Integrity and health

Integrity – has a two part definition – 1) regarding personal characteristic the aspect of honesty and having values – 2) regarding the physical state of wholeness, the person or substance or nation is complete and undivided.

Currently there is too much division in many areas between groups of people with different beliefs. Race,  religion, science, whatever the difference there is something in common, we share one planet. Infertility is increasing in humans and in many other species. Loss of insects causes a ripple effect up the food chain as plants are not pollinated and other species don’t have adequate food either from the loss of plants or the loss of insects. Infertility treatments are a costly procedure that is becoming common enough that some governments with nationalized health insurance have to decide about paying, which then leads to a question of who deserves the treatments and how many times. Five million dollars is the cost of fertility treatments in some areas of the world and there is no guarantee that it will work. How many treatments to attempt?

My own field of work experience could be described as a fertility expert – not an infertility expert who helps people conceive, instead a counselor who helped people who already had conceived have the healthiest pregnancy possible, or counseled about preparing for a healthy pregnancy for their next child. Something I heard frequently enough to stand out in my memory was something like, “I wasn’t trying to get pregnant, I had just worked really hard to get healthier and had lost weight and was exercising and now here I am pregnant.” Tragedy for many is not being able to conceive even with a variety of interventions. (information and statistics about infertility, Focusing on health first was what seemed a successful method from a retrospective point of view. Tragedy did visit some, who was likely to miscarry? Not typically those who had achieved health first. The last post suggests also that adequate iodine and thyroid function may be part of the answer.

Self respect – confidence and faith in your own abilities and value.

How can I help you,” was recommended as a valuable question to ask for leadership or business. It is helpful in many roles. People don’t want to feel coerced or manipulated and are more likely to accept or participate with plans that they have had a part in making. The flaw in overly depending on the strategy is when people don’t know what they don’t know – if they don’t know about the possibility or value in something new than how can they ask for help with it? Horseless carriages and electric light-bulbs are two inventions that people were initially skeptical about trying. Elevators initially had elevator operators to push the buttons, in part to help people feel safer about riding in the new-fangled contraption, in part because the doors were not automated. A few elevator operators still work in higher price buildings, it adds a level of security as well as a prestige service. (The Benefits of an Elevator Operator).

If I felt that I could help and didn’t I wouldn’t feel good about myself however I can only help within my ability to help and continue to take care of myself. Mothers learn that being sick is no vacation from motherhood.

My goal with writing online and trying a few different website formats is for the purpose of trying to share self care information with those who seek it out. The preventative education prenatal/early childhood program in which was very effective and to me seemed even better than the care I had received from my health insurance covered medical care. Preventative health education takes time that typical medical appointments don’t have to spare. Providing self directed educational resources online can allow adult learners to access the information that they are interested in as they need it, as they develop the interest in seeking it out – answering their own question of “How can I help myself?

The Science of Self-Care: How climate researchers are coping with the U.N. report, Eric Holthaus

Sea-level rise and flooding is one thing, people get wet, immigrate, and create huge problems. Loss of biodiversity means the human species as a whole is threatened to disappear. No joke. This is not discussed enough in the media.” – Eric Rignot

/Disclaimer: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

Values learned in childhood may need to be relearned as an adult

Some right and wrong or good and bad exist in most situations. Decisions usually are made from a variety of choices that each contain a mix of some good and bad aspects. The expected outcome from a decision can’t be known ahead of time; expected results can only be estimated based on results from previous situations that were similar or by making guesses. Focusing on what is good or bad or right or wrong about the choices is helpful but that more realistically becomes a question of right for who and wrong for who? and how right or how wrong for those individuals or groups of people?.

Internal values provide guidance for the choices we make. Understanding how our values developed from childhood and how those internalized values can affect our daily actions is discussed in the book Integrity:  Doing the Right Thing for the Right Reason (2007). Ideas are included to help improve recognition of why some behavior habits seem harder to change then others and ideas for tackling those tougher choices are provided. Internalized values learned as a child may not match society’s expectations of morality. What was accepted as ‘good’ behavior in the childhood environment often remains the typical pattern of behavior later in life even if the early childhood habits are no longer helpful.

A child that suffers from emotional or physical neglect or abuse in their family home may learn to hate themselves and love their family members because their physical and emotional survival depends on their family. In a way the child is trying to make sense out of their world and are trying to be in agreement with the people in their lives. Victims or prisoners in an abusive or captive situation have also been known to develop a strong emotional bond with their captors. The condition became known as Stockholm Syndrome since 1973 when the behavior pattern was seen after a hostage situation. The victim’s survival may seem to depend on the good or bad mood of the person in control. Anticipating and pleasing the controlling person may seem self protective for the victim.

Children who grew up in emotionally neglectful or abusive situations may not have learned more typical, healthy ways to behave or communicate with others. Severe illness during early childhood also may affect behavior patterns later in life. Dissociation or detaching the mind from feelings is a natural reaction to pain that can become a more frequent reaction for some people. The child from a dysfunctional upbringing may not realize that their sense of normal doesn’t match the average person’s definition of normal. Two children from similar dysfunctional backgrounds might understand each other as adults better than they understand other people. They may help provide emotional support for each other that they hadn’t received as young children. As a team, the grown up children may be emotionally stronger together than they are as separate individuals. The idea of breaking up such a team before they are each individually ready might feel like it would be neglectful or dangerous to the safety of the individuals, (in a way that has nothing to do with the Stockholm Syndrome that has been seen in hostage situations, instead the children learned the behavior patterns of someone with Stockholm Syndrome from what they experienced while growing up in their own childhood home).

Skills and abilities are not handed out in evenly balanced amounts. Working with others or within a team helps provide a variety of skills from the whole group which can help balance gaps in individual ability or knowledge. Communication with others is important for revealing where improvement might be needed within oneself or within a team’s set of skills. Sharing can help with growth of skills. We don’t know what we don’t know or what skills might be missing until after we’ve learned about the lack through experience or from a more experienced guide.

Skills and abilities are a gift from birth and from education.

Advocating for the mental health rights of children and survivors of childhood abuse could help save money and empower lives. Medications and talk therapy may not treat or reveal the underlying problems with communication learned in childhood. Screening questions for problems associated with dysfunctional behavior exist but may be infrequently used. For some conditions like depersonalization disorder, a problem seen in survivors of child abuse and in workaholics, education about the condition typically helps more than medications, but screening and accurate diagnosis are needed first.

A few other books are listed below which may be helpful for recognizing and recovering from mental health and behavioral issues:

  1. Steinberg, M., and Schnall M., The Stranger in the Mirror: Dissociation-The Hidden Epidemic, (Quill, 2003, New York, NY) [Amazon}
  2. Sanderson, C., Counselling Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse, Third Ed., (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2006, London, UK) [Amazon]  *This book is written for counselors about counseling and is not intended as a self help book.
  3. Williams, D., Exposure Anxiety-The Invisible Cage; An Exploration of Self-Protection Responses in the Autism Spectrum and Beyond, (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2003, London, UK) [] *The author has professional and personal experience with avoidance behaviors seen in people with autism and discusses a variety of coping skills for caregivers and ideas are included for use in educational group settings. Excerpt: “The friendly person caught up in involuntary avoidance responses appears uninterested, cold, and unfriendly. The person capable of intense interest and focus who gets caught up in diversion responses can seem like a clown who never takes anything seriously. The accepting, empathic person caught up in retaliation responses can appear insensitive and selfish.” (p180)
  4. Butler G., and Hope T., Managing Your Mind: The Mental Fitness Guide, (Oxford University Press, 1995, Oxford or New York) [2007 edition, Amazon]

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.