough
  215. Tidy
  216. Tolerant
  217. Tractable
  218. Trusting
  219. Uncomplaining
  220. Understanding
  221. Undogmatic
  222. Unfoolable
  223. Upright
  224. Urbane
  225. Venturesome
  226. Vivacious
  227. Warm
  228. Well-bred
  229. Well-read
  230. Well-rounded
  231. Winning
  232. Wise
  233. Witty
  234. Youthful

Neutral Traits (292 = 18%)

  1. Absentminded
  2. Aggressive
  3. Ambitious
  4. Amusing
  5. Artful
  6. Ascetic
  7. Authoritarian
  8. Big-thinking
  9. Boyish
  10. Breezy
  11. Businesslike
  12. Busy
  13. Casual
  14. Crebral
  15. Chummy
  16. Circumspect
  17. Competitive
  18. Complex
  19. Confidential
  20. Conservative
  21. Contradictory
  22. Crisp
  23. Cute
  24. Deceptive
  25. Determined
  26. Dominating
  27. Dreamy
  28. Driving
  29. Droll
  30. Dry
  31. Earthy
  32. Effeminate
  33. Emotional
  34. Enigmatic
  35. Experimental
  36. Familial
  37. Folksy
  38. Formal
  39. Freewheeling
  40. Frugal
  41. Glamorous
  42. Guileless
  43. High-spirited
  44. Huried
  45. Hypnotic
  46. Iconoclastic
  47. Idiosyncratic
  48. Impassive
  49. Impersonal
  50. Impressionable
  51. Intense
  52. Invisible
  53. Irreligious
  54. Irreverent
  55. Maternal
  56. Mellow
  57. Modern
  58. Moralistic
  59. Mystical
  60. Neutral
  61. Noncommittal
  62. Noncompetitive
  63. Obedient
  64. Old-fashined
  65. Ordinary
  66. Outspoken
  67. Paternalistic
  68. Physical
  69. Placid
  70. Political
  71. Predictable
  72. Preoccupied
  73. Private
  74. Progressive
  75. Proud
  76. Pure
  77. Questioning
  78. Quiet
  79. Religious
  80. Reserved
  81. Restrained
  82. Retiring
  83. Sarcastic
  84. Self-conscious
  85. Sensual
  86. Skeptical
  87. Smooth
  88. Soft
  89. Solemn
  90. Solitary
  91. Stern
  92. Stoiid
  93. Strict
  94. Stubborn
  95. Stylish
  96. Subjective
  97. Surprising
  98. Soft
  99. Tough
  100. Unaggressive
  101. Unambitious
  102. Unceremonious
  103. Unchanging
  104. Undemanding
  105. Unfathomable
  106. Unhurried
  107. Uninhibited
  108. Unpatriotic
  109. Unpredicatable
  110. Unreligious
  111. Unsentimental
  112. Whimsical

Negative Traits (292 = 46%)

