30 September 2023

What is an Empath?

Signs and Symptoms of being an Empath

What is an Empath? : Mental Health and Motivation

The Empath is often said to have such a great degree of empathy that they can literally feel what others feel, and thus intuitively know many of the yearnings, sensitivities, tastes and even thought patterns of the people they're around.” ― Aletheia Luna

Never underestimate the empowered empath. Our kindness and compassion is too often mistaken for weakness or naivety, while we are in fact highly calibrated human lie detectors...and fearless warriors for truth and justice.”― Anthon St. Maarten

Traits of an Empath

Habits of an Empath

Signs of being an Empath

What is a Super Empath?

What is an Empath?
"An empath is a person who has the ability to deeply understand and experience the emotions, thoughts, and energy of others. They possess an increased sensitivity to the emotional states of those around them and can often sense or intuitively pick up on the feelings and needs of others.

Empaths are highly attuned to the emotions and energies of people, animals, and even the environment. They have a strong capacity for empathy, which allows them to emotionally connect with others on a profound level. Empaths can often feel overwhelmed or affected by the emotions of those around them, as if they are absorbing or taking on the emotions of others.

It's important to note that being an empath is not a scientifically recognized term or condition. While some people identify strongly with the empathetic traits described above, it is not a formal psychological or medical diagnosis. Instead, it is a term often used in the realm of spirituality and personal development to describe individuals who have heightened empathic abilities." (Source: ChatGPT 2023)

What is a Super Empath?
"The term "Super Empath" is not a widely recognized or scientifically established concept in psychology or mainstream literature. It appears to be a term that has gained popularity in certain online communities and may be associated with ideas related to empathy, sensitivity, and emotional awareness. However, it's important to note that such terms often lack a clear and standardized definition.

In some contexts, a "Super Empath" may be used to describe an individual who is exceptionally empathetic, sensitive to the emotions of others, and highly attuned to their feelings. They may be seen as having an extraordinary capacity to understand and connect with people on an emotional level.

It's essential to approach such terms with caution and skepticism, as they may not have a solid scientific basis. Empathy is a complex and multifaceted trait, and there isn't a universally accepted way to categorize or quantify it. People vary in their empathetic abilities, and these abilities can change over time and in different situations." (Source: ChatGPT 2023)

Empath Article Links

Empaths and Anxiety: What’s the Connection? Article

Empaths And Mental Health: The Boundless Spirit Article

Habits of Highly Empathic People Article

How to Cope With Being an Empath and Navigating an Emotional World Article

If You Have These 30 Traits, Consider Yourself An Empath Article

Signs you’re a Super Empath and what that really means Ideapod

Strategies for Empaths to Heal Trauma & PTSD Article

Super Empaths: What they are and how they impact society Ideapod

The Dark Side Of Being An Empath Article

The Traits of a Super Empath (and how to know if you are one) Hack Spirit

What does it Mean to Be an Empath? Article

What is an Empath and Can You Become One? Article

What is Empathy Deficit Disorder? Mental Health and Motivation

What is an Empath? Signs and Traits Article

Empath Book Mentions

Empathic Attunement: The ’Technique’ of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology
Crayton E. Rowe Jr. & David S. Mac Isaac

The Empath Guidebook
Gary R. Leigh

Empath Test: Signs that You are An Empath - Video


πŸŽ“ Mental Health, Psychology and Relationship Resources

Mental Health Online Checklists and Tests

Online Mental Health Checklists, Tests, Questionnaires and Quizzes

Online Mental Health Checklists, Tests, Questionnaires and Quizzes

It's up to you today to start making healthy choices. Not choices that are just healthy for your body, but healthy for your mind.” ― Steve Maraboli

About a third of my cases are suffering from no clinically definable neurosis, but from the senselessness and emptiness of their lives. This can be defined as the general neurosis of our times.” ― Carl Jung

Do I have ADHD / Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder?

Do I have ASPD / Antisocial Personality Disorder?

Do I have an Alcohol Problem / AUD?

Do I have Anxiety / Anxiety Disorder?

Do I have Depression?

Do I have Bipolar Disorder?

Do I have BPD / Borderline Personality Disorder? 

Do I have NPD / Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

Do I have  OCD / Obsessive Compulsive Disorder? 

Do I have PTSD / Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Do I have Schizophrenia?

Do I have an Eating Disorder?

Do I have an Opioid Addiction?

Do I have a lack of Empathy / EDD?

Mental Health Online Checklists and Tests
"Mental health online checklists and tests can be useful tools for individuals to assess their mental well-being and gain insights into potential areas of concern. While they can provide some initial information, it's important to note that these assessments are not meant to replace professional diagnosis or treatment. If you're experiencing significant mental health concerns, it's always recommended to seek help from a qualified healthcare professional or mental health provider.

Here are a few commonly used online mental health checklists and tests:

1. Depression and Anxiety Screening Tools:
  • Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9): Assesses the presence and severity of depression symptoms.
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7): Screens for symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder.
  • Beck Depression Inventory (BDI): Measures the severity of depressive symptoms.

2. Stress and Burnout Assessments:
  • Perceived Stress Scale (PSS): Evaluates the level of perceived stress in your life.
  • Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI): Measures burnout symptoms related to work.

3. Mental Health and Well-being Checklists:
  • Mental Health Continuum-Short Form (MHC-SF): Assesses mental health and well-being across multiple dimensions.
  • Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale (WEMWBS): Measures positive mental well-being.

