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Over the past few years, numerous research studies and media reports have kept us well informed about the ever-increasing number of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and the many challenges they will have to deal with throughout their lives. But what about all the positive qualities and characteristics individuals with ASD exhibit on a daily basis?
“You will never meet a more genuine group of people,” says Jaimie March, former Executive Director of the May Center School for Autism and Developmental Disabilities in Wilmington, Mass. “Social norms are not a concern for them, so they will tell it like it is. Their strength of character is evident in the honest feedback they provide. Their truthfulness often helps the whole family become better communicators.
As mental health professionals, we are always concerned about the risk of suicide with depression. As a nation, we acknowledge this week as National Suicide Prevention Week to spotlight the importance of prevention. Given the stressors modern life presents to all of us, awareness of this vital mental health issue is now, more than ever, important for us to discuss.
Are you a worrier? People who spend much of their time worrying carry a tremendous amount of stress. The more you worry, the more you generate stress in your body. And, chronic stress takes a toll on the body and can cause health issues such as headaches, insomnia, and muscle tension. When we allow worry to take over, it can seem as if we’ve lost control over our thoughts. Have you noticed that worrying begets more worrying?
Being generous and giving is generally considered a virtue—both at home and at work. But in a world where there are givers and takers, how do givers who are trying to be "good" protect their generosity and energy? How do givers avoid becoming depleted, resentful, burnt out, or disappointed?
THE CENTERS FOR Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in 68 children in the US are on the autism spectrum, a number that stands in staggering contrast to a 1970 study that put the figure at one in 14,200. Some people believe we're in the middle of an autism epidemic. But autism has always been part of the human experience, as journalist (and WIRED contributor) Steve Silberman shows in his new book, NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity. It's only recently, he argues, that we have become properly aware of it. We spoke to Silberman about how the modern world came to recognize autistic people and how autistic people helped shape the modern world.
Many of us who are diagnosed with depression struggle with loving ourselves. We might feel the sting of stigma, whether it's from others, from within us, or from a combination of both. As individuals with depression, some of us deal with negative thoughts, which can make it difficult to foster feelings of love towards ourselves. How can we overcome these challenges and learn to love ourselves?
Anxiety is common. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 31.1% of U.S adults experience an anxiety disorder at some point in their lives.
Anxiety is also on the rise. A CDC survey completed by approximately 5,400 people this past June showed that the prevalence of anxiety symptoms was three times higher than those reported in the second quarter of 2019.
There’s not always a lot of socializing going on in social anxiety, but there’s certainly a lot of thinking. People with social anxiety appear to have developed some very biased ways of thinking that maintain the anxiety over time.
“When I was in school the teachers told me ‘practice makes perfect’; then they told me ‘nobody’s perfect’ so I stopped practicing.” —Steven Wright, comedian
An interesting finding to emerge from the study of the mindsets of clinic-referred adults with ADHD was that perfectionism was the most frequently endorsed cognitive distortion.1 Perfectionism is typically associated with holding unrealistic performance standards that result in frustration when they are not met, at times being self-defeating, such as being late with a school assignment or report for work because it is not yet “just right.” Such high standards may be based on some objective measure, such as a grade or a ranking (or at least doing better than a “rival”), but subjective standards can be as pernicious to one’s sense of self and competence.