  1. Abrasive
  2. Abrupt
  3. Agonizing
  4. Aimless
  5. Airy
  6. Aloof
  7. Amoral
  8. Angry
  9. Anxious
  10. Apathetic
  11. Arbitrary
  12. Argumentative
  13. Arrogantt
  14. Artificial
  15. Asocial
  16. Assertive
  17. Astigmatic
  18. Barbaric
  19. Bewildered
  20. Bizarre
  21. Bland
  22. Blunt
  23. Biosterous
  24. Brittle
  25. Brutal
  26. Calculating
  27. Callous
  28. Cantakerous
  29. Careless
  30. Cautious
  31. Charmless
  32. Childish
  33. Clumsy
  34. Coarse
  35. Cold
  36. Colorless
  37. Complacent
  38. Complaintive
  39. Compulsive
  40. Conceited
  41. Condemnatory
  42. Conformist
  43. Confused
  44. Contemptible
  45. Conventional
  46. Cowardly
  47. Crafty
  48. Crass
  49. Crazy
  50. Criminal
  51. Critical
  52. Crude
  53. Cruel
  54. Cynical
  55. Decadent
  56. Deceitful
  57. Delicate
  58. Demanding
  59. Dependent
  60. Desperate
  61. Destructive
  62. Devious
  63. Difficult
  64. Dirty
  65. Disconcerting
  66. Discontented
  67. Discouraging
  68. Discourteous
  69. Dishonest
  70. Disloyal
  71. Disobedient
  72. Disorderly
  73. Disorganized
  74. Disputatious
  75. Disrespectful
  76. Disruptive
  77. Dissolute
  78. Dissonant
  79. Distractible
  80. Disturbing
  81. Dogmatic
  82. Domineering
  83. Dull
  84. Easily Discouraged
  85. Egocentric
  86. Enervated
  87. Envious
  88. Erratic
  89. Escapist
  90. Excitable
  91. Expedient
  92. Extravagant
  93. Extreme
  94. Faithless
  95. False
  96. Fanatical
  97. Fanciful
  98. Fatalistic
  99. Fawning
  100. Fearful
  101. Fickle
  102. Fiery
  103. Fixed
  104. Flamboyant
  105. Foolish
  106. Forgetful
  107. Fraudulent
  108. Frightening
  109. Frivolous
  110. Gloomy
  111. Graceless
  112. Grand
  113. Greedy
  114. Grim
  115. Gullible
  116. Hateful
  117. Haughty
  118. Hedonistic
  119. Hesitant
  120. Hidebound
  121. High-handed
  122. Hostile
  123. Ignorant
  124. Imitative
  125. Impatient
  126. Impractical
  127. Imprudent
  128. Impulsive
  129. Inconsiderate
  130. Incurious
  131. Indecisive
  132. Indulgent
  133. Inert
  134. Inhibited
  135. Insecure
  136. Insensitive
  137. Insincere
  138. Insulting
  139. Intolerant
  140. Irascible
  141. Irrational
  142. Irresponsible
  143. Irritable
  144. Lazy
  145. Libidinous
  146. Loquacious
  147. Malicious
  148. Mannered
  149. Mannerless
  150. Mawkish
  151. Mealymouthed
  152. Mechanical
  153. Meddlesome
  154. Melancholic
  155. Meretricious
  156. Messy
  157. Miserable
  158. Miserly
  159. Misguided
  160. Mistaken
  161. Money-minded
  162. Monstrous
  163. Moody
  164. Morbid
  165. Muddle-headed
  166. Naive
  167. Narcissistic
  168. Narrow
  169. Narrow-minded
  170. Natty
  171. Negativistic
  172. Neglectful
  173. Neurotic
  174. Nihilistic
  175. Obnoxious
  176. Obsessive
  177. Obvious
  178. Odd
  179. Offhand
  180. One-dimensional
  181. One-sided
  182. Opinionated
  183. Opportunistic
  184. Oppressed
  185. Outrageous
  186. Overimaginative
  187. Paranoid
  188. Passive
  189. Pedantic
  190. Perverse
  191. Petty
  192. Pharissical
  193. Phlegmatic
  194. Plodding
  195. Pompous
  196. Possessive
  197. Power-hungry
  198. Predatory
  199. Prejudiced
  200. Presumptuous
  201. Pretentious
  202. Prim
  203. Procrastinating
  204. Profligate
  205. Provocative
  206. Pugnacious
  207. Puritanical
  208. Quirky
  209. Reactionary
  210. Reactive
  211. Regimental
  212. Regretful
  213. Repentant
  214. Repressed
  215. Resentful
  216. Ridiculous
  217. Rigid
  218. Ritualistic
  219. Rowdy
  220. Ruined
  221. Sadistic
  222. Sanctimonious
  223. Scheming
  224. Scornful
  225. Secretive
  226. Sedentary
  227. Selfish
  228. Self-indulgent
  229. Shallow
  230. Shortsighted
  231. Shy
  232. Silly
  233. Single-minded
  234. Sloppy
  235. Slow
  236. Sly
  237. Small-thinking
  238. Softheaded
  239. Sordid
  240. Steely
  241. Stiff
  242. Strong-willed
  243. Stupid
  244. Submissive
  245. Superficial
  246. Superstitious
  247. Suspicious
  248. Tactless
  249. Tasteless
  250. Tense
  251. Thievish
  252. Thoughtless
  253. Timid
  254. Transparent
  255. Treacherous
  256. Trendy
  257. Troublesome
  258. Unappreciative
  259. Uncaring
  260. Uncharitable
  261. Unconvincing
  262. Uncooperative
  263. Uncreative
  264. Uncritical
  265. Unctuous
  266. Undisciplined
  267. Unfriendly
  268. Ungrateful
  269. Unhealthy
  270. Unimaginative
  271. Unimpressive
  272. Unlovable
  273. Unpolished
  274. Unprincipled
  275. Unrealistic
  276. Unreflective
  277. Unreliable
  278. Unrestrained
  279. Unself-critical
  280. Unstable
  281. Vacuous
  282. Vague
  283. Venal
  284. Venomous
  285. Vindictive
  286. Vulnerable
  287. Weak
  288. Weak-willed
  289. Well-meaning
  290. Willful
  291. Wishful
  292. Zany

 

Some things on this list crack me up.