4. Personality and Psychological Assessments:
  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI): Identifies personality traits and preferences.
  • Big Five Personality Traits: Measures personality traits, including openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.

Remember that online assessments are not a substitute for professional evaluation or treatment. If you have concerns about your mental health, it's best to consult with a mental health professional who can provide personalized guidance and support based on your specific needs and circumstances." (Source: Chat GPT 2023)

Online Mental Health Checklists, Tests, Questionnaires and Quizzes cannot replace any Mental Health, Psychiatric and Psychological Diagnostic Testing from Registered Professional Mental Health Care Specialists and / or Registered Health Care and Medical Institutions for constituting as a Mental Health Care / Personality Disorder Diagnosis.

Please Note: Online metal health care checklists, tests, questionnaires and quizzes are not professional diagnostic instruments. 

Please read all pre-assessment information / disclaimers on every listed website and on this website.

Mental Health, Psychology and Relationship Resources Disclaimer

Assessment / Tests from Psychology Tools
  • ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
  • Addiction
  • Aggression
  • Anxiety
  • Autism Spectrum
  • Bipolar
  • Depression
  • OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder)
  • Personality
  • Stress

Am I empathetic? Quiz to find out how well You Relate to Other People Calm Moment

Alcohol and Drug Testing Resources Mental Health and Motivation

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) Online Test Talk Space

Borderline Personality Disorder Quiz / Test Psycom

Bipolar Disorder Quiz / Test Psycom

Characteristics of Codependent Relationships Checklist Recovery Direct

Depression and Anxiety Self-Assessment Quiz

Do I Have a Personality Disorder? The Recovery Village Assessment

Emotional Abuse Checklist PDF Document Download

Empathy Deficit Disorder Test Mind Diagnostics

Empathy Deficit Disorder Test - Free Confidential Results Online Mind Diagnostics

Cognitive Assessments Mental Health and Motivation

M3 Checklist : Mental Health Assessment Tool What's My M3

Mental Health Self-Assessment Checklist (K10) Checklist

Mental Health Test - Find Out What Symptoms You May Have Elttila

Mental Health Tests, Quizzes, Self-Assessments, & Screening Tools Psycom

Narcissism and Codependency Checklist Abundance No Limits

Narcissism Test (NPI) Individual Differences Research

Narcissistic Online Test Psych Central

Online Assessment Measures American Psychiatric Association

Online Mental Health Screening University of Washington

Personal Abuse : Am I Being Abused Checklist Woodbridge Township D.V.R.T.

Quick Bipolar Test Clinical Partners

Relationship Codependency Checklist Resa Treatment Center

(Robert) Hare Psychopathy Checklist (Original) (PCL-22) Psychology Tools

27 September 2023

300th Post on Mental Health and Motivation Website

A Tribute to a Friend on the Silence of Griefing

A Tribute to a Friend on the Silence of Griefing

This morning I completed the 300th post on the Mental Health and Motivation website with a personal tribute to a very close friend of mine who just recently lost a close family member. It is with friendship and honour to know the 300th post was inspired by another extraordinary special friend (of close to 30 years). I wish him and his family the very best in their healing journey.

The post is accompanied by "The Journey of Grieving, Feeling and Healing" video by Dr. Edith Eva Eger. Her work / research on the personal grieving and loss journey was introduced to me by a very special lady during my own double-loss during the past two years who 'stemmed the tide' by reined in my runaway mind. Her 'golden nuggets' of empathy, context and support' where selflessly delivered over many hours of discussion and informal talk therapy. Very much what one would receive by means of formal CBT or ACT psychotherapy.

I was recommended to read two books by Dr. Eger, 'The Choice' and 'The Gift' on her own grief and acceptance journey. It was indeed the first of the 'golden nuggets' I received overcoming grief and the gaining of an acceptance narrative (of which I described in considerable detail on the Mental Health and Motivation website...)

Coping With Silence While Grieving

“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning. I keep on swallowing. At other times it feels like being mildly drunk, or concussed. There is a sort of invisible blanket between the world and me. I find it hard to take in what anyone says. Or perhaps, hard to want to take it in. It is so uninteresting. Yet I want the others to be about me. I dread the moments when the house is empty. If only they would talk to one another and not to me.” ― C.S. Lewis

Read moreCoping With Silence While Grieving >>

© Vernon Chalmers : Mental Health and Motivation (Coping with the Silence of Grieving)

25 September 2023

What is Narcissistic Grandiosity?

 Narcissistic Grandiosity: Awareness, Research and Resources

Narcissistic Grandiosity

Generally certain symptoms appear, among them a peculiar use of language: one wants to speak forcefully in order to impress one's opponent, so one employs a special, "bombastic" style full of neologisms which might be described as "power-words." This symptom is observable not only in the psychiatric clinic but also among certain modern philosophers, and, above all, whenever anything unworthy of belief has to be insisted on in the teeth of inner resistance: the language swells up, overreaches itself, sprouts grotesque words distinguished only by their needless complexity. The word is charged with the task of achieving what cannot be done by honest means.” ― C.G. Jung

 Narcissistic Grandiosity Research

 Narcissistic Grandiosity
Narcissistic grandiosity is a psychological concept often associated with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) and is characterized by an exaggerated sense of self-importance, a need for excessive admiration and validation from others, and a lack of empathy for the feelings and needs of others. It involves an inflated view of one's abilities, achievements, and overall self-worth.

