The Importance Of Maintaining Professionalism

White women and men dressed in black suits sitting around wooden table

You Won’t Like Everyone That You Meet

You’ll find yourself in many situations where you’ll meet new people and immediately feel the disconnect and distance. The first few moments are the warmup stage; you shoot your shot and they shoot theirs. But after about 30 seconds to a minute, you quickly realize that things are getting awkward and that maybe distance is the better option. Everyone experiences these situations and you are not alone!

What I mean by professionalism is that even though you may dislike this new person in your life, it is important to still maintain proper manners and be respectful. This seems like common sense but it’s so easy to lose your cool, especially if you’re not having a great day. Remember that just because you guys didn’t click at first does not mean that you will never click. For some relations, it just takes more time to break the ice.

But you may never break the ice and that is okay as well. Remember that the other person is still thinking about you and observing you despite their lack of connection with you. This means that by being respectful towards them, they are recognizing that your character is valuable and respectful as well. This will help you establish a good reputation that others will remember you by.

You won’t like everyone that you meet but that’s life! Don’t fret over it and definitely don’t lose sleep. Your mental health is much more valuable than getting into pointless arguments with someone who you just met. Just play it cool and focus on what you have to do. The rest will fall in its place.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

I Am Free Of Racism

Crowd of protesters holding signs near large monument

Positive Affirmation: Racism Is Not Part Of Me

“I am free of racism because I do not believe that others are less than me based on their skin color, culture, views, ethnicity, opinions or ways of being!”

I Am Free Of Hatred

Angry blonde woman wearing red hoodie and yelling

Positive Affirmation: Giving Up On Hatred

“I am free of hatred because I do not identify with jealousy, envy, evilness, anger, fights, emotional upsets and my pure heart has no room for hatred when its intention is to keep on spreading love!”

Psych Patients Desire Authenticity

Two women and two men wearing blue face masks with Mona Lisa painting on wall

I Want To Learn More About You

It’s not so much the content of what you say but your approach and delivery. Anyone can walk in with pride and command a patient to do this or that, but the chances that the patient will listen to you or open up are not that high. An honest approach followed by consistent listening and the development of rapport and a strong therapeutic alliance will take the patient much farther into his or her treatment.

This is because like anyone in life, psychiatric patients desire authenticity. Patients are very good at sniffing doctors who are authentic from those who just go to work to make a living. The former are the ones who tend to be of the most help, regardless of the medical school or residency which they have attended. Patients want a doctor who can connect with them and put them before the doctor’s pride and image.

It’s very difficult for psychiatric patients to deal with their mental illness, especially when they are involuntarily locked into a psychiatric unit for up to 60 days at a time. Not only are they battling their internal demons, but their environment which is a closed unit with windows, some computers and a television displaying negative news from around the world. The last thing that they need is a doctor who is not authentic in their ways.

On the other hand, many physicians are struggling themselves with balancing work and their personal lives. Especially in the field of psychiatry, it’s not easy to listen and talk all day about other people’s problems and then go home and take care of yourself and your family. There is currently a high burnout rate among physicians around the world; the stress and pressure of the job is very demanding and adds up over time.

Many physicians don’t actually intend to mistreat a patient with disrespect; they are just so stressed out themselves that their encounter with the patient may come off as non-empathetic. But this is the difference between great physicians and mediocre ones; the former know how to keep their stress levels in check and maintain their professionalism at all times.

Overall, the field of psychiatry is not an easy one. Many believe that it’s not difficult to just sit around all day and talk, but talking everyday for 8-12 hours does become very tiring, especially if your life is not balanced. Whether patient or physician, everyone has a different struggle that they experience, but at the end of the day, we should all aim for authenticity and respect and nothing less.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Don’t Allow Racism To Stir Up Hate

People wearing gas masks in city streets rioting

Life’s Challenges In The Mix

Racism is nothing new; it’s been around since the beginning of time. Racism is not just white against black; everyone is racist against everyone, even if the mainstream media rarely reports on it. Racism will not go away anytime soon; don’t count on it. So why allow these terrible murders to stir up so much anger, negative energy and hate in our society? Why allow riots and looting to go on? These things will not solve racism and will only worsen our mental health.