 Stay healthy! Stay positive!

Sleep Habits of Geniuses

 

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Tesla reportedly curled his toes 100 times on each foot before sleep, believing that stimulated brain cells.   Funny, I do that to warm up my Flintstone feet.

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Charles Dickens carried a navigational compass with him at all times to ensure that he was always facing north while he slept. He believed that this practice improved his creativity and writing (and perhaps his ability to always know what direction he was facing at any given time).  [source: Ashlee Christian, FreelancersUnion]
Salvador Dalí thought sleep was for the birds, or you know for all the other organisms that actually need to sleep for more than one second at a time. He would nap in a chair with a key in his hand above a plate, and the second he fell asleep the key would fall, hit the plate, and wake him up. Similar to the Uberman cycle, it is a form of hypnagogic sleep that Dalí felt enhanced his creativity. [source: Ashlee Christian, FreelancersUnion]

 

Thank you Ashlee Christian for adding two women to the list. I’ll find more and add to the end. Actually, my siblings are going to have a laugh at this one.

Emily Brontë was plagued by insomnia and would walk circles around her dining room table until she fell asleep (presumably in a bed and not under the table, but who knows).

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Flannery O’Connor slept from 9pm to 6am every day.  That’s a regular nine hours.

Photo by: Cmacauley

 

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sleep14

 

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sleep17

 

sleep18

 

Charles Dickens carried a navigational compass with him at all times to ensure that he was always facing north while he slept. He believed that this practice improved his creativity and writing (and perhaps his ability to always know what direction he was facing at any given time).Salvador Dalí thought sleep was for the birds, or you know for all the other organisms that actually need to sleep for more than one second at a time.He would nap in a chair with a key in his hand above a plate, and the second he fell asleep the key would fall, hit the plate, and wake him up. Similar to the Uberman cycle, it is a form of hypnagogic sleep that Dalí felt enhanced his creativity.

It’s important to know how much sleep you need to be at your best and most productive.  For me, it’s 10 hours. People think I don’t sleep at all, when it’s actually the opposite.

I get ten hours, but it may be at odd times. For instance, if I’m working at a network from midnight to 8 a.m. I sleep from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and get on a bus at 8 p.m. to arrive 10 p.m.

If I’m dayside, I adjust time. If I’m on my own, as long as I get 10 hrs. in there somewhere, I’m good. If sleep is interrupted, multiple power naps come in handy, but they’re never a replacement for a good night’s sleep.

A lot of writers in history like Fran Kafka wrote from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. and slept around that schedule.  Basically, if you work from home you can find when you’re most productive and be up then, but you have to make sure you work in 9 hours of sleep around it.

Today is National Nap Day.

These days are created to raise awareness, which begs the question about a lot of stupid ones out there.  I digress.  It’s today because you lost an hour of sleep yesterday when the clocks jumped forward, so you may feel sluggish today. Hence, National Nap Day to let you know it’s okay to close your door and take a nap today.

Good luck with that in open work environments. One sneeze and the whole team get sick.  Seriously, who came up with open work environments?  Collaborative?  That’s 2 or 3 people in one office, not an open zoo hearing everyone’s conversations or chewing gum, smelling cologne, perfume or food –the list can go on about how these people pretend to work and secretly can’t wait to get the heck out of there.

I can walk into any company and know if it’s a healthy office or team. The irony is some of them profess to be about health when they’re the Canal Street of Madison Avenue.  You can buy a fake watch, but as genius Steve Jobs learned, you can’t buy into anything fake when it comes to health.  I don’t know how many hour Jobs slept a night, but he was known to call designers up at 3 a.m.  My guess is he probably could have used someone with his best interests at heart advising him on healthy habits.  It’s so dangerous to get yes men or women or those trying to sell something around you when you’re successful or worse, those giving you misinformation.

I promised earlier I would find more women. OPRAH!  I already said I know she loves power naps, but I am curious how many hours of sleep she gets a night.  She reports she is at her best at 5 and a half hours of sleep each night. Oh no.  There you have it. That’s why she has had weight issues her whole life. Why hasn’t any expert told her this??  At that amount of sleep her body is releasing something called cortisol and it keeps the hunger gremlins turned ON, ON,  ON  all the time while causing inflammation in the body. Why didn’t Dr. Oz catch this?  Rest is critical to the body.  If she changed this ONE habit she will be amazed at the results.