Here are some key features and behaviors associated with narcissistic grandiosity:

Exaggerated Self-Importance: Individuals with narcissistic grandiosity tend to see themselves as unique, special, and superior to others. They believe they deserve special treatment and recognition.

Constant Need for Admiration: They require excessive praise, attention, and validation from others to maintain their self-esteem. They often seek out situations where they can be the center of attention.

Fantasies of Success, Power, or Beauty: Narcissistically grandiose individuals frequently engage in daydreams or fantasies about their unlimited success, attractiveness, or power. They may believe they are destined for greatness.

Sense of Entitlement: They have a strong sense of entitlement and believe that they are entitled to special privileges, even if they haven't earned them. This can lead to demanding treatment that others may consider unreasonable.

Exploitative Behavior: They may exploit others for their own gain, as they often view others as tools to achieve their goals rather than as individuals with their own needs and feelings.

Lack of Empathy: Narcissistic individuals with grandiosity typically lack empathy for others' feelings and experiences. They have difficulty understanding or caring about the emotions and needs of others.

Fragile Self-Esteem: Paradoxically, their grandiose facade often hides a fragile self-esteem. Criticism or even perceived slights can lead to intense anger or feelings of humiliation.

Manipulative and Controlling: They may use manipulative tactics to maintain control over others or to get what they want. This can include emotional manipulation, gaslighting, or other forms of psychological manipulation.

It's important to note that while narcissistic grandiosity is a characteristic of narcissistic personality disorder, not everyone who displays narcissistic traits or behaviors has NPD. Personality disorders are diagnosed by mental health professionals based on specific criteria and a comprehensive assessment of an individual's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

Narcissistic individuals with grandiosity can have a significant impact on their relationships, both personally and professionally, due to their difficulty in forming genuine, empathetic connections with others. Therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), is often recommended for individuals with narcissistic traits or NPD to help them develop healthier ways of relating to others and managing their emotions.

Behind the Veil of Narcissus: The Grandiose and Vulnerable Aspects of Narcissism Palo Alto University

Deciphering Covert and Grandiose Narcissists Photography Today

Grandiose Narcissism: Definition, Signs, & How to Deal with These Narcissists Happier Human

Grandiose Narcissism: How To Spot And Handle It? The Happiness Blog

Grandiose Narcissism: What It Is, Signs, & How to Deal With It Choosing Therapy

Grandiose Narcissism Predicts Willingness to Behave Badly, Without Proportional Tolerance for Others’ Bad Behavior PDF Download CORE

Grandiose narcissists and Decision Making: Impulsive, overconfident, and skeptical of experts–but seldom in doubt PubMed Central

Grandiose Narcissism And Social Media Usage: An Exploratory Study Using The Narcissist Personality Inventory Journal of Positive School Psychology

Grandiose Narcissism and performance in organizations: mediating role of subjective wellbeing Springer Link

Grandiose and vulnerable narcissism, identity integration and self-control related to criminal behavior BMC Psychology

Idealization, Grandiosity, Cathexis, and Narcissistic Progress Healthy Place

Omnipotence, Grandiosity and Narcissism Cope Centre

Self-regulatory and Narcissistic Grandiosity and Vulnerability: Common and Discriminant Relations ScienceDirect

Signs Of Grandiose Narcissistic Personality Disorder Marriage

The Association Between Vulnerable / Grandiose Narcissism and Emotion Regulation Frontiers in Psychology

The Narcissistic Grandiosity Scale: A Measure to Distinguish Narcissistic Grandiosity From High Self-Esteem Sage Journals

The Nonlinear Association between Grandiose and Vulnerable Narcissism: An Individual Data Meta-Analysis Wiley Online Library


The Signs of Grandiose Narcissism and How to Deal With It Verywell Mind

Understanding the Narcissistic Perfectionists among us: Grandiosity, vulnerability, and the quest for the Perfect Self ResearchGate

Vulnerable and Grandiose Narcissism Are Differentially Associated With Ability and Trait Emotional Intelligence Frontiers in Psychology

What are the Traits of a Grandiose Narcissist? Unfilteredd

What is Grandiosity? Psych Central

What is Narcissistic Grandiosity and How Does It Differ from Vulnerable Narcissism Kamini Wood

Living with a Grandiose Narcissist: Strategies for Survival (NPD)


πŸŽ“ Mental Health, Psychology and Relationship Resources

How to Improve your Sleep

 How to Improve your Sleep: Awareness, Research and Resources

How to Improve your Sleep

If you can't sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there and worrying. It's the worry that gets you, not the loss of sleep.” ― Dale Carnegie

How to Improve your Sleep Research

Sleep Quality Research

How to Improve your Sleep
"Improving your sleep is crucial for overall health and well-being. Here are some tips and strategies to help you get better quality sleep:

Establish a Consistent Sleep Schedule: Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. This helps regulate your body's internal clock.

Create a Relaxing Bedtime Routine: Develop a pre-sleep routine to signal to your body that it's time to wind down. This can include activities like reading, taking a warm bath, or practicing relaxation techniques.

Create a Comfortable Sleep Environment: Make sure your bedroom is conducive to sleep. This means keeping the room dark, cool, and quiet. Consider using blackout curtains, earplugs, or a white noise machine if necessary.

Invest in a Comfortable Mattress and Pillow: A good quality mattress and pillow that suit your preferences can significantly improve sleep comfort.

