Brett.Ullman

Tag - mental health

Why Are More American Teenagers Than Ever Suffering From Severe Anxiety?

So much information in this article. I would challenge everyone to take a few minutes and walk through it.

Over the last decade, anxiety has overtaken depression as the most common reason college students seek counseling services. In its annual survey of students, the American College Health Association found a significant increase — to 62 percent in 2016 from 50 percent in 2011 — of undergraduates reporting “overwhelming anxiety” in the previous year.

Those numbers — combined with a doubling of hospital admissions for suicidal teenagers over the last 10 years, with the highest rates occurring soon after they return to school each fall — come as little surprise to high school administrators across the country, who increasingly report a glut of anxious, overwhelmed students.

Teenagers raised in more affluent communities might seemingly have less to feel anxious about. But Suniya Luthar, a professor of psychology at Arizona State University who has studied distress and resilience in both well-off and disadvantaged teenagers, has found that privileged youths are among the most emotionally distressed young people in America. “These kids are incredibly anxious and perfectionistic,” she says, but there’s “contempt and scorn for the idea that kids who have it all might be hurting.”

For many of these young people, the biggest single stressor is that they “never get to the point where they can say, ‘I’ve done enough, and now I can stop,’ ” Luthar says. “There’s always one more activity, one more A.P. class, one more thing to do in order to get into a top college. Kids have a sense that they’re not measuring up. The pressure is relentless and getting worse.”

Anxious kids certainly existed before Instagram, but many of the parents I spoke to worried that their kids’ digital habits — round-the-clock responding to texts, posting to social media, obsessively following the filtered exploits of peers — were partly to blame for their children’s struggles. To my surprise, anxious teenagers tended to agree.

Click here for the entire article.

Brett Ullman: Presentations -The Walking Wounded

As I enter my 20th year speaking I thought I would take some time over the next week to go over each of the talks that I have. My talks are heavily researched and I am updating my talks all the time.

Talk title: The Walking Wounded

Why would you bring me into your church, school or conference to speak this talk? – Of all the talks that I do this seems to be talk that people ask for the most. I find in our church world we do not have a good theology of suffering or even a decent practical application for how Christians should deal with mental health struggles. In this talk I answer a simple question. What do you do if someone walks up to you and says “I am struggling with anxiety or depression?” We must be prepared to have a Biblical yet practical response to this. In this talk, I will walk through what to do if you are struggling or if people you love are struggling.

Talk Description:

Life is good … until it’s not.

Dark clouds come in all shapes and sizes and leave us asking where do we turn? Some of us struggle with mental health: anxiety, depression etc. Some of our struggles come from coping with tough situations in life by Self Injuring: eating disorders, suicide, self-harm and drug and alcohol use.

When we are surrounded by these heightened emotions and feelings life becomes one that is isolated from others and we begin to be full of questions instead of answers and we do not know what will work, or where to turn.

How do we begin our journey towards hope, healing, redemption, rescue, and a restoration to wholeness?
Where and when does our journey back to life begin again?
As a Follower of the Way (A Christian) What about our faith? How does our faith fit into our healing journey?

This talk has no cliches, no Christianese and does not put forward promises of false hope.

Brett Ullman in The Walking Wounded begins to address how to walk back towards healing and away from our emotions, feelings and thoughts and that are keeping us paralyzed in life.

No shame, fear, or hiding is required as we are safe to journey towards healing together.
There is Hope for the Walking Wounded.

Promotional Trailer:

One of my favourite times to do this talk is a Sunday Morning church service. I call it “Care Sunday” I do my talk for the morning service and after the service one of the pastors talks about all the ways that your church “cares” Some churches put out booths in the foyer with counsellors, prayer teams, speciality groups like grief care, Celebration recovery and any other ways your church supports people who struggle with mental health.

You can make your church a relevant, accepting place for those who struggle with mental health, or who have a loved one who is mentally ill, by talking about it.” Leadership Journal

If you would like more information or would like to book me for a talk please email me at brett@brettullman.com.

