Women’s World Cup Final

Women playing soccer during daytime

The Beauty Of Teamwork

The women’s United States soccer team won the 2019 FIFA World Cup by beating the Netherlands 2-0 in the final match. Seeing an American team dominate in the sport of soccer when traditionally the sport has been dominated for generations by other countries, is a great feeling and nice moment to observe!

Getting involved in a team sport has many advantages:

  • Making friends
  • Establishing strong relationships
  • Provides a support network
  • Learning to work together with others
  • Learning from others
  • More pressure is lifted off of you
  • Sharing victories together feels good
  • Boosts productivity
  • Improves morale
  • Teaches conflict resolution skills
  • Advances your career

Soccer is a great sport to get involved in, whether you decide playing it at age 40 or would like your daughter or son to try it out. It has many health benefits including:

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and stay active; your health and well-being depend on it!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

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Few People Have The Imagination For Reality

Creative person's face dreaming

Your Dreams Become Your Reality

Most people dream of a successful life where everything is easy; the problem is that they do not have a realistic plan or they give up on their dreams when their reality remains the same.

Dreaming but not having a realistic plan is equal to playing tennis without a racquet; you will be watching at most! In order to achieve your dreams, you must lay out steps and goals that will get you there. The problem is that most people do not lay out steps and goals because it is either too much work or they do not know how to.

No dream is out of reach! As long as you can imagine it, then you are already halfway there. But you need to find a way to come up with realistic steps and goals and that is often the hard part; your steps and goals must align with your dreams and must be realistic enough to accomplish.

Another problem is that people give up on their dreams when they do not see a change in their life. They have the imagination for dreaming but do not have the imagination for reality! Changing your reality may take months or even years; it is not an overnight event like a dream that you wake up to in the morning.

Another mistake that people make is that they do not dream enough! They believe that their reality is destined or controlled by fate. This type of belief system only attracts mediocracy at best; in order to reach higher levels of success, you must also tap into your creativity and dream! Feed your reality with a spoon full of creative juice.

The DSM Ready Movement is all about combining dreams and reality and creating something great in return: helping humanity be free of mental health stigma through the power of honesty, trust and love!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

The Tweaking Crystal Meth Epidemic

Crystal meth addict standing in front of graffiti wall besides trash bags

How Long Does Crystal Meth Stay In Your System If Snorted?

Also known as crank, crystal, speed and rock candy, crystal meth is the silent epidemic placed on the back-burner due to so much attention devoted to the opioid epidemic. But since 2009, there has been a 53% increase in crystal meth reports and a 20% increase in seizures secondary to crystal meth from 2013 to 2014.

Meth is manufactured in laboratories using l-ephedrine or d-pseudoephedrine plus lithium in a condensed liquid ammonia, red phosphorus and hydrochloric acid. It can be smoked, snorted or injected; either way stimulates the central and sympathetic nervous systems.

The first stage of a meth high is called “the rush.” The user experiences a racing heart, dilated pupils and an elevated blood pressure. This stage lasts from 5-30 minutes and only occurs if smoked or injected.

The second stage of a meth high is called “the high.” The user experiences hyperactivity, rapid thinking, aggression, confusion and incoherent sentences. Meth users will use the drug for several days at a time to avoid crashing. Users also don’t eat and sleep, resulting in weight loss.

The last stage of a meth high is called “tweaking.” This is the most severe form of intoxication; usually users at this point have gone days without sleep. They may experience paranoia, unpredictability and psychosis. Some users become delusional and believe that there are bugs crawling on their skin, so they start skin-picking, resulting in multiple skins marks known as “meth sores.”

The crash” follows the high. The user will experience exhaustion and long periods of sleep. Because the experience is unpleasant and the psychological addiction is strong, the crash is followed by more meth use and the cycle starts all over.

The half-life of meth is about 10-12 hours; 50% of the drug has left the user’s body in approximately half a day. Snorting or smoking meth results in a shorter half-life as opposed to injecting it. Meth can show up in your body three days after the last use.

Users who have used meth for a longer period of time will have meth in their system for greater than three days because it takes their body longer to eliminate it. Age and health also play a role: the younger the user the higher the metabolism and the healthier the user the more efficient the elimination process by the organs.

The DSM Ready Movement is here for mental and emotional support; together we can help each other overcome our problems!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Social Media Seriously Harms Your Mental Health

Vehicle besides wall with graffiti about social media

Negative Effects Of Social Media

Ever since the arrival of social media websites such as FaceBook, Twitter and Instagram, many people have wasted precious hours of their life on the internet rather than going out and making friends, socializing, playing sports, exercising, reading and studying.

People who spend more than two hours per day on social media are more likely to report symptoms of depression and anxiety. This is because social media makes you believe that others are having fun and “living the life” while you are sitting behind a computer screen as a bystander; it is all a mirage. Most people are not living extravagant lives and having as much fun as you think they are.

Social media increases your risk of experiencing cyberbullying. There are people out there who love putting others down and causing them embarrassment and humiliation; Twitter is big for this kind of behavior. Experiencing cyberbullying can make you feel depressed; some people even commit suicide.