Limit Exposure to Screens Before Bed: The blue light emitted by phones, tablets, and computers can interfere with your sleep. Try to avoid screens for at least an hour before bedtime.

Watch Your Diet: Avoid heavy meals, caffeine, and alcohol close to bedtime, as they can disrupt sleep. Opt for a light, healthy snack if you're hungry before bed.

Exercise Regularly: Engaging in regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster and enjoy deeper sleep. However, try to avoid vigorous exercise too close to bedtime.

Manage Stress: Stress and anxiety can make it difficult to sleep. Practice stress-reduction techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, or progressive muscle relaxation.

Limit Naps: While short naps can be refreshing, long or irregular daytime naps can interfere with nighttime sleep. If you must nap, keep it under 30 minutes.

Limit Liquid Intake Before Bed: To prevent nighttime awakenings to use the bathroom, try to limit your fluid intake in the evening.

Avoid Clock Watching: Constantly checking the clock can create anxiety and make it harder to fall asleep. Turn your clock away from your line of sight.

Consider Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): If you have persistent sleep problems, consider CBT for insomnia. It's a proven method for improving sleep without medication.

Seek Professional Help: If you've tried these tips and still have trouble sleeping, consult a healthcare professional or sleep specialist to rule out any underlying sleep disorders.

Avoid Overthinking in Bed: If you can't fall asleep within 20-30 minutes, get up and do something relaxing until you feel sleepy. Lying in bed awake can create anxiety about sleep.

Use Sleep Aids Sparingly: Over-the-counter sleep aids or prescription medications should only be used under the guidance of a healthcare professional and for a short duration.

Remember that improving your sleep may take time and experimentation. What works for one person may not work for another, so it's important to find a combination of strategies that work best for you. Prioritize your sleep, as it is essential for your physical and mental health." (Source: ChatGPT 2023)

5 Ways to get Better Sleep Mayo Clinic Health System

Best diet for a better night’s sleep Sanitarium

Better sleep, better life? testing the role of sleep on quality of life PLOS ONE

Busy students: This is how you improve the quality of your sleep University of Groningen

Could what we eat improve our sleep? Harvard Medical School

Determinants of Sleep Quality: A Cross-Sectional Study in University Students MDPI

Dreams and Mental Health Mental Health and Motivation

Doze Control: Eat Right and You'll Sleep Like a Baby WebMD

Eating for Sleep: The Anti-Insomnia Diet Intrepid Mental Wellness

Exercising for Better Sleep The Johns Hopkins University

How A Good Night’s Rest Can Change Your Life: A Lot Of New Research Shows Just How Important Sleep Really Is Forbes


How to Fall Asleep Faster and Sleep Better NHS

How to get Better Sleep, according to Science Healthdirect Australia

How to Sleep Better: 15 Science-Backed Tips Headspace

How What You Eat Affects How You Sleep Everyday Health

Improve your sleep with these simple steps University of Alabama at Birmingham

Mood and Sleep Better Health Channel

Sleep Better With Healthy Lifestyle Habits American Heart Association

Sleep this way to add almost 5 years to your life CNN

Sleep Quality: An Evolutionary Concept Analysis NIH

Sleep Quality more important for quality of life than Sleep Duration, study finds Medical News Today

The 20 Ultimate Tips for How to Sleep Better Sleep Foundation

The Best Foods To Help You Sleep Sleep Foundation

The Relationship Between Sleep Quality and Internet Addiction Among Female College Students Frontiers in Neuroscience


What I Did for One Week For Better Sleep EatingWell

How To Improve Your Sleep | Matthew Walker - Video


20 September 2023

Most Influential Psychologists

 Awareness of Most Influential Historic and Current Psychologists
 
Most Influential Psychologists

A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other.” ― Charles Dickens

Most Influential Psychologists 
"Psychology is a diverse field with many influential psychologists who have made significant contributions to our understanding of the human mind and behavior. Here are some of the most influential psychologists in the history of the field:

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939): Known as the father of psychoanalysis, Freud's work laid the foundation for modern psychology. He introduced concepts like the unconscious mind, the Oedipus complex, and defense mechanisms.

B.F. Skinner (1904-1990): Skinner is known for his work in behaviorism, particularly operant conditioning. His research on reinforcement and punishment has had a profound impact on education and therapy.

Jean Piaget (1896-1980): Piaget was a pioneer in developmental psychology. His stages of cognitive development theory remains influential in understanding how children acquire knowledge and develop cognitive abilities.

Carl Rogers (1902-1987): Rogers was a prominent figure in humanistic psychology. He introduced client-centered therapy, emphasizing the importance of empathy, unconditional positive regard, and self-actualization.

Albert Bandura (1925-2021): Bandura's social cognitive theory emphasized the role of observational learning and self-efficacy in behavior. His Bobo doll experiments were groundbreaking in demonstrating the influence of media on behavior.

Abraham Maslow (1908-1970): Maslow is known for his hierarchy of needs, a theory of human motivation. He argued that people are motivated by a hierarchy of needs, starting with basic physiological needs and culminating in self-actualization.

Erik Erikson (1902-1994): Erikson's theory of psychosocial development proposed that individuals go through a series of stages, each characterized by a unique developmental crisis that must be resolved for healthy development.

Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936): Pavlov's work on classical conditioning, particularly his experiments with dogs, laid the foundation for understanding how associations between stimuli can lead to learned responses.