The world needs people to rest. Less illness. People think when you have a million or a billion dollars you should sleep like a baby. NO!  Not true. Remember when you were a kid and you couldn’t sleep the night before Christmas because you were too excited?!  Well, having a billion dollars is initially like that. Then, stressors appear like competition, relationships, fake people suddenly inviting you to be a part of this or that event, dinner or organization just because you have money. You’ll wonder where these people were when you had no money. They are not your friends. When you realize the fakeness in all the fundraising and pay to play things out there you realize some things can not be bought. Everything real can not. True friendship.  True love.  True health. True happiness. Another thing happens when you have money. Friends without money can’t do everything you want to do because they don’t have money or free time. That’s where it’s lonely at the top come from. So, there is stress.  If a wealthy person or a poor person do not sleep enough the results are the same. They will both experience a rise in cortisol, the fear hormone which causes inflammation inside your body. Too many yes men or women or ill informed people around you really can cause you to be sick. Make sure you have a healthy reference group in your circle.

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Let’s look at some other sleeping habits. Marissa Mayer reports 4 to 6 hours. Again, not good. Lordy, Martha Stewart reports 4 hours.

President Obama reports sleeping from 1 a.m. to 7 a.m.  That’s only 6 hours a night.

It’s so important the President be well-rested.  I bet whoever they put on the White House team for health writes prescriptions when someone can’t sleep instead of really caring and or knowing about health.

The world needs people who brag about getting a good night’s rest. The funny thing is it shows on their faces and bodies and ability to make good decisions.  I forgot to mention that the release of cortisol in your body also ages you faster. I know so much about cortisol, but this blog is about NAPPING and the sleeping habits of Geniuses, so will save that for another time.  Until then,  hope you’ve learned something that makes you healthier. It’s never too late to change a habit for the better.

When your basic daily habits are healthy you should only need to see your physician once a year to get a compete physical, and for recommended screenings for your age group. That’s when your doctor says, “Everything looks great. Keep doing whatever it is you’re doing.”

Happy National Power Napping! -Maria Dorfner

 

Genius inspiration favors the well-rested mind.

 

 

In honour of National Napping Day, Mark Molloy of UK Telegraph takes a look at some of the apparent benefits of taking some time out of your busy schedule to catch up on your sleep.

It could save your life

Napping could reduce blood pressure and stave off heart attacks, according to Greek researchers.

They found that those who had a nap at noon later had lower blood pressure than those who stayed awake through the day in a study involving almost 400 middle-aged men and women.

“Midday naps seem to lower blood pressure levels and may probably also decrease the number of required antihypertensive medic [drugs],” said Dr Manolis Kallistratos, the lead researcher.

Keeps you focused

Margaret Thatcher: enjoyed a nap  Photo: PA

Both Margaret Thatcher and Sir Winston Churchill knew about the benefits of having power naps to stay focused for longer at work.

Baroness Thatcher famously slept for just four hours a night during the week, though she took regular daytime naps.

Sir Winston Churchill managed on just four hours sleep a night during World War Two – but insisted on a two hour nap in the afternoon.

Scientist Albert Einstein reportedly slept for 10 hours a night, plus daytime naps.

Helps you feel more refreshed

Post-lunch power naps can be as refreshing as a good night’s sleep, according to a study.

Scientists have shown that a 60- to 90-minute siesta can charge up the brain’s batteries as much as eight hours tucked up in bed.

Boosts productivity

A specialist technical abseil team clean and inspect one of the four faces of the Great Clock, otherwise known as Big Ben, at the Houses of Parliament, in central London: Big Ben's clock gets big bath from abseiling cleanersResearch suggests you should make time for naps  Photo: PA

Bosses should let their staff take naps at work as sleeping for 30 to 90 minutes in the afternoon can improve creativity, a leading brain researcher claims.

“It’s best to give your brain downtime. I have a nap every afternoon,” explains Vincent Walsh, professor of human brain research at University College London.

“It’s only since the industrial revolution we have been obsessed with squeezing all our sleep into the night rather than having one or two sleeps through the day.”

Improves your mood

Toddlers who are denied regular afternoon naps grow up into grumpier and moodier adults, a study indicates.