FOMO or “fear of missing out” is developing anxiety when you observe others on social media having more fun than you are having; you become scared of missing out on a positive experience or emotion that someone else is experiencing. For example, a college student on FaceBook observes that a bunch of his classmates are attending a party on Friday night, but he was not invited. This will cause him to feel lonely and possibly even depressed.

Social media promotes unrealistic expectations (i.e., Youtube millionaires, Instagram modeling, becoming famous for doing something online) that waste your energy and time and distract you from the more important things in life, such as education and realistic career goals.

Social media can make you believe that you have a negative body image. For instance, seeing famous accounts on Instagram of men and women who are fit, rich and wearing expensive clothes can make you feel insecure about yourself; you start wondering why you don’t look like them. This promotes insecurity, anxiety and makes you feel self-conscious.

Social media can adversely affect your sleep quality. Many people stay up late to chat and browse photos and other people’s accounts, causing them to develop poor sleep hygiene and feeling non-productive the following day. This habit can promote drug use such as stimulants to stay up the next day. In the long run, unhealthy sleep patterns pave the way to mental illness.

Lastly, social media can be very addicting. Most people have to check their accounts at least once a day to make sure that they are not missing out on something. As with any addiction, it affects your mood, choices, beliefs and behavioral patterns.

As with anything in life, moderation is key!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Mindfulness For Beginners

Person standing in front of green plants practicing mindfulness

Being Mindful Of Mindfulness

Mindfulness is achieving a mental state that focuses one’s awareness on the present moment, while accepting feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations; it is used as a therapeutic technique. Many health benefits can emerge from mindfulness if practiced consistently.

The benefits of mindfulness:

  • Stress reduction (increases positive affect and decreases anxiety and negative affect)
  • Reduced rumination (also improves working memory capacity and attention)
  • Improved focus (helps you suppress distracting information)
  • Less emotional reactivity (helps you disengage from emotionally upsetting situations)
  • Improved cognitive flexibility (helps you recover faster after being negatively provoked as well as improves self-observation)
  • Improved relationships (helps you respond better to relationship stress and communicate your emotions more effectively)
  • Enhanced self-insight, intuition and morality
  • Improved immune function
  • Increased information processing speed
  • Promotes empathy towards others
  • Enhanced self-compassion (being nonjudgmental and non-reacting)
  • Improved counseling skills
  • Improved social connectedness and emotional intelligence
  • Helps decrease symptoms of PTSD

Find a quiet place in a comfortable environment and close your eyes. Allow all thoughts to flow and become nonjudgmental, no matter how negative and uncomfortable the thoughts are. Each time you perform mindfulness, attempt to go for a little longer; this will build your stamina and allow you to reap more benefits in the long run!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

The Female Angel’s Warning

Blurred photo of a woman using Salvia Divinorum

Salvia Divinorum

Salvia Divinorum is a psychoactive mint plant native to Mexico; the Mazatec Indians have used it for centuries for spiritual divination and shamanism. In present day, it is used as a recreational drug for its mystical and hallucinogenic experiences. It is not obtainable in all states; over half have made it a schedule I drug. The long-term impact of salvia use remains unclear.

Salvia is extremely fast-acting and has a low addiction potential and incidence of side effects. There are no reported overdoses. The active ingredient is salvinorin A, a kappa opioid receptor agonist. Kappa opioid receptors regulate human perception, which is exactly what salvia does to the user.

Mazatec Indians have referred to salvia as “Herb of Mary” and believe that the plant is an incarnation of the Virgin Mary. Salvia is usually smoked, with the hallucinogenic effects occurring within a couple of minutes; the experience lasts approximately five to ten minutes.

About 1.5% of 12th graders report using salvia. It is usually obtained on the internet or tobacco shops and is used out of curiosity, to get high, for spiritual purposes or for relaxation. Some common street names include Sally-D, Diviner’s Sage, Magic Mint and The Female.

The effects of salvia include:

  • Visual distortions of bright lights
  • Delusions (i.e. believing the laptop is mad at you because the lamp is shining its bright light on it)
  • Hallucinations (believing that you, the house and the grass outside are one, or believing that a female angel is telling you to put the bowl away)
  • Uncontrollable laughter
  • Recollection of childhood memories
  • Out-of-body experiences
  • Contact with entities or other dimensions
  • Loss of contact with reality

The side effects of salvia include:

  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Lack of coordination
  • Loss of memory
  • Tiredness

There are no current medical uses for salvia but current research is attempting to better understand how salvinorin A effects the brain and whether there is any potential for future medicinal use.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

The Nasty Nature Of Alcohol

Drunk young man passed out from alcohol in back car seat

Alcohol Effects On The Body

Alcohol has an amazing way to break the ice, make you feel relaxed and disinhibited and alter your reality in the present moment. But what a lot of people do not take into consideration is all the harmful effects of alcohol on your mind and body!