You have to understand that this murder of George Floyd was not by accident when you look at the big picture. This is how life works; it introduces a powerful event in society which often ignites a wildfire of anger, frustration and anger in the masses. This is to see how the world reacts to such events and guess what? We are still failing in our reaction! Rather than remaining cool, calm and collected, we are allowing the weak side of our psyche to prevail.

This weak side of our psyche is based on anger, poor judgment such as looting and burning buildings and even violence. As a whole, society is failing in the solution to the problem. We need to be constructive in our solutions to racism and this is done by protesting in peace, carrying on with our daily objectives and not allowing anger to become our dominant emotion. The day that we will start to implement this solution towards racism, will be the day that we will no longer feel defeated and overwhelmed when another innocent person has their life robbed from them.

Honestly, do you really believe that there will not be another black man who will be killed by a police officer in the future just because we are having large demonstrations in public in 2020? There will be hundreds of more deaths and this is the sad reality of the world that we live in. Even if your grandiose goal of driving out President Trump from office ever comes true, do you believe that racism will end the day after?

Racism runs through the blood of millions of individuals worldwide; this is not something that can be stopped. So rather than igniting anger and frustration, we need to continue to live our lives in love and dignity and pray to God to help guide us. You can put the most “liberal” person in office as president and racism will still flourish; this is human nature and as I’ve said many times, human nature does not always carry the best traits in a population.

We are doing more damage to our mental health by living in pain and anger. Yes, it hurts to see George Floyd die a tragic death. Yes, those police officers deserve a grave punishment. Yes, we are in pain. No, racism will not end tomorrow or in ten years. So we must devise a new solution because the current one is failing terribly. You cannot extinguish fire with fire and that’s what we’re currently trying to do.

Let’s come together and remain cool, calm and collected. The DSM Ready Community is about uniting all races, ethnicities, religions and political affiliations, but we are not a community based on anger, protests, looting and other counterproductive emotions and behaviors. We are based on love, purity and intelligent solutions.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Hatred In Our Hearts

White man against black background with hand diving face in half

Racism Has No Boundaries

Not only is the mental health sigma up and running throughout the world, but racism as well. Stigma and racism should not even be separated; they’re both different forms of hatred but with a common goal of dividing the masses. Stigma focuses on preventing people who suffer from a mental illness from getting treatment and making them feel ashamed and insecure, while racism focuses on physically and mentally destroying others based on their skin color.

But where does stigma and racism stem from? The answer is more simple than we like to think and one does not have to go to school to find out; our hearts! Just based on numbers alone, the 7.8 billion worldwide population is going to have many bad batches of rotten fruit that will promote and approve stigma and racism. These people are either uneducated, educated but evil or simply full of hatred.

Is someone born with hatred in their heart? Absolutely not. There is no known genetic makeup that will inform parents that your child is born with a characteristic trait known as hatred. Hatred is taught and learned through human behavior and experience. If a child gets beat up by two white kids or vice versa, he or she will learn through their own experience to hate that child, along with what they hear in the mainstream media or on the internet in relation to racism.

Stigma and racism are also taught by parents and family members who promote such ideologies to their children. When children are raised in such households, they observe from a young age the thought process, content and perception of viewing others in a negative light. Racism is not only white against black; it has no boundaries and goes all ways. Do not make the mistake of believing that racism is only white against black.

How can we actually end racism rather than turning on the news and witnessing more protests in the streets? Everything stems from our hearts. What will help is establishing a global platform that will bring people to stand together against mental health stigma and racism in a peaceful way. This platform has to start somewhere but without consistent support, it will become very difficult to establish.