US researchers found that toddlers who miss just one daytime nap become more anxious and less interested in the world around them.

Reduces stress

Spanish scientists believed they have proved a siesta is good for you and issued guidelines for the perfect nap.

A short sleep after lunch can reduce stress, help cardiovascular functions, and improve alertness and memory, according to the Spanish Society of Primary Care Physicians (SEMERGEN).

They suggest a siesta should be no longer than half an hour, others suggest it should not be longer than 15 minutes.

Reduces mistakes

Naps can restore alertness, enhance performance, and reduce mistakes and accidents, according to the National Sleep Foundation (NSA).

A study at NASA on sleepy military pilots and astronauts found that a 40-minute nap improved performance by 34 per cent and alertness 100 per cent, the NSA reports.

Meanwhile, this simple 10-3-2-1-0 formula could make your days more productive.

Sleep habits of those at the top

  • As Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher famously slept for just four hours a night during the week, though she took regular daytime naps.
  • When asked how many hours sleep people need, Napoleon Bonaparte is said to have replied: “Six for a man, seven for a woman, eight for a fool.”
  • US President Barack Obama is understood to only sleep for six hours
  • Business magnate Donald Trump boasts just three to four hours sleep nightly.
  • Sir Winston Churchill managed on just four hours sleep a night during World War Two – but insisted on a two hour nap in the afternoon.
  • Scientist Albert Einstein reportedly slept for 10 hours a night, plus daytime naps.
  • Bill Gates, former chief executive of Microsoft, says he needs seven hours of sleep to “stay sharp”.

 

 

 

Maria Dorfner is the founder of NewsMD and Healthy Within Network.  This is her blog. Follow her on Twitter @Maria_Dorfner.  She can be reached at maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

 

“The people you spend time with determine your longevity.” -Daniel Amen, psychiatrist

 

 

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THE IMPORTANCE OF PALLIATIVE CARE  by Maria Dorfner

 

In 2000, I practically lived at the Cleveland Clinic.  In fact, they wanted to put me up at a hotel, but I preferred to be closer to the patients I was writing stories about. One of those patients was dying from AIDS.  He was in the Palliative Care Unit. I spent time speaking to him, his partner, his family and his caretakers.

I’d been a professional health journalist since 1993, after working in media as a researcher, producer and writer for 10 years. I love covering health, studied it since I was a kid and covered it on college newspapers. I couldn’t afford to go to medical school, but think journalism ranks up there as one of the most important callings in the world.  We filmed a documentary on Palliative Care and it was an extremely touching story.

He was an in-patient, but his room was beautiful and he shared how comfortable he was knowing he had the best physicians around him and that family could visit any time.  We talked so comfortably about everything not even minding the camera in the room.  One day prior to it being released I got a call. The patient died.  His partner was devastated.  His partner thanked me for creating the most beautiful keepsake he had –the video.  Through his tears, he asked if I would refrain from airing it. It was something he and the patient had talked about prior to his passing away –that they would only want it to air if they could watch it together.  They knew the possibility existed that it would not happen.

I honored their wish.

The need for a healing touch continues even after a cure is no longer possible.

What is Palliative Medicine?

Palliative medicine is comprehensive medical care for patients with life threatening disease that focuses on control of cancer symptoms, management of complications, and quality of life. It cares for patients and their families and treats the cancer symptoms of body, mind and spirit. It is most successful when done with a multidisciplinary team approach to treating the cancer symptoms.

What are the goals of Palliative Medicine?

  • To provide excellent care of patients and their families dealing with advanced disease throughout the illness and during bereavement
  • To advocate effectively for patient comfort, dignity and choice

Who needs Palliative Medicine?

  • People experiencing pain or other cancer symptoms
  • People with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), AIDS, heart failure, chronic lung disease or other serious illness experiencing symptoms or repeated hospitalizations
  • Patients or families dealing with the stress of a life threatening illness and cancer symptoms

What does a Palliative Medicine team do for my family and me?

We strive to help people live as well as they can despite their illness and to cope with cancer symptoms. We focus on controlling any cancer symptoms that may be interfering in the quality of life, defining goals for any subsequent treatment, and maintaining the best physical and emotional well-being possible despite complex problems. The medical specialist functions as the quarterback of a team, including the patient and the family in what can be difficult decisions. Family conferences are routinely held to ensure that everyone involved is aware of and involved in the plan of care.

Who is on the team?