Alcohol effects on the mind:

  • Slurred speech (one of the first symptoms of excessive alcohol consumption)
  • Blackouts (it effects your memory formation, resulting in no recollection of the previous night’s events)
  • Hallucinations (withdrawal may cause visual and tactile hallucinations)
  • Dependence (due to a psychological and physical addiction which are both related)
  • Shrinking brain (the frontal lobes that are responsible for planning and executive functioning start to shrink)
  • Depression, psychosis, anxiety/panic attacks, slowed thinking, memory loss and the increased risk of experimenting with other drugs

Alcohol effects on the body:

  • Cancer (chronic users can develop mouth, throat, esophageal, breast, pancreatic, liver and colon cancer)
  • Heart damage (causes dilated cardiomyopathy which results in your heart pumping blood inefficiently)
  • Lung infections (affects the immune system resulting in the increased risk of developing tuberculosis and pneumonia)
  • Liver damage (the progression from fatty liver β†’ hepatitis β†’ cirrhosis β†’ hepatocellular carcinoma or death)
  • Anemia (deficiency of red blood cells or hemoglobin resulting in pallor and fatigue)
  • Chronic pancreatitis (which can progress to diabetes and pancreatic cancer)
  • Stomach distress (bloating and painful ulcers)
  • Diarrhea (damages your intestines)
  • Infertility (with chronic use)
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Birth defects (also known as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome – which is the most preventable intellectual disability in newborns)
  • Thinning bones (increases the risk of developing osteoporosis, resulting in brittle and fragile bones)
  • Malnutrition (prevents your body from properly absorbing vitamins and nutrients, resulting in conditions such as macrocytic anemia and Wernicke Encephalopathy)
  • Poor coordination (affects the cerebellum of the brain which is responsible for coordination)
  • Muscle cramping
  • Tingling (including numbness and pain in the hands and feet secondary to damage to the central nervous system)
  • Alcohol poisoning

As you can see, the list is exhaustive and is not worth drinking heavily. Sadly, alcohol is very addicting and many people are never able to stop. If you or anyone is suffering from an alcohol problem, please seek immediate medical treatment!

The DSM Ready Community is always available to talk about problems, issues and concerns regarding an addiction! Feel free to be open and honest so we can be of help to each other.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Giving Up On Life

Young man sitting on chair outside with hands across face giving up on life

The Days When You Feel Like Giving Up

There are many days when we become so hard on ourselves that we lose hope for the future; the light within us turns off. Turning that light back on is crucial to not falling trap for depression and suicidal thoughts and attempts.

On the days when you feel like giving up is when you need to find your greatest inner strength to move forward. Remind yourself that pain and suffering are part of life; there is no way to avoid it. Always keep your head up and be nice to yourself!

When we start fighting against ourselves is when we slowly become buried with hopeless thoughts. Life throws us these miserable days as an opportunity for us to come out stronger and more resilient; without these days, we’d be mundane humans with no appreciation for the contrast of pain and happiness.

Never give up on life! It’s a gift worth treasuring forever despite the hardships we must experience. And always find someone to talk to; don’t experience the hardships by yourself. Good friends and family should always be in your life for support and help. Therefore, put your anger aside and use your heart to accept help and move forward!

The DSM Ready Movement is always available for support and care; together we are a community built upon love!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

When Mother Nature Speaks

Person holding white daisy flower after earthquake

Not Letting Earthquakes Rock Your Mental Health

Earthquakes are common phenomena that will never go away no matter how mindful we become of climate change. They are unexpected natural events that tear up cities and instill fear and pain into humanity; they destroy at their own will.

It is important to understand that you must not let natural disasters shape you into a negative and bitter person; whether it be floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes or wildfires. These natural events are meant to bring us closer together, make us more thankful for what we have and provide us with strength and resilience.

Sadly, natural disasters affect many families by bringing injury, pain and even death; but this is how it has always been since the beginning of time. What we can learn from natural disasters is that they teach us one important lesson: never take life for granted because you may lose it in the blink of an eye.

Natural disasters are reset points in our lives; they bring humanity closer by promoting empathy, care and more love for one another. They are signs from mother nature when we venture of course and deviate into wrongful directions. Natural disasters should not be looked upon as punishments against humanity; rather, they are corrections and opportunities for growth and direction.

If you or anyone has been impacted by natural disasters, please share your experiences with The DSM Ready Movement so we can support each other in times of need. We are all in this together!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Enjoy Every Moment Of A Holiday

Young black man smiling and enjoying independence day

4th Of July: Independence Day

From the moment you wake up to the tasty barbecue sauce dripping on your lips, a holiday brings you an opportunity for peace of mind and time to spend with family and friends. Do not let negative emotions ruin your day.

Learn to be thankful for your time off from work by enjoying every moment to its fullest. We often take free time for granted and wonder why our holiday feels poorly spent; it’s because we have trained our mind to expect something great out of holidays. That is a grave mistake that must be changed quickly.

You must learn to lower your expectations in life and be thankful for every moment that a holiday brings, even if it feels repetitive. You do not have to relate to the significance of the holiday to be able to enjoy it. A holiday is meant to be a refresher from your daily burdens; an opportunity to destress and take it easy.

Life is meant to be enjoyed! Do not hold yourself back from living at your highest potential. Get out there and be free!

Enjoy the holiday!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)