John Watson (1878-1958): Watson was a pioneer of behaviorism and is famous for his "Little Albert" experiment, which demonstrated how fear can be conditioned in humans.

Elizabeth Loftus (b. 1944): Loftus is a prominent figure in the field of cognitive psychology, particularly known for her research on false memories and the malleability of human memory.

Leon Festinger (1919-1989): Festinger is known for his work on cognitive dissonance theory, which explores the psychological discomfort people experience when their beliefs or attitudes conflict with their actions.

Aron Beck (b. 1921): Beck is a key figure in the development of cognitive therapy (Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy or CBT), which has become a widely used approach in psychotherapy.

These psychologists have made significant contributions to the field of psychology, shaping its theories, practices, and applications. It's important to note that many other psychologists have also made important contributions, and the field continues to evolve with ongoing research and insights." (Source: ChatGPT 2023)

A Guide to Famous Psychologists In History Harley Therapy

Eminent psychologists of the 20th century American Physiological Association

Famous Psychologists Totally History

List of Influential Psychologists and Therapists GoodTherapy

The 10 most Important and Famous Psychologists in History Warbleton Council 

The 25 Most Influential Psychologists of All Time–A Study Starter Academic Influence

The 50 Most Influential Psychologists in the World PDF Download The Taos Institute

The 100 Most Eminent Psychologists of the 20th Century ResearchGate

Top Influential Psychologists Today Academic Influence

Who are today's most Influential Psychologists? University of Portsmouth

Famous Psychologists - 38 Greatest Psychologists of All Time - Video

10 September 2023

Global Mental Health Strategies

Global / International Mental Health Strategies: Awareness, Research and Resources

Global Mental Health Strategies

"It's so important that we all speak up on mental health."- Anne-Marie

Consequently, actions that successfully improve the overall mental health of the population are likely to be accompanied by other important benefits to society.” - Elliott Goldner, Emily Jenkins, Dan Bilsker

Global Mental Health Strategy Research

Global Mental Health Strategies
"Global mental health strategies are comprehensive plans and initiatives aimed at promoting mental health and well-being, preventing mental disorders, and ensuring access to effective mental health care and support on a global scale. These strategies are crucial because mental health issues affect people worldwide and have far-reaching social, economic, and public health implications. Here are some key components and strategies that are typically part of global mental health initiatives:

Mental Health Promotion and Education: Raising awareness about mental health, reducing stigma, and promoting positive mental well-being through educational campaigns and community programs.

Prevention Programs: Implementing strategies to prevent mental health issues, such as early intervention for at-risk populations, promoting healthy lifestyles, and addressing risk factors like substance abuse.

Access to Care: Ensuring equitable access to mental health services, including primary care, mental health specialists, and crisis intervention, regardless of socioeconomic status or geographical location.

Integration of Mental Health Services: Integrating mental health care into primary healthcare systems to provide holistic care and reduce the gap between mental and physical health services.

Capacity Building: Strengthening the mental health workforce by training and supporting mental health professionals, including psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and community health workers.

Research and Data Collection: Conducting research to better understand the prevalence and causes of mental disorders, track progress, and inform evidence-based policies and interventions.

Policy Development: Developing and implementing policies and laws that protect the rights of individuals with mental health conditions, and promoting legislation that ensures access to mental health services.

Crisis Response and Emergency Services: Establishing crisis helplines and emergency services to provide immediate support to individuals in crisis, such as suicide prevention hotlines.

Collaboration and Partnerships: Building partnerships between governments, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, and international organizations to pool resources and expertise in addressing global mental health challenges.

Monitoring and Evaluation: Continuously assessing the effectiveness of mental health programs and interventions, and making adjustments as needed.

Cultural Competence: Recognizing and respecting cultural differences in the understanding and treatment of mental health issues and tailoring interventions accordingly.

Youth and School-Based Programs: Implementing mental health programs in schools to promote emotional well-being and resilience among children and adolescents.

Trauma-Informed Care: Ensuring that services are sensitive to individuals who have experienced trauma and providing appropriate support.

Global Advocacy: Advocating for mental health on the global stage, such as through the World Health Organization (WHO) and other international bodies, to mobilize resources and support for mental health initiatives.

Community Engagement: Involving communities in the planning and implementation of mental health programs to ensure they are culturally relevant and responsive to local needs.

Technology and Telehealth: Leveraging technology to expand access to mental health services, including telehealth and digital mental health interventions.

It's important to adapt these strategies to the specific needs and contexts of different regions and populations. Global mental health initiatives aim to reduce the burden of mental disorders, improve the quality of life for individuals with mental health conditions, and promote overall well-being on a global scale." (Souce: ChatGPT 2023)

Advancing Global Mental Health Action: Lessons from Canada World Bank

Africa CDC Non Communicable Diseases, Injuries Prevention and Control and Mental Health Promotion Strategy (2022-26) Africa CDC 

A national framework for recovery-oriented mental health services Guide for Practitioners and Providers The Department of Health and Aged Care PDF Download The Department of Health and Aged Care Australia

Bridging the Global Mental Health Gap King's College London

Developing a Global Mental Health Strategy for the Workplace Business Group on Health

Digital Mental Health: The Answer to the Global Mental Health Crisis? JMIR

EU Commission lays out mental health strategy EURACTIVE

Global Approach to Mental Health and Wellbeing PDF Download experion

Global Mental Health Research: Time to Integrate Basic Science Springer Link


Global Mental Health: the social, economic and political rights challenges PDF Download Commonwealth Health