  • The patient and the family
  • The referring physician
  • The palliative medicine physician
  • Registered nurses
  • Physician assistants
  • Dietitians
  • Social workers
  • Chaplains
  • Music and art therapist
  • Home health aides
  • Trained volunteers

What services are provided?

Cancer Symptom Control: There is no need for anyone to suffer from uncontrolled pain, nausea or dyspnea (shortness of breath). Medical science knows how to effectively control these cancer symptoms most of the time. Making sure this happens is one of the primary goals of this program.

Case Management: People with serious illness often have many doctors involved in their care making. It is difficult to determine who to contact when a problem occurs. In this program, each patient has a registered nurse case manager assigned. That person is then a link to all other caregivers and available after hours.

The Harry R. Horvitz Center: Most people can be managed in an outpatient setting, but in crisis, this 23-bed inpatient unit is available for comprehensive multidisciplinary care.

Inpatient Consultation Service: Comprehensive assessment and management of symptoms in other areas of the hospital is provided to ensure maximum comfort for all hospitalized patients. The attending physician must request this service.

Outpatient Clinic: Specialty follow-up and consultation are available in this clinic. Nurse case managers maintain contact with their patients in this setting also.

Home Care and Hospice: As people become more ill they may need assistance at home which can be provided by Cleveland Clinic Home Care Ventures. As end of life approaches, the Hospice of the Cleveland Clinic is available at home for the special multidisciplinary care so critical at this time of life. Inpatient hospice care in the community is also available. Continuity is maintained throughout with the staff of the Palliative Medicine Program.

What is special about the Harry R. Horvitz Center?

Dr. Declan Walsh first developed the program at the Cleveland Clinic in 1988. At that time nothing of its kind existed in the United States. It still remains one of the few fully integrated programs in this country. In 1991 it was recognized by the World Health Organization as “a unique model of a much needed service” and designated a WHO Demonstration Project. The program had the first endowed chairs in Palliative Medicine in the USA.

The 23-bed inpatient unit was built in memory of Harry R. Horvitz, lifelong resident of Cleveland, recognized by his friends and associates as a man of integrity and compassion. The unit consists of the following facilities:

  • 13 private patient rooms
  • 5 semi-private patient rooms
  • Family lounge
  • Glass enclosed solarium
  • Family dining room
  • Donor recognition area

Research

The Harry R. Horvitz Center for Palliative Medicine also conducts important cancer research and educational programs in pain management, symptom control and nutrition. Donations made to the Harry R. Horvitz Center for Palliative Medicine are allocated for this vital research.

Advances made at the Cleveland Clinic have minimized unwanted side effects of treatment and enhanced quality of life for patients with advanced disease and painful cancer symptoms.

 Cancer Answers & Appointments

Speak with a cancer nurse specialist for appointment assistance and for answers to your questions about cancer locally at 216.444.7923216.444.7923 or toll-free 1.1.866.223.8100 FREE866.223.8100866.223.8100 FREE.

Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (ET).

Referrals

Resources for medical professionals

  • Outpatient appointment referrals: 216.444.7923216.444.7923 or 866.223.8100866.223.8100 FREE
  • Inpatient hospital transfers: 800.553.5056800.553.5056 FREE
  • Referring Physician Concierge: 216.444.6196216.444.6196 or 216.312.4910216.312.4910.

Clinical Trials

Search available cancer clinical trials by disease, hospital, phase or number.

This information is provided by Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.

© Copyright 2016 Cleveland Clinic. All rights reserved.

 

####

Latino Youth In California See Significant Rise In Psychiatric Hospitalizations

February 24, 2016

Psychiatric hospitalizations of Latino children and young adults in California are rising dramatically — at a much faster pace than among their white and black peers, according to state data.

Nubia Flores Miranda, 18, at her home in Oakland, Calif., on Thursday, December 17, 2015. After participating in the mental health program at Life Academy of Health and Bioscience, Miranda decided to major in psychology at San Francisco State University. (Heidi de Marco/KHN)

While mental health hospitalizations of young people of all ethnicities have climbed in recent years, Latino rates stand out. Among those 21 and younger, they shot up 86 percent, to 17,813, between 2007 and 2014, according to the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development. That’s compared with a 21 percent increase among whites and 35 percent among African Americans.

No one knows for certain what’s driving the trend. Policymakers and Latino community leaders offer varying and sometimes contradictory explanations. Some say the numbers reflect a lack of culturally and linguistically appropriate mental health services for Latinos and a pervasive stigma that prevents many from seeking help before a crisis hits.