I started The DSM Ready Community with the vision of creating this platform, but I cannot do this on my own. That is why I am thankful to meet many of you who support this blog and comment on my daily posts. Together, we can continue to help grow this really small community so that we can one day stand on a world stage and celebrate the progression towards the end of mental health stigma and racism.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Being A Great Sport

Angry white man wearing a red tank top with hands on face

Maintaining Composure During Times Of Adversity

You will encounter many situations in life where you will lose your cool and make a fool out of yourself. Let’s hope that those situations are in the past and that you can now prevent future ones from occurring. But we all know that life is very unpredictable; one minute you’re on top of the world and the next you’re fuming and steam is coming out of your ears. The key is not avoiding distressing situations as sometimes life just throws you in the middle of them without any control on your part.

But just because you lack control in certain situations does not mean that you should allow them to throw you off your game. You have to be quick to react and come up with effective solutions on the spot while maintaining proper composure. By doing this, you will avoid many awkward encounters, problems with your job and burned bridges. Anyone can act appropriate from time to time, but not anyone can be a great sport at all times.

Maintaining composure during times of adversity is not easy depending on the situation that you find yourself in. It’s so much easier to just blow up, get your anger out of the way and move on with your day. But what’s easier is not always most effective; this applies to anything in life. Oftentimes, the easier solution brings upon temporary fixes that end up crumbling when more adversity is encountered down the road.

You have to find a way to remain composed at all times, even when dealing with conflicting and uncomfortable emotions. This applies to your professional life as well as your social; the more consistent you remain in your display of emotions, the more trust people will have in you. This is all based on behavioral psychology; people are turned off by hotheads and attracted to those who are cool, calm and collected.

So the next time that you encounter a situation where you feel like you might lose your cool, take a step back and remind yourself, “This too shall pass. Just play it cool and try to make the most out of it without displaying your frustrating emotions.” The more you practice being a great sport, the easier it will become for you to handle life’s conflicts and roadblocks.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Don’t Forget About Your Family

Father walking with child near trees towards lake during sunrise

Stuck In Your Own Ways

As we continue to isolate ourselves due to evolving technology, it becomes much easier to forget about our family. With so many social media platforms, entertaining websites, Netflix and other outlets of entertainment, we sometimes end up getting stuck within our own world, forgetting about the important matters of life. One of the most important matters is maintaining a strong and meaningful connection with your loved ones.

As you grow older, it becomes easier to depart from your family as you gain more independence. Your thoughts change, the way you view the world evolves and your past relationships are not necessarily interpreted the same as in the present. As you continue to go down your path, by slowing losing touch with your family, you grow more distant from them, only making the process of reestablishing rapport and a meaningful connection more difficult.

Don’t allow technology to ruin your family relations; think of technology as a bonus and not a necessity. The beauty of technology is that it provides us with greater access to information and entertainment, but sometimes at the expense of face to face communication, and nothing is greater than in-person interactions. Don’t tip the balance on technology’s side; family and friends should always come first.

Especially during this pandemic and social distancing, it’s much easier to isolate yourself at home and get lost in your own little world, forgetting to keep in touch or simply losing interest in doing so. The more you spend time by yourself, the more you become comfortable going without the opinions, thoughts and beliefs of others in your life. In other words, you become comfortable distancing yourself and sometimes you don’t even know it; others have to tell you.

Enjoy every moment that you spend with your loved ones because tomorrow is not promised. Even though it might seem like a “been there, done that” feeling whenever you gather together, change that thought and replace it with “just being in the moment.” You want to learn how to appreciate the present moment regardless if it reminds you of a previous experience in the past. Make each moment something new and special; just enjoy every second and imagine instructing your mind to slow down your perception of time, so that you can make sure to capture every detail as vividly as possible.