Global Mental Health: Where We Are and Where We Are Going Springer Link

Global Mental Health from a policy perspective: a context analysis Characterising mental health and recommending engagement strategies for the Mental Health Innovation Network PDF Download MHIM

Global Mental Health: Where We Are and Where We Are Going Springer Link

Global Strategic Direction for Mental Health World Health Organisation

Implementation strategies for the new World Mental Health Report in low‐resource settings NIH

Mental Health Initiatives from around the World bridge Support

Mental health in Social and Global Context University College London

Prioritizing the Mental Health and Well-Being of Healthcare Workers: An Urgent Global Public Health Priority Frontiers in Public Health

Toward a multi-level strategy to reduce stigma in global mental health: overview protocol of the Indigo Partnership to develop and test interventions in low- and middle-income countries BMC

Shaping the future of mental health research The University of Strathclyde

Strategy for Lifelong Mental Health Research PDF Download MRC Medical Research Council

WHO and ILO call for new measures to tackle mental health issues at work IOL / International Labour Organization

Establishing political priority for Global Mental Health: Old Challenges, New Opportunities



A Love Palm called Gratitude

Love at First Sight - A Corner Filled with Gratitude

Vernon Chalmers Love Palm Gratitude
A Love Palm Called Gratitude
The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself.” ― C. JoyBell C.

You learn something valuable from all of the significant events and people, but you never touch your true potential until you challenge yourself to go beyond imposed limitations.” ― Roy T. Bennett

After leaving an abusive relationship two years ago I came home to witness that my once healthy love palm, in a corner of my lounge, was more than looking somewhat dejected. It was on it's last few leaves and close to the end of plant life. What a (preventable) shame... 

With a somber sense of sadness I gazed out the window over Table Bay towards a leafy Cape Town suburb where I was living without any real reciprocal feeling and / or gratitude for about 3 to 4 months during the Covid lockdown. The plant represented the desolation and grief I felt after emerging from the clutches of narcissistic abuse. I felt more than guilty for neglecting my palm for such an extensive period.

In the absence of (human) gratitude

Over the next few weeks while I was coming to terms with my failed relationship I tried everything ro revive my once flourishing palm. I went to the nursery for advice and was recommended a few growth remedies. Unfortunately the palm did not survive any recovery interventions and its removal (after more than 10 years) from the clay pot was done with a heavy heart.

On the same day I went back to the nursery and purchased a small love palm as a replacement to re-pot a tiny palm into the big empty pot. I was advised against this tactic. It was recommended to keep it in its small plastic pot and do a gradual replant over a longer period. The assistant told me that 'my small palm, big pot' idea may perhaps be just too overwhelming for the young plant to handle its vulnerable growth phase. He said 'it could end-up like a heart transplant going wrong - the shock to the change may be too big to handle for the small palm'.

I believed him, just the sheer difference in pot and plant size was enough evidence to be patient with my re-potting scheme, but I was adamant to make this project work as soon as possible. Probably just as much as I wanted my relationship to work - which of course under any circumstances would not be possible. With potential failure in the back of my mind I went back home and immediately repotted the small palm in its new big home.

After the re-potting I looked at the tiny love palm in the big pot and aptly named the plant, Gratitude. For the gratitude I never received and all the relationship lessons I was busy learning. I vowed to look after this love palm and challenged myself to see who will grow the fasted. Over the next few weeks I worked out a light and watering strategy and watch very carefully how the love palm was settling into its new environment.

Together we started our recovery and growth journeys. Over the next few months I started coming to terms with my post-relationship recovery and I watched the love palm slowly emerging from 'intensive care' mode into a luscious growing plant. Within a few months I realised my 'plant transplant' was going to be successful with the love palm being slightly ahead in the 'recovery race'.

Now, after two years, I am overjoyed with Gratitude's resilience - matching my own outdrawn recovery and acceptance journey. I'm still learning daily and keeping a keen eye on Gratitude's transformation into a full-grown potted love palm.

Below is a recent image comparison between Gratitude and the scale size it was at two years ago. The small love palm positioned Infront of the clay pot is a gift intended for my sister. She love plants and know just so much more about potting house plants than me. My dream with this gift of love is to see it grow to the size of Gratitude over time. I have no doubt that it will happen. At least she will be more cautious of an immediate 'heart transplant'.

Vernon Chalmers Love Palm Scale Comparison
Love Palm Comparison

© Vernon Chalmers : Mental Health and Motivation

Love Palm Care Instructions

"Taking care of a love palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii), also known as a bamboo palm or reed palm, involves providing the right environment, watering, fertilizing, and general maintenance. Here are care instructions for a love palm:

Light: Love palms thrive in bright, indirect light. Avoid direct sunlight, as it can scorch the leaves. If you don't have access to bright indirect light, they can tolerate lower light conditions, but their growth may slow down.

Temperature: Keep your love palm in a warm environment. They prefer temperatures between 65°F to 80°F (18°C to 27°C) during the day and not below 50°F (10°C) at night. Avoid sudden temperature drops.

Humidity: Love palms appreciate high humidity levels. You can increase humidity by misting the plant regularly or placing a tray of water near it. Using a humidifier can also be beneficial, especially during dry indoor seasons.

Watering: Water your love palm when the top inch (2.5 cm) of soil feels dry to the touch. Ensure that the pot has good drainage to prevent overwatering, which can lead to root rot. During the growing season (spring and summer), water more frequently, and reduce the frequency in the winter months.