“Often, they wait until they are falling apart,” said Dr. Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, a professor at the University of California, Davis Medical School and director of the university’s Center for Reducing Health Disparities.

Others blame stress from the recent recession, family disintegration and an influx of traumatized children fleeing poverty and violence in Central America.

Still others suggest the trend might actually be positive, reflecting an increasing willingness among Latino parents to seek treatment for themselves and their children, at least when they are in crisis.

Among Latino adults, psychiatric hospitalizations rose 38 percent during the same period. Similar hospitalizations of black adults increased 21 percent, while hospitalizations of white adults remained flat.

Margarita Rocha, the executive director of the nonprofit Centro la Familia in Fresno, said mental health issues are starting to be discussed more publicly in the Latino community.

“That’s helping people to come forward,” she said.

Miranda works part-time at Family Paths, a counseling and mental health organization in Oakland, Calif., on Friday, January 29, 2016. Miranda said she became interested in a career in mental health after she started experiencing depression and anxiety her freshman year at Life Academy of Health and Bioscience. (Heidi de Marco/KHN)

Ken Berrick, CEO of the Seneca Family of Agencies, which serves children with emotional disturbances in a dozen counties, agreed. Because more Latinos are now getting mental health services, children are more likely to be identified as requiring hospitalization, he said.

“I know for a fact that access to service is better now,” said Berrick, whose operation has a crisis stabilization unit in Alameda County, Calif.

Kids’ psychiatric hospitalizations overall rose nearly 45 percent between 2007 and 2014, regardless of ethnicity, a pattern experts attribute to various factors including a shortage of intensive outpatient and in-home services, schools’ struggles to pay for mental health services through special education and a decline in group home placements.

“Those kids have to be treated somewhere,” said Dawan Utecht, Fresno County’s mental health director, of the move to keep kids out of group homes.

“If they don’t get those services in a community setting, they’re going to go into crisis.”

The rise among Latino youths is remarkable in part because hospitalization rates for that population historically have been relatively low.

Latino children remain much less likely to receive mental health treatment through Medi-Cal, the state and federal coverage program for poor and disabled residents. Between 2010 and 2014, less than 4 percent of Latino children received specialty mental health services through the traditional Medi-Cal program. That’s compared with 7 percent of eligible black and white children, according to state data. The numbers don’t include those enrolled in managed care.

Eric Waters, coordinator for the behavioral health program at the Life Academy High School, leads a discussion with Fernanda May, 17, and Graciela Perez, 17, at La Clínica de la Raza in Oakland, Calif., on January 27, 2016. The program provides training in mental health first aid and places students in internships with mental health organizations. (Heidi de Marco/KHN)

(Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders seek treatment at a rate even lower than Latinos. Although hospitalizations are also increasing rapidly among that population, the raw numbers remain relatively small.)

Leslie Preston, the behavioral health director of La Clínica de La Raza, in East Oakland, says that the shortage of bilingual, bicultural mental health workers limits Latino kids’ access to preventive care, which could lead to crises later on.

“Everybody’s trying to hire the Spanish-speaking clinicians,” she said. “There’s just not enough clinicians to meet that demand.”

Access to care can be even harder for recent immigrants. Spanish-speaking children who have been referred for a special education assessment, which can help them become eligible for mental health services, sometimes wait months or years before someone tests them, she said.

“The families don’t know the system,” she added. “They don’t know their rights.”

Other clinicians point to relatively low health insurance coverage among Latinos, particularly those without legal status, and a cultural resistance to acknowledging mental illness.

Dr. Alok Banga, medical director at Sierra Vista Hospital in Sacramento, said some immigrant parents he encounters don’t believe in mental illness and have not grasped the urgency of their children’s depression and past suicide attempts. Many are working two or three jobs, he said. Some are undocumented immigrants afraid of coming to the hospital or having any interaction with Child Protective Services.

But the biggest problem, from his perspective, is the shortage of child psychiatrists and outpatient services to serve this population.

“The default course for treatment falls on institutions: hospitals, jails and prisons,” he said.

Jeff Rackmil, director of the children’s system of care in Alameda County, said sheer population growth — particularly, an increase in Latino children insured under Medi-Cal — may also be part of the explanation for the rise in hospitalizations.

Yet the state’s Latino population aged 24 and under increased less than 8 percent between 2007 and 2014, which doesn’t nearly explain an 86 percent increase in hospitalizations.