Every moment spent with your loved ones is a blessing; treat them like so.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

The Rebellious Freedom Of Adolescence

Three girls and one boy sitting on steps outside holding cell phones

The Wild, Wild West Phase Of Life

Not for everyone but for many, adolescence is a time for experimentation, disconnection from family, personal exploration, stubbornness, risk-taking, drug use and promiscuous behavior. During these years, you grow up and realize that your parents just don’t cut it anymore; everything is about status, fitting in, experiencing sex, getting drunk, getting high and just being free while spending time with your friends.

Unfortunately, many don’t grow out of this phase and continue with the same immature mindset in their late 20s and even early 30s. While there is nothing wrong with being rebellious during your adolescence, it’s almost expected that you eventually grow out of it and become a responsible adult. But many who get hooked on drugs remain in this mindset and never grow out of it.

It’s interesting how many adolescents actually experience a much different phase during the ages of 14-18. There are the nerds who study hard with the intent on getting into a great college: these nerds can be the unpopular ones who don’t care about their appearance or the popular ones who still socialize, play sports and do well in academics.

Then there are the “losers” who don’t do well in school and are not popular; they’re kind of “just there” on the sidelines for people to make fun of. Unfortunately, these are the ones who end up developing a mental illness such as depression and commit suicide or go on killing sprees. The “losers” unfortunately fall in a pattern where they don’t apply themselves in school and are also socially awkward.

How about the jocks who are big and strong and dominate the soccer, football and lacrosse fields? Yes . . . the boys that all the girls secretly crave. These guys are naturally gifted with height, a muscular built and many with good looks. Because of their appearance and success in sports, they develop a lot of confidence and self-assurance, attracting females left and right while enjoying their popular status.

And lastly, the cool kids! They are either in a band, play sports as well or neither . . . they’re just cool by nature. They’re smart enough to know how to talk, dress and attract attention from other popular kids; they don’t have to be necessarily good at any particular activity besides being cool and partying. These kids are the ones who are always invited to a party or throwing the party in the first place; their life is full of booze, drugs and sex.

As you can see, the adolescence phase is the wild, wild west for many teenagers, but for other kids, it can be the worst four years of their life. I decided to write about this topic because I find it fascinating how there are many routes that a teenager can take during high school; the psychology of adolescents is quite “cool” by nature. Anything can happen during these years and for many, they end up determining their future.

How was your experience with the rebellious freedom of adolescence?

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Thanking The First Responders

Redhead female doctor holding red stethoscope

In Harm’s Way On A Daily

It’s easy to forget about the people who wake up early every day and arrive to work to help others in need while putting their lives at risk. It’s easy to forget because most of us check out and disconnect from those who aren’t in our immediate vicinity; it’s called human nature at play. But as I previously said, sometimes human nature needs to be changed in order to better yourself.

The first responders don’t have to do this; no one forces them to go to work and expose themselves to the coronavirus. They do it because it’s their nature; that’s why they got into their field in the first place, to help people in need! Most first responders are heroes by nature and heroes do not back away from a challenge very easily; instead, the view it as an opportunity to better themselves.

When first responders improve their character, they put themselves in a better position to help people in the future. Without improving your skills, you can only be of help to a certain extent; humanity requires those who go beyond the call of duty because of their drive to exceed in their field. Humanity requires those who are not afraid of a little pain.

I would like to thank the police officers, firefighters, paramedics, nurses, social workers and doctors who are on the front lines every single day. You guys are the ones who are truly keeping this country running; it’s easy for the suits in Washington to meet in their safe havens and pass stimulus packages while the federal reserve uses a printing press that goes “brrr.”

You guys are the ones who are juggling multiple jobs, studying and raising families all while exposing yourselves to COVID-19. Your courage is outmatched by anyone else in society because you are fearless, determined and hungry to save human lives; you do not shy away from a virus that has killed over 100,000 people worldwide. Through your performance others can hopefully learn from and be inspired to step up to the plate for future generations to come.

Thank you!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)