Soil: Plant your love palm in a well-draining potting mix. A mixture of peat moss, perlite, and a small amount of sand works well. Repot the plant every 2-3 years to refresh the soil and provide more space for growth.

Fertilizing: Feed your love palm with a balanced liquid fertilizer every 4-6 weeks during the growing season (spring and summer). Reduce or eliminate fertilization during the dormant winter months.

Pruning: Remove any yellow or brown fronds as they appear. This helps maintain the plant's appearance and encourages healthy new growth. Be careful not to remove too many fronds at once, as this can stress the plant.

Pests and Diseases: Love palms are relatively resistant to pests and diseases, but they can occasionally be affected by spider mites, scale, or mealybugs. Inspect your plant regularly for any signs of infestation, and treat with insecticidal soap or neem oil if needed.

Support: Love palms may become top-heavy as they grow taller. Use stakes or bamboo poles to provide support and prevent the plant from toppling over.

Propagation: Love palms can be propagated through division. When repotting, you can carefully separate the plant into smaller sections, making sure each section has roots attached.

Remember that patience is key when caring for love palms, as they are slow growers. With proper care, your love palm can thrive and add a touch of greenery and beauty to your indoor space." (Source: ChatGPT 2023)

Small Love Palm
Small Love Palm

How Dopamine Influences Mental Health

Dopamine and Mental Health: Awareness, Research and Resources

How Dopamine Influences Mental Health

You can change dopamine and the dorsal striatum with exercise. You can boost serotonin with a massage. You can make decisions and set goals to activate the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. You can reduce amygdala activity with a hug and increase anterior cingulate activity with gratitude. You can enhance prefrontal norepinephrine with sleep.”― Alex Korb

Dopamine and Mental Health Research

Difference Between Dopamine and Serotonin

How Dopamine Influences Mental Health
"Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays a crucial role in various aspects of mental health and overall well-being. It is often referred to as the "feel-good" neurotransmitter because it is associated with feelings of pleasure, reward, and motivation. However, dopamine's influence on mental health is complex and multifaceted, and both too much and too little dopamine can have significant effects on mental well-being. Here's how dopamine influences mental health:

Reward and Pleasure: Dopamine is released in response to pleasurable experiences, such as eating delicious food, engaging in enjoyable activities, or receiving rewards. This reinforcement mechanism motivates individuals to seek out and repeat these pleasurable experiences. Dysregulation of the dopamine reward system can lead to conditions like addiction, where individuals compulsively seek out rewarding stimuli.

Motivation and Goal-Directed Behavior: Dopamine is also involved in motivation and goal-directed behavior. When dopamine levels are balanced, it helps individuals set goals, plan, and take action to achieve them. Low dopamine levels can lead to feelings of apathy, lack of motivation, and difficulty in initiating tasks.

Mood Regulation: Dopamine plays a role in regulating mood. Imbalances in dopamine levels have been associated with mood disorders, including depression and bipolar disorder. Low dopamine activity in certain brain regions may contribute to symptoms of depression, such as anhedonia (loss of interest in pleasurable activities) and low energy.

Attention and Focus: Dopamine is essential for maintaining attention and focus. It helps filter out irrelevant information and allows individuals to concentrate on tasks. Conditions like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are characterized by dysregulation of dopamine in the brain, which can lead to difficulties in sustaining attention.

Stress and Anxiety: Dopamine interacts with the body's stress response system. Elevated levels of stress can disrupt dopamine signaling and contribute to anxiety and related disorders. Chronic stress can also lead to changes in dopamine receptor sensitivity.

Schizophrenia: Dopamine dysregulation is implicated in schizophrenia, a severe mental disorder. Excessive dopamine activity in certain brain regions is associated with positive symptoms of schizophrenia, such as hallucinations and delusions. Antipsychotic medications often target dopamine receptors to help alleviate these symptoms.

Impulse Control: Dopamine plays a role in impulse control and inhibiting inappropriate behaviors. Dysregulation of dopamine can lead to impulsive behaviors, which are often seen in conditions like attention deficit disorders and certain addictions.

It's important to note that while dopamine is a critical neurotransmitter for mental health, it doesn't act alone. Other neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and norepinephrine, also play essential roles in mood regulation and overall mental well-being. Moreover, individual responses to dopamine can vary widely, and what might be considered a healthy dopamine level for one person may not be the same for another.

Understanding the complex interplay between neurotransmitters and their role in mental health is essential for developing effective treatments for mental health disorders and promoting overall emotional well-being. If you have concerns about your mental health, it's crucial to consult with a healthcare professional for a proper evaluation and guidance on treatment options." (Source: ChatGPT 2023)

Dopamine vs. Serotonin
"Dopamine and serotonin are two important neurotransmitters in the brain, each with distinct roles and functions. They play key roles in regulating mood, behavior, and various physiological processes. Here's an overview of their differences:

Dopamine:Function:
Dopamine is often referred to as the "feel good" neurotransmitter because it plays a crucial role in the brain's reward system. It is associated with feelings of pleasure, motivation, and reward.

Mood Regulation:
Dopamine is linked to positive emotions and feelings of happiness. It's involved in reinforcing behaviors that lead to rewards, which can include natural rewards (like food and sex) and artificial rewards (like drugs).