Elizabeth Ochoa, 17, and Victor Ramirez, 17, work on an assignment during their behavioral health training. The East Oakland students walk to the center from the nearby high school. (Heidi de Marco/KHN)

Some California communities are working to bring more Latino children into care and to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness.

At Life Academy of Health and Bioscience, a small, mostly Latino high school in East Oakland, students grow up amid pervasive violence and poverty. “We’re just told to hold things in,” said 17-year-old Hilda Chavez, a senior.

Students often don’t seek help because they fear discussing mental health problems will earn them a label of “crazy,” Chavez said.

Last year, the school, in conjunction with the Oakland-based La Clínica de La Raza, started a program to interest students in careers in mental health care. The program provides training in “first aid” instruction to help people in crisis, and places students in internships with mental health organizations.

Nubia Flores Miranda, 18, participated in the program last year and now is majoring in psychology at San Francisco State University. Miranda said she became interested in a career in mental health after she experienced depression and anxiety during her freshman year at Life Academy.

Seeing a school counselor “changed my life around,” she said.

But she saw that her peers were wary of seeking help from counselors at the school, most of whom were white and lived in wealthier, safer neighborhoods. Once, when a classmate started acting out at school, Miranda suggested she talk to someone.

“She told me she didn’t feel like she could trust the person — they wouldn’t understand where she was coming from,” she said.

Graciela Perez, 17, and Nayely Espinoza, 17, hold up their group assignment during a class presentation. The students are preparing for their mental health internships. (Heidi de Marco/KHN)

The shortage of services is especially evident in the Central Valley, where many agricultural workers are Latino. Juan Garcia, an emeritus professor at California State University, Fresno, who founded a counseling center in the city, says the drought and economic downturn have exacerbated depression, anxiety, substance abuse and psychotic breaks among Latinos of all ages.

“The services to this population lag decades behind where they should be,” he said.

In Fresno County, psychiatric hospitalizations of Latino youth more than tripled, to 432, between 2007 and 2014. Hospitalizations of their white and black peers about doubled.

Liliana Quintero Robles, a marriage and family therapy intern in rural Kings County, also in the state’s Central Valley, said she sees children whose mental health issues go untreated for so long that they end up cutting themselves and abusing alcohol, marijuana, crystal meth and OxyContin.

“There’s some really, really deep-rooted suffering,” she said.

Out in the unincorporated agricultural community of Five Points, about 45 minutes from Fresno, almost all of the students at Westside Elementary School are low-income Latinos. When principal Baldo Hernandez started there in 1981, he’d see maybe one child a year with a mental health issue. These days, he sees 15 to 30, he said.

He blames dry wells and barren fields, at least in part.

“I’ve had parents crying at school, begging me to find them a home, begging me to find them a job,” he said.

In some parts of the Valley and other places, the closest hospitals that accept children in psychiatric crises are hours away. Children can be stuck in emergency room hallways for days, waiting for a hospital bed.

“It makes for a very traumatized experience for both families and children,” said Shannyn McDonald, the chief of the Stanislaus County behavioral health department’s children’s system of care.

Recently, the county expanded its promotora program, which enlists members of the Latino community to talk to their peers about mental health.

In the small town of Oakdale, a slim, energetic 51-year-old promotora named Rossy Gomar spends 60 to 70 hours a week serving as cheerleader, educator and sounding board for many of the Latino women and children in the town.

Hilda Chavez, 17, at La Clinica de la Raza, says students at her high school don't really discuss mental health problems. Chavez says participating in the program has made her consider a career in behavioral health. (Heidi de Marco/KHN)

Gomar’s office in the Oakdale Family Support Network Resource Center is cluttered with open boxes of diapers and donated children’s toys and clothing.

“Look at my office,” she laughs. “We don’t fit.”

Gomar says many of the women she works with don’t recognize that they are depressed or abused. Children see their parents’ problems and don’t know where to turn for help.

“There are many young people who don’t have any hope,” she said.

But little by little, she has seen some good results.

One 17-year-old client is a student at Oakdale High School. The girl, whose name is being withheld to protect her privacy, said that earlier this year, problems at school and a break-up with her boyfriend had her struggling to get out of bed each morning. She began drinking, using drugs and thinking about suicide. She was scared to talk to her parents, she said, and kept everything inside.

One day, she walked into Gomar’s office and started crying.

“She told me ‘Everything is ok. We want you here,’” the girl said. “When I was talking with her, I felt so much better.”

The California Wellness Foundation supports KHN’s work with California ethnic media.

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