Markham cyclist shares painful story of depression

Unionville man bikes 750 km to raise funds and awareness for mental health

Great story. Neil, thanks for sharing your journey. The more we share our stories the less stigma there is for those of us dealing with mental health struggles.

“You feel betrayed by life. Despite living a phenomenal life, you’re sad and it’s completely incongruous. You lose weight, don’t sleep, not driven, lose focus, irritated, anxious, panic attacks, self-critical, guilty, irrational belief systems … We are talking about chemically destabilized brains and it requires a lot of TLC.”

Sometimes it is environmentally triggered — by loss in the family, failure in some part of life, stress.

“Everything we feel is chemical, and sometimes those chemicals get triggered to go in the wrong direction and stay there,” he says.

“It is very treatable. But this is not a disease that can be treated by one person. It needs an orchestra. The psychiatrist may be the conductor but there are multiple musicians — family friends, work colleagues, support services all have a role. It’s a big, multifaceted intervention.

Click here for the entire article.

Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?

In my Loneliness research, the conversation on how Social Media might be affecting a new generation keeps coming up. Here is a great yet scary article. Just because we like social media does not mean it is good for us. Love to hear peoples thoughts on this.

I’ve been researching generational differences for 25 years, starting when I was a 22-year-old doctoral student in psychology. Typically, the characteristics that come to define a generation appear gradually, and along a continuum. Beliefs and behaviors that were already rising simply continue to do so. Millennials, for instance, are a highly individualistic generation, but individualism had been increasing since the Baby Boomers turned on, tuned in, and dropped out. I had grown accustomed to line graphs of trends that looked like modest hills and valleys. Then I began studying Athena’s generation.

Around 2012, I noticed abrupt shifts in teen behaviors and emotional states. The gentle slopes of the line graphs became steep mountains and sheer cliffs, and many of the distinctive characteristics of the Millennial generation began to disappear. In all my analyses of generational data—some reaching back to the 1930s—I had never seen anything like it.

The experiences they have every day are radically different from those of the generation that came of age just a few years before them.

Psychologically, however, they are more vulnerable than Millennials were: Rates of teen depression and suicide have skyrocketed since 2011. It’s not an exaggeration to describe iGen as being on the brink of the worst mental-health crisis in decades. Much of this deterioration can be traced to their phones.

But the allure of independence, so powerful to previous generations, holds less sway over today’s teens, who are less likely to leave the house without their parents. The shift is stunning: 12th-graders in 2015 were going out less often than eighth-graders did as recently as 2009.

One line in the article stopped me.

So what are they doing with all that time? They are on their phone, in their room, alone and often distressed.

I feel like I could have just pasted the entire article. Just a taste above.
Please click here for the entire article.

TWLOHA founder Jamie Tworkowski responds to the death of Chester Bennington

powerful response.

“I tried so hard and got so far, but in the end, it doesn’t even matter
I had to fall to lose it all, but in the end, it doesn’t even matter”

It’s one thing to hear the hopeless words of an honest man in an honest moment. We relate. We appreciate the honesty. But to hear Chester Bennington sing these words on the day he died, knowing death came in a truly hopeless moment, knowing that single moment steals the chance of any future hopeful moment, the words take on a different weight.

Please know you’re not the only one who hurts. You’re not the only one with questions and sadness and pain. If life feels nearly impossible, please know you’re not alone. Please know that it’s okay to be honest. You don’t have to fake it. You don’t have to play it cool. If you need help, please know you’re worth whatever help you need. If you need to talk to a counselor, if you need to call or text a hotline, if you need to step into treatment, it’s perfectly okay. You deserve whatever help you need.

Please stay alive, for every future moment. For the next album you’re going to love, for the best concert you haven’t been to yet, for your wedding or your husband or your wife, for the kids you have or dream of having. Stay alive to be surprised, by love and hope and help.

If someone you care about is struggling, please reach out. Please break the silence. Please cross the distance. Remind them they are loved. Remind them they deserve better. Encourage them to get help.

Click here for the entire article.