Motor Control:
Dopamine is essential for motor control and coordination. A deficiency of dopamine is associated with conditions like Parkinson's disease, which leads to movement-related symptoms.

Attention and Focus:
Dopamine also plays a role in attention, concentration, and executive functions like planning and decision-making.

Serotonin:

Function:
Serotonin is known as the "feel stable" neurotransmitter. It is involved in regulating mood, anxiety, and overall emotional well-being.

Mood Regulation:
Serotonin is often associated with feelings of contentment, calmness, and emotional stability. Low serotonin levels are linked to mood disorders like depression and anxiety.

Sleep Regulation:
Serotonin helps regulate sleep patterns and is involved in the sleep-wake cycle. It is also a precursor to melatonin, a hormone that helps control sleep.

Appetite and Digestion:
Serotonin plays a role in controlling appetite and is involved in gastrointestinal functions.

Key Differences:

Mood Regulation:
Dopamine is more associated with positive mood and reward, while serotonin is more associated with emotional stability and well-being. Imbalances in these neurotransmitters can contribute to mood disorders like depression (low serotonin) or addiction (dopamine dysregulation).

Neurological Conditions:
Dopamine is particularly important for motor control and is linked to disorders like Parkinson's disease, while serotonin is more closely associated with mood disorders and conditions like obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Sleep and Appetite:
Serotonin has a more prominent role in regulating sleep and appetite, whereas dopamine's primary role is not related to these functions.

Targeted Medications:
Medications that affect these neurotransmitters are used to treat various conditions. For example, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are commonly prescribed for depression and anxiety, while drugs like L-DOPA are used to manage Parkinson's disease by increasing dopamine levels.

It's important to note that these neurotransmitters don't work in isolation, and their functions are interconnected. An imbalance or dysfunction in one can impact the other and contribute to various mental health and neurological conditions. Treatment approaches often involve targeting these neurotransmitter systems to restore balance and alleviate symptoms." (Source: ChatGPT 2023)

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Personal Mental Health Recovery Strategies

 Personal Mental Health Recovery Strategies: Awareness, Research and Resources

Personal Mental Health Recovery Strategies

We believe that a mental health system that was fully supporting recovery would look different in language, assumptions, theory base and working practices. It would have a natural focus on strengths.” — Mike Slade

Personal Mental Health Recovery Strategy Research

Mental Health Recovery Strategy
"Developing a mental health recovery strategy is essential for individuals who are experiencing mental health challenges. It involves a holistic approach that addresses various aspects of one's life to promote healing, resilience, and overall well-being. Here is a comprehensive mental health recovery strategy:

Self-Awareness and Acceptance:
  • Acknowledge your mental health condition and accept that it's a part of your life.
  • Understand that recovery is possible and may involve setbacks.

Seek Professional Help:
  • Consult with a mental health professional (psychiatrist, psychologist, therapist) for diagnosis and treatment.
  • Follow their recommended treatment plan, which may include therapy, medication, or a combination of both.

Build a Support System:
  • Connect with friends and family who understand and support your mental health journey.
  • Consider joining support groups or online communities with individuals facing similar challenges.

Healthy Lifestyle Choices:
  • Prioritize physical health through regular exercise, a balanced diet, and sufficient sleep.
  • Avoid substance abuse, as it can exacerbate mental health issues.

Stress Management:
  • Practice relaxation techniques like meditation, deep breathing, or yoga to manage stress.
  • Identify and reduce sources of stress in your life.

Set Realistic Goals:
  • Establish achievable short-term and long-term goals to regain a sense of purpose and direction.
  • Break these goals into smaller, manageable steps.

Structured Daily Routine:
  • Create a daily schedule that includes self-care activities, work or school, social interactions, and relaxation.
  • Consistency can provide stability and a sense of control.

Self-Care and Coping Strategies:
  • Develop a toolbox of coping mechanisms, such as journaling, art, music, or other creative outlets.
  • Practice self-compassion and be kind to yourself during difficult times.

Education and Advocacy:
  • Learn about your mental health condition to better understand its nature and treatment options.
  • Advocate for yourself in seeking appropriate care and support.

Medication Management:
  • If prescribed medication, adhere to the prescribed regimen and communicate any concerns or side effects with your healthcare provider.

Therapeutic Approaches:
  • Engage in psychotherapy or counseling to address underlying issues and learn coping skills.
  • Explore different therapeutic modalities that resonate with you.

Social Engagement:
  • Maintain social connections and engage in activities you enjoy to combat isolation and loneliness.
  • Communicate openly with friends and loved ones about your needs.

Monitor Progress:
  • Keep a journal to track your emotions, symptoms, and progress.
  • Regularly assess your mental health and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Crisis Plan:
  • Develop a crisis plan with your healthcare provider and support system, including emergency contact information and coping strategies for times of acute distress.

Professional Check-Ins:
  • Continue regular appointments with mental health professionals, even during periods of stability.
  • Discuss any changes or challenges you encounter.

Adaptability and Patience:
  • Understand that recovery is not linear, and setbacks can occur. Be patient with yourself.
  • Adjust your strategy as needed and seek help when necessary.

Celebrate Achievements:
  • Acknowledge and celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small.
  • Recognize the progress you've made in your mental health journey.

Remember that mental health recovery is a unique and ongoing process. It requires commitment, self-compassion, and the willingness to seek help and support when needed. The strategy may evolve over time as you learn more about yourself and what works best for your well-being." (Source: Chat GPT 